Pope Francis Apologizes to Indigenous Canadians | Indigenous peoples in the Vatican

I want to tell you, with all my heart, I really feel the pain. »

Quote from Pope Francis in Italian to the aborigines of Canada

Then continue: Join my brother, the Bishops of Canada, in apologizing. In September 2021, for the first time, the Catholic bishops of Canada apologized publicly.

Pope Francis has apologized and asked for forgiveness for the church’s actions in Canadian boarding schools. He also announced his upcoming visit to the country. As our special correspondent, Matthew Gouhair reports, Indigenous peoples have been waiting for this apology for several years.

These apologies were very well received by the three delegations.

Behind the centuries-old indifference, lies and injustice, Pope Francis decided to go to the heart of things and say the words that [Autochtones] I dreamed of hearing for decades. »

Quote from Natan Obed, President of the Inuit Tabirit Kanatami (ITK)

He said that at that time he couldn’t help but think How can people change the world and how can individuals see that there is justice and that there is a path to justice.

The Three Natives in St. Peter's Square.

The three indigenous leaders left the Vatican after the Pope’s apology on April 1, 2022: Gerald Antoine (First Nations), Nathan Obed (Inuit) and Cassidy Caron (Mitis)

Photo: Radio Canada / Marie-Laurie Jocelyn

what a day! It’s a great day! cried Phil Fontaine, an indigenous leader who thought he would never hear a word of apology from the Pope even though he had been working on it for decades.

We are seeing the fruits of the determination of many people who fought for many years. The message does not discourage her! »

Quote from Phil Fontaine, boarding school survivor

According to the president of the National Council of the Métis, Cassidy Caron, I was deeply touched With apologies, reconciliation here did not begin and did not end. However, The words that the Pope said today are certainly historic. They were needed and I really appreciate themcontinued.

The head of the First Nations delegation, Gerald Antoine, received the apology like new moose tracks in the snow when a family needs feeding. I see the possibilities, but there is still work to be doneFired Denny Schiff.

Coming to Canada this summer

The three delegates had already indicated that they wanted the Pope to apologize when he came to Canada.

It’s a historic first step, but it’s only a first. The next thing is that he apologizes to our families on their land. »

Quote from Gerald Antoine, Head of the First Nations delegation

The Pope has already confirmed that he will come to Canada, without specifying when exactly, but said: not in winterIn a humorous tone. The Pope spoke of the period around Saint Anne, which was celebrated on July 26. This is such an important holiday for the First Nations, and in particular for the Innu, who gather in Quebec at Sainte-Anne-de Beaupré, that they even set up a traditional camp there.

This year, I would like to be with you during these days. »

Quote from Pope Francis on Feast of Saint Anne

Indigenous delegates also expressed their interest in participating in the planning of this trip. We want to be active partners in the planning, but also in the selection of the sites and places that the Pope will visit. why? Because this is our homePosted by Gerald Antoine. If not, You will be disappointedspecially.

The Knife, Place Saint-Pierre.

Gerald Antoine, First Nations leader in the Vatican

Photo: Radio Canada / Marie-Laurie Jocelyn

The President of the National Council of Métis Cassidy Caron saw the tears in the eyes of residential school survivor Angie Crerar as the Pope apologized, it was a very moving moment. Cause, you will continue to plead for it The Pope comes to share his words and feelings in Canada because of These words will be important to the survivors.

They also indicated the expectation of concrete actions from the Pope and the Church. The delegations of the Inuit, Métis, and First Nations all provided stories, but they also submitted requests to the pope earlier this week.

Pope Francis also encouraged bishops and Catholics in his address Take action in a transparent search for the truth and to promote wound healing and reconciliation.

Canadian athletes holding Canadian flags.

Indigenous peoples have been waiting for years for an apology from the Catholic Church, as Mariev Begin reminds us.

Daddy indignant and shy

Listening to the voices of the indigenous people who came to tell their stories, the Pope said that he was Deeply saddened by the stories of suffering, hardships, discrimination and various forms of abuse that some have been subjected to [eux] Suffered, especially in boarding schools.

All this made me feel two powerful things, anger and shame.repeat several times, I’m ashamed.

During his speech, he said he was struck by the conventional wisdom he had heard during the three separate meetings with the Métis, the Inuit, and the First Nations.

The beautiful picture kept coming back. You have likened yourselves to tree branches. Like those branches stretching out in different directions, it has been through different times and seasons and has been exposed to high winds. However, you have stayed firmly rooted in your roots, which have maintained their strengthPope said.

However, keep shooting that This fruit-rich tree suffered a tragedy described by the aborigines in recent days: uprooting drama.

With this fact, Pope A Great damage has been done to your identity and culture. Many families were separated. Society and large numbers of children have fallen victim to these attempts to impose monotheism on the idea that progress comes through ideological colonization..

Unfortunately, this colonial mentality is still widespreadhe completed.

The man plays the drum in front of the Pope.

Inuit David Sirkwaq demonstrated his drumming skills in front of Pope Francis at the Vatican.

Photo: Corey Hobbs

Dances and drums and violin in front of the Pope

Nearly 200 people, overwhelmingly First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples in Canada, attended the general audience with Pope Francis. A hearing was held after a series of meetings with each delegation during which the issue and implications of indigenous boarding schools were discussed.

The last audience was in the Sala Clementina, one of the halls of the Apostolic Palace located next to St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican. The Pope uses this room for meetings of special importance, especially with the diplomatic corps.

Performances of Inuit drumming, dancing, and violin were performed, as well as the distribution of gifts. A book containing testimonies, and a pair of traditional snowshoes were delivered to the ruling pope.

The Pope closed the audience with a small movement of his hand, saying: Bye bye with a smile.

Brianna Lizote

Metis Brianna Liszot played the violin in front of the Pope.

Photo: Radio Canada / Marie-Laurie Jocelyn

Just before meeting the Pope, Métis Brianna Liszot said she was nervous and excited as she was playing the violin in front of the Pope. I will imagine my ancestors and my family playing with meLaunched.

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