Pope has apologized to Canada’s Indigenous communities he facedn very “hurt” by the responsibility of the church In the assimilation policies of boarding schools, condemning the “colonialist mentality of the powers”. “I am among you because the first step of this penance pilgrimage is to renew my request for forgiveness and to tell you with all my heart that I am deeply hurt: for the way in which, unfortunately, many Christians adopted the colonist I apologize. The mentality of the forces that oppressed indigenous peoples,” the pontiff said in his first meeting with First Nations, Métis and Inuit indigenous populations in Maskawasis, a town 70 kilometers south of Edmonton, where he landed this Sunday. .
In the first official speech of his six-day visit to Canada, the Pontiff referred to “open scars” Of these populations, some 150,000 Indigenous children passed out because of their detention in some of the 139 boarding schools. Most of them were in the hands of Christian institutions and operated until 1996, when Gordon’s residential school in Punicchi was closed, the last facility operated by the Canadian federal government.
,I am injured. i’m sorryIn particular, the way many members of the Church and religious communities cooperated, also through indifference, in those projects of cultural destruction and the forced assimilation of the governments of the time, which ended in the system from residential schools. On this occasion, Francis has brought back the moccasins that a delegation of these indigenous communities had brought to the Vatican when they visited the Vatican in April and which symbolizes the drama of those who “unfortunately lived in residential schools”. Did not return home.
Today I am here to remember the past, to cry with you, to look at the earth in silence, to pray near the graves.”
Pope has spoken of these “traumas”, knowing that, in a certain way, they are relieved every time they are remembered. ,Recall devastating experiences in residential schools It kills us, it makes us angry, it makes us sad, but it’s necessary”, he explains. Francisco explains the reason for his visit, despite the pain in his right knee and that made him walk around in a jiffy. Forces wheelchair, has canceled: “I am in the native land to tell you personally that I am hurt, to solicit God’s forgiveness, healing and reconciliation, to show you my closeness , to pray with you and for you”.
The original purpose of the visit to Canada, during which the pontiff would travel 19,246 km, was one of the requests that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission set up by the Government of Canada in 2015 sought to document the history of what happened at these residential schools. Go. by the government only. ,Today I’m here to remember the past, cry with youTo see the earth in silence, to pray beside the graves”, the pontiff said at another point in his speech. The system of boarding schools for boys and girls of the Inuit, Métis and First Nations peoples, among others. Between the years, was officially implemented in Canada from 1883, when these institutions were ordered to be created that sought to assimilate Aboriginal inhabitants to the uses and customs of Western society. From 1920, from 7 The presence of indigenous people at the age of 16 became mandatory.
Various requests for pardon have been made over the past thirty years. The first to do so was the bishops of the Episcopal Conference, in March 1991. And those responsible for religious orders were in charge of boarding schools. In July of the same year, the Oblates of Mary the Immaculate did so for the first time, having found several schools under whose responsibility, most notably in Kamloops until 1969. from the reprehensible conduct of some members of the Church in Canada”.