When delegates to the Vatican visited the Vatican in 2009 to meet then-Pope Benedict XVI, the pope told them in a private meeting of his “personal anguish” over the abuse of aboriginal children in Catholic-run schools. Missionaries in Canada between the 19th and 1970s. The so-called expression of deep and genuine grief after the discovery of 200 unmarked and previously undocumented children’s graves in British Columbia last year, is one of the largest residential schools in Canada. Similar dark sites across the country. Now indigenous leaders expect nothing more than a public apology from Pope Francis, with government officials backing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for their cause. The pope, who is scheduled to meet with the first nations, Métis and Inuit survivors at the Vatican next week, is likely to make precisely these excuses for the church’s role in abuse in boarding schools, before visiting Canada later this year. “We go to the Vatican and try to give a voice to the voiceless., Said Gary Cognon, who represents the Medes people of mixed European and Native descent in the delegation. Originally scheduled for last December, the visit was postponed due to the Govt-19 epidemic. More than 150,000 Native children were forced to enroll in government-funded Christian schools from the 19th century to the 1970s in an attempt to isolate them from the influence of their families, communities and their culture, to Christianize and integrate them into the traditional community. The former are considered superior. Decades later, the government acknowledged that physical and sexual abuse was widespread and that students were being attacked for speaking their mother tongue. That legacy of abuse and isolation has been cited by tribal leaders as a major cause of the epidemic rates of alcohol and drug abuse in reserves. Nearly three-quarters of the 130 residential schools were run by Catholic missionary congregations.
Discovery of burial sites and reopening case: Crisis with Vatican
Last May, the people of Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc announced the discovery of graves discovered using radar near Kamloops, British Columbia. Those sites have not yet been excavated and explored, but they have renewed national conflict and deep resentment as tribal groups across the country search graves in other residential schools. “Kamloops really pushed things forward”Bill Fontaine, National Speaker of the First National Assembly in 2009, led the delegation that met with Benedict XVI. Fontaine, 77, said he and his classmates were physically and sexually abused when he was a boy at the Fort Alexander Indian Residential School in Manitoba, where he was banned from visiting even if the family lived nearby except for two hours on Sundays. “Canadians finally say, ‘Oh, that’s right. This is what happened in residential schools.’, The former student told reporters. And he added: “I think he put a lot of pressure on the Catholic Church and the Vatican. Remember that the Prime Minister himself asked Francis to apologize.. Fontaine asks that the pope’s visit to Canada be announced by the Vatican, but still take place in the native lands of the state with a specific date. The National Truth and Reconciliation Commission records that between 1915 and 1963 at least 51 children were killed in school violence in Kamloops. Nationwide, the commission has identified about 3,200 deaths in dangerous residential schools, some of which are tuberculosis, but cited as the cause of death. Nearly half of the latter are not recorded.
Local churches apologize for violence and killings of children in Canadian schools
William McGrathon, Bishop of Calgary, Vice President of the Canadian Council of Bishops, said the Church hopes that next week’s Vatican meeting will be a historic moment for all Canadians. “Especially for our first nation and our Metis”.“They bring their stories and the stories of their communities”McGrathon said. “Pope Francis and the bishops will respond attentively to ensure that we stand firm on this path of reconciliation.”. Former Prime Minister Stephen Harper made a formal apology to residential schools in Parliament in 2008, saying it was a tragic chapter in Canadian history and that the policy of forced integration had caused severe damage to local tribal communities. The government has awarded billions of dollars in compensation to tribal communities as part of a lawsuit involving Canadian administrators, churches and about 90,000 remaining students. The Catholic Church, which has paid more than $ 50 million for its share, now wants to add another $ 30 million over the next five years. United, Presbyterian and Anglican churches have already publicly apologized for their responsibilities in such acts.
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