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Canada As Pope defies calls for apology, residential school statement not ‘enough’: minister

01:30  08 june  2021
01:30  08 june  2021 Source:   globalnews.ca

Experts say technology could find more residential school graves as Alberta survivors share grief

  Experts say technology could find more residential school graves as Alberta survivors share grief At least 25 residential schools operated in Alberta from 1893 to 1996. Records show 729 children died while attending residential schools in the province. According to Reconciliation Canada, 90 to 100 per cent of residential school attendees were physically, sexually and emotionally abused. The schools also had a 40 to 60 per cent mortality rate.

The Catholic Pope has for years defied calls from both the Canadian government and the public to apologize for the central role his church played in Canada's residential schools . WATCH: Indigenous-Crown Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett responded to a question from Nunavut NDP MP Mumilaaq Qaqqaq during question period on why Canada does not demand the Catholic Church to release documents on residential schools , saying that Pope Francis' statement on the remains of 215 children found at a former B.C. residential school "doesn't go far enough ."

Warning: This story deals with residential schools and deaths that took place there. Despite calls for accountability from Indigenous communities and pressure from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the Pope on Sunday expressed his “pain” over the deaths of children but stopped short of apologizing for the role of His speech was met with anger and criticism on social media from Canadian politicians, Indigenous activists and others who called on the Pope to deliver a real apology for the Church’s role in residential schools , instead of a vague statement that did not directly mention Indigenous people.

Warning: Some of the details in this story may be disturbing to some readers. Discretion is advised.

a man wearing a hat: Pope Francis leads a Holy Mass on the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ in Saint Peter's Basilica at the Vatican City , on June 6, 2021. Photo by ATICAN MEDIA/CPP/ABACAPRESS.COM © Provided by Global News Pope Francis leads a Holy Mass on the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ in Saint Peter's Basilica at the Vatican City , on June 6, 2021. Photo by ATICAN MEDIA/CPP/ABACAPRESS.COM

It is not "enough" for Pope Francis to express his sorrow following the discovery of the remains of 215 children at the site of a former residential school in Kamloops, B.C.

He must apologize, said Crown-Indigenous Services Minister Carolyn Bennett.

The Catholic Pope has for years defied calls from both the Canadian government and the public to apologize for the central role his church played in running 60 per cent of Canada's residential schools.

‘Disgrace’: Indigenous leaders blast Catholic Church for silence on residential schools

  ‘Disgrace’: Indigenous leaders blast Catholic Church for silence on residential schools Indigenous communities are renewing calls for the Roman Catholic Church to apologize for its role in residential schools that forcibly removed children from their homes.Indigenous communities across Canada are renewing calls for the Roman Catholic Church to apologize for its role in residential schools that forcibly removed children from their homes -- stripping them of their culture, language and identity.

Pope Francis on Sunday expressed sorrow over the discovery in Canada of the remains of 215 Indigenous students of church-run residential schools but didn't offer the apology sought by the Canadian prime minister . At rallies across the country, residential school survivors and their families were calling for an apology from the Catholic Church.

The pope 's response was met with sharp criticism from members of the New Democratic Party, with Nahanni Fontaine, an indigenous member of the legislative assembly of Manitoba, calling it "utterly divorced in analysis, responsibility or care for the fundamental role your institution, priests and nuns Jane Philpott, the former federal health minister and dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at Queen's University, in Kingston, Ontario, said truth and reconciliation requires more than "closeness." "With all due respect [ Pope Francis], a response to these horrific acts requires an apology and a commitment

“Residential school survivors and those dealing with this need to hear the Pope apologize," said Bennett during question period on Monday in response to a question from NDP MP Mumilaaq Qaqqaq.

“Our government continues to call on the Pope to apologize," Bennett continued."

“The Pope’s statement on Sunday doesn’t go far enough.”

Her comments came shortly before the House of Commons passed an NDP motion calling on the government to act more quickly to implement the calls to action in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's report, and to put in place more resources for survivors of residential schools.

The motion is not legally binding.

Archaeological surveys using ground-penetrating radar at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School uncovered the remains of 215 children in unmarked burial sites nearly two weeks ago, prompting an outpouring of grief among Indigenous communities and urgings for the government to act.

Sabrina Maddeaux: 215 child graves and the Catholic Church still hasn't apologized for residential schools

  Sabrina Maddeaux: 215 child graves and the Catholic Church still hasn't apologized for residential schools For a religious institution that preaches the power of atonement, the Catholic Church sure struggles to own up to its sins. Asked, over decades, to acknowledge its central role in Canada’s residential school system, the Church simply decided it’d rather not. Perhaps the unmarked remains of 215 children found on the former grounds of the Kamloops Indian Residential School will be enough to eke out an apology? After all, the colonial hellhole in question was run by the Church, along with more than two-thirds of Canada’s residential schools.

