Canadian indigenous give pope moccasins, ask him to walk with them

Canadian Indigenous gave pope moccasins

Members of the Métis National Council, a Canadian Indigenous people, gave Pope Francis a set of beaded moccasins and asked him to walk with them on the path of truth, justice and healing.

Mitch Case (pictured with Cassidy Carron), a member of the provisional council of the Metis Nation of Ontario, said the gift is symbolic of the church and the Metis walking together.

Mr Case is among more than 30 First Nation, Inuit and Metis delegates in Rome for private meetings with Pope Francis this week.

The representatives are made up of survivors of Canada’s residential schools and indigenous leaders who, for decades, have advocated for an apology from the head of the Catholic Church for its role in administering the facilities.

Following presentation of the moccasins, the delegates walked from under the colonnade of St Peter’s Square to a spot where reporters waited to hear about their meeting with Pope Francis.

Approximately 150,000 indigenous children were taken from their parents and communities. They were forced to attend schools where verbal, physical, sexual, spiritual and emotional abuse was rampant and cultural practices were banned.

“These crimes against humanity were committed against our people. [The moccasins are] sort of our way of reaching back past the pain and before that,” Case said during a news conference.

“The church has a long way to walk before we can possibly forgive them for what they did, but if he [Pope Francis] is willing to walk with us, then we will be willing to walk with him.”

Cassidy Carron, president of the Métis National Council, says she feels Pope Francis has committed to a journey of justice after meeting with him.

“He repeated ‘truth, justice and healing,’ and I take that as a personal commitment,” said Cassidy Caron outside St Peter’s Square on Monday morning.

Caron said the pope did not provide an apology for the church’s role in residential schools. But, she added, they have always requested it take place on Canadian soil.


Catholic News

Global News


Additional reading

News category: World.

Tags: , , ,