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Indigenous Leaders Seek Apology from Pope Francis over Deaths and Abuse of Schoolchildren

HeadlineMar 31, 2022

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with Indigenous leaders in British Columbia Wednesday, where he pledged federal support to First Nations communities whose children were ripped from their families and sent to residential boarding schools. An estimated 150,000 Indigenous children attended such schools between the late 1800s and 1990s, funded by the Canadian government and run by the Catholic Church. Many were subjected to psychological, physical and sexual abuse at the schools, and Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission has documented at least 4,100 deaths.

Earlier this week, a delegation of Indigenous leaders traveled from Canada to the Vatican to meet with Pope Francis, seeking a formal apology from the Catholic Church. This is Cassidy Caron, president of the Métis National Council.

Cassidy Caron: “Untold numbers have now left us without ever having their truths heard and their pain acknowledged, without ever receiving the very basic humanity and healing they so rightfully deserved. That is nothing short of a travesty, both of justice and of conscience. And while the time for acknowledgment, apology and atonement is long overdue, it is never too late to do the right thing.”

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