August 13, 2022

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Pope Francis Apologizes to Indigenous Peoples in Canada: Live Updates

Pope Francis Apologizes to Indigenous Peoples in Canada: Live Updates

attributed to him…Vatican Media

TORONTO – The last church-run boarding schools in Canada that Aboriginal children were forced to attend, many of whom were abused, closed in the 1990s. Since then, the Canadian government and Aboriginal communities have worked to address the extensive damage inflicted there, which still resonates today.

Here are five key moments leading up to the apology that Pope Francis will deliver to Indigenous communities on Monday.

A brutal system of abuse in the name of assimilation.

The Indian Act of 1876 allowed the Canadian government to establish boarding schools, which were mostly run by the Roman Catholic Church and were intended to accommodate Aboriginal children by erasing their culture and languages.

They were punished for speaking indigenous languages, putting their hair in braids or practicing religion outside of what was taught at school.

Over a century, nearly 150,000 students attended some 130 schools, many of them sexually abused, malnourished and sick from bad weather. Many died or did not return home.

With student numbers dwindling, the last school closed in 1996, ushering in a period of national reckoning, including official investigations, regarding Canada’s treatment of Aboriginal people.

Settle a large class action lawsuit for ex-students.

As a result of a lawsuit brought by former students at the schools, Canadian courts have agreed to a blanket class settlement that paid more than C$3.2 billion to nearly 28,000 survivors, according to 2021. Repurby an independent commission overseeing the settlement.

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In addition to financial compensation, the settlement also included funding for other initiatives, such as memorials and other memorial projects and a program that provides mental health services to survivors and their families.

A national commission leads to the reckoning of a bleak past.

The National Truth and Reconciliation Commission established in 2007 as part of the settlement agreement hosted rallies in seven cities across the country to hear, among other things, first-hand accounts of indigenous peoples who were sent to boarding schools.

At local hearings, survivors shared their stories of Catholic monks raping children as young as 10 and starving students stealing apples from orchards to eat.

In 2008, Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued a formal government apology to Aboriginal communities.

Evidence of unmarked graves has been discovered in boarding schools.

Last year, Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation in British Columbia said it had found evidence of Unmarked graves of 215 children On the grounds of Kamloops Indian Residential School, once the largest in Canada, with around 500 students.

The discovery, made using ground-penetrating radar, shocked Canadians and revived national discourse about the horrors of boarding schools.

Several other communities have also reported preliminary findings of potentially unmarked graves in former residential schoolyards. last June, Cowessess First Nation said she found 751 possible unmarked graves at a school site in Saskatchewan.

A trip to Italy and a papal apology.

In the spring, a A delegation of indigenous leaders From Canada to the Vatican, he received a hoped apology from Pope Francis.

“I am ashamed — grief and shame — for the role ‘Catholics’ played in the abuses you suffered and in the disrespect for your identity, your culture, and even your spirituality,” Francis said. He also promised to travel to Canada and make a personal apology.

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Ian Austin Reporting contributed from Ottawa.