Between March 28 and April 1 this year, representatives of Canada’s indigenous peoples traveled to Rome with some Canadian bishops and met with Pope Francis several times. This summer they should continue the conversation in their “home territories.”
During the closing meeting, the bishop said: «I hope that the meetings of these days will open more paths for coming together, instilling courage and increasing commitment at the local level. An effective rehabilitation process requires concrete action. In a spirit of fraternity, I encourage bishops and Catholics to continue to take steps towards an open search for truth, healing wounds and promoting reconciliation; The steps in the journey that allow you to rediscover and revitalize your culture will increase love, respect and specific attention to your true traditions in the church. I want to tell you that the church is on your side and wants to continue walking with you. Dialogue is key to knowing and sharing, and the Bishops of Canada have made clear their commitment to continue to walk with you in a renewed, constructive, fruitful way, where meetings and shared projects can help.
In these pages, we will try to briefly explain the context of the journey for truth and reconciliation with Canada’s indigenous peoples, in which the Pope is participating very actively with the Canadian Church.
Discussion of Aboriginal Peoples, “Discovery” and the Birth of Canada
But first, who are these tribal people and how many? Today we are talking about three different facts. First the First Nations (“First Nations”), comprised the groups or “gangs” that existed in the territory prior to the arrival of Europeans…
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