“Apologizing for the suffering of Canadian aboriginal peoples”

“I have been waiting to come among you. It is from here, from this place that provokes this sadness, that I want to start what is in my heart: a penitential pilgrimage. I come to your own land to tell you personally that I am here. I beg God for forgiveness, healing and reconciliation, to show you my closeness, and for you. Let’s pray for you too,” the pope says in a meeting with First Nation, Métis and Inuit indigenous peoples in Maskwazi. The Hills “in the Cree language, are 70 miles from Edmonton.

“Memory of moccasins, symbol of suffering” –

“I remember the meetings I had in Rome four months ago – he recalled – at that time I was given two pairs of moccasins, a sign of the suffering experienced by indigenous children, especially those who unfortunately did not return home from residential schools. . He asked for the return of the moccasins when he arrived in Canada. The Pontiff said, At the end of her speech, she told her mother, Marie-Anne Day Walker-Pelletier, that the symbol “has renewed pain, anger, and shame in me over the past few months. The memory of those children inspires grief and inspires action to ensure that every child is treated with love, respect and dignity. .”

But those moccasins “speak to us of a journey and a journey we want to take together. To walk together, to pray together, to work together, the suffering of the past leading to a future of justice, healing. And reconciliation”. Francis emphasizes the importance of “remembering” and “teachings” that can still be derived from indigenous customs and values, such as respect for nature, family, community, and maintaining strong intergenerational ties. Elderly and children. But to remember is to recapitulate “the tragedy that many of you, your families, your communities have experienced; you shared with me the suffering you experienced in residential schools.” “

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Pope’s Me Culpa –

“It is important to remember how policies of assimilation and liberation, including the residential school system, have devastated the people of these lands,” Francis warned, recalling survivors’ stories of how assimilation policies were systematically marginalized. Indigenous peoples; how, through the residential school system, your languages and cultures were denigrated and suppressed; how children were subjected to physical and verbal, psychological and spiritual abuse; how they were taken from their homes when they were young and how this indelibly marked the relationship between parents and children, grandparents and grandchildren.” And Bergoglio’s truth

my mistake

. “The first step in this penance in you – amidst the applause of those present – is to renew yourself.

A request for forgiveness

With all my heart, I say to you that I am deeply sorry: I apologize for the ways in which, unfortunately, many Christians have supported the colonial mentality of the powers that oppressed indigenous peoples. I am saddened by the ways in which many members of the Church and religious communities have cooperated, through indifference, in projects of cultural destruction and coercive assimilation of governments,” I apologize. Time culminating in the residential school system.”

For the Pope, “this is a catastrophic error incompatible with the Gospel of Jesus Christ”, and he reiterates “with shame and clarity”: “I humbly apologize for the evil committed by many Christians against indigenous peoples”. In front of Canada’s Governor General, Mary Simon — herself an Inuit mother — and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Francis acknowledges that her apology is “not a point of arrival, but a first step, a starting point.” . And he concludes that “an important part of this process is actively seeking the truth about the past and helping residential school survivors to embark on a path to healing from their trauma.”

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At the end of the meeting, tribal leader Wilton Littlechild said,


The ceremony took place at the former Erminskin Residential School, Ha

Donated to the Pope


Indian headgear

Beat the drum and put it on his head to a traditional folk song, to loud applause from the audience.

More than 4 thousand children died of suffering and torture –

A long red banner bearing the names of more than 4,000 children who died of suffering and torture in Canada’s 139 residential schools in the second half of the 19th century was paraded across the venue.

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