No papal apology for Canadian First Nations People

Survivors of a Canadian system that forced generations of indigenous children into mainly Catholic-run boarding schools won’t be getting an apology from Pope Francis.

The Canadian Council of Bishops (CCB) said last week “after carefully considering the request” for an apology, Francis “felt that he could not personally respond”.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has expressed disappointment with Francis’s decision.

Undeterred by the CCB’s statement that Francis won’t apologise, Canada’s New Democratic Party (NDP) is planning to table a motion in the House of Commons.

The NDP wrote to Trudeau on Monday saying they planned to table a motion calling on the CCB to invite the Pope to Canada to issue the apology.

“Easter is traditionally a time of renewal. But in Canada there can be no renewal, and the work of reconciliation will not be complete without an apology from the Pope,” the letter written by NDP MPs Charlie Angus and Romeo Saganash says.

The motion also calls on the Catholic Church to hand over the money it promised to raise when it signed the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement and to turn over documentation related to the schools.

The Catholic Church ran 72 percent of Indian residential schools, which were created to assimilate indigenous children.

About 150,000 children attended residential schools during the institutions’ over century-long history.

One of the institutions, St. Anne’s Indian Residential School, used a homemade electric chair.

The school was the subject of a six-year police investigation in the 1990s that led to two nuns and three other school workers being convicted.


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News category: World.

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