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Oct 30, 2023
Saskatchewan Treaty Commissioner Mary Musqua-Culbertson didn’t mince words when she spoke to members of the Senate Committee on Indigenous Peoples Oct. 25 about the difficulty in accessing Catholic Church records for Indigenous residential schools.
Not only has her office come up against barriers in trying to acquire student records for four of the former Indian residential schools in the Prince Albert diocese, but staff had to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) for 21 years in order to access the diocese records they were told were housed at St. Paul University in Ottawa. However, she says, Prince Albert diocese records were never found there.
“Who specifically asks for a 21-year NDA? Who within their organization needs to die within that 21 years that is being protected?” asked Musqua-Culbertson, a lawyer who added that 21 years is not a usual timeframe.