Pope calls for reconciliation, healing over residential school discovery. On Sunday, Archbishop of Vancouver Michael Miller offered his own apology , reading a statement he released earlier this week to congregants who had gathered at the Holy Rosary Cathedral. READ MORE: Pope Francis, Canadian cardinals meet after remains found at former residential school . “I certainly am very edified that the holy father has done this,” Miller said. The residential school system, which operated in Canada between 1831 and 1996, forcibly separated an estimated 150,000 Indigenous children from

Plus, three ministers are before parliamentary committees today, with Foreign Affairs Minister Marc Garneau and Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault before House committees, and Official Languages Minister Mélanie Joly before a Red Chamber group addressing her file. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday criticized the Catholic Church for ongoing resistance toward making an apology for its part in Canada’s residential school system. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade. Good Monday morning

The finding has sparked a nationwide reckoning over centuries of action by the Canadian government against Indigenous peoples and the continued injustices Indigenous people face to this day.

Read more: Catholic Church needs to ‘take responsibility’ for residential schools, Trudeau says

Residential schools were created by the federal government as part of a broader effort to strip Indigenous people of their cultures and identity. Children forced to attend were frequently subjected to physical, mental and sexual abuse, and suffered neglect and malnutrition.

Hundreds, if not thousands, are believed to have died at the schools and work is underway in other Indigenous communities to search the sites of other residential schools for unmarked burial sites.

The federal government has issued a formal apology as have all the other churches involved in running the schools. Only the Catholic church has repeatedly defied calls to apologize, despite offering formal apologies for the "crimes" of the church in Ireland and its "grave sins" in South America.

Canada’s Catholic bishops have responsibility to apologize for residential schools: minister

  Canada’s Catholic bishops have responsibility to apologize for residential schools: minister 'I think it is shameful they haven't done it,' Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller said when asked whether the Catholic Church should apologize for residential schools.Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller says Canadian Catholic bishops bear a responsibility to apologize for the role of their church and their predecessors in the residential school system.

The residential school system, as it is commonly known in Canada, was described as a form of “cultural genocide” by a national Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 2015 that also concluded that many students were physically and emotionally abused. Among its 94 recommendations was a call for an apology from the pope . The pope and others before him have issued apologies in other situations. The Vatican did not respond to an email seeking comment late Wednesday night. Perry Bellegarde, the national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, Canada’s largest Indigenous group

Saskatchewan Indigenous leaders have called for the Catholic Church and Pope Francis to take responsibility for the wrongs committed to generations who attended residential schools . “We are profoundly sorry for the hurt that actions and decisions of our church in the past have caused to Indigenous Peoples and in ways that we presently re-traumatize by our actions and inactions,” Donald Bolen, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Regina said in the statement . “We have heard and acknowledged that apologies are not an endpoint but a starting point, and are learning how to walk in

Read more: ‘Disgrace’: Indigenous leaders blast Catholic Church for silence on residential schools

Pope Francis on Sunday did not specifically mention Indigenous people as the victims of the church's actions, and said only that he expressed "sorrow" at the discovery of the remains of the children.

“I follow with sorrow the news that arrives from Canada about the upsetting discovery of the remains of 215 children,” he said on Sunday.

“I join with the Catholic church in Canada in expressing closeness to the Canadian people traumatized by the shocking news,” he continued. ”This sad discovery increases the awareness of the sorrows and sufferings of the past.“

“May the political and religious authorities continue to collaborate with determination to shed light on this sad affair and to commit to a path of healing."

Video: Chief demands apology from Catholic Church over Canada’s residential schools

Indigenous leaders have expressed disappointment and frustration over the pope's refusal to apologize.

"It's just part of the healing journey," Bobby Cameron, chief of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations, said Monday in Saskatoon.

‘Par for the course’: Pope’s residential school non-apology no surprise, says B.C. chief

  ‘Par for the course’: Pope’s residential school non-apology no surprise, says B.C. chief "Still, to this day, we can't get an apology," Musqueam Chief Wayne Sparrow said, calling Pope Francis' comments on Canada's residential schools "par for the course."Warning: Some of the details in this story may be disturbing to some readers. Discretion is advised.

"Why can't the Pope contribute to that healing journey for survivors and their families?"

Cameron said the discovery in Kamloops has reopened wounds for many people in the 74 Saskatchewan First Nations he represents.

"We are all pained and saddened. We know that," said Cameron. "Now it's time to apologize."

Cameron said a sincere apology from the Pope and a commitment to keep records of the church-run schools would help survivors and their families find healing.

Read more: ‘They were monsters that did this’: Kamloops residential school survivor speaks out

The Saskatchewan chief said many of the people he represents don't like using the term residential schools because it doesn't grasp the horrific experience many had inside their walls.

"Too many survivors and their families, they were institutions of torture, abuse and death."

Some 150,000 First Nations, Metis and Inuit children were forced to go to the schools, which operated for more than 120 years in Canada. More than 60 per cent of residential schools were run by the Catholic Church.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has urged the church to take responsibility for its role in residential schools. He also asked that it release records on the schools.

Trudeau personally asked the Pope in 2017 to consider an apology for the institution's part in the government-sponsored, church-run schools for Indigenous children.

Renewed calls for Pope to visit Sask. to apologize for residential schools after 2017 effort failed

  Renewed calls for Pope to visit Sask. to apologize for residential schools after 2017 effort failed Despite high hopes that Pope Francis would visit the province in 2017 and apologize for the Catholic Church's role in Canada's residential school system, the plan didn't go ahead and no explanation was given by the Vatican. That visit is needed now more than ever, says Kinistin Saulteaux Nation Chief Felix Thomas."We were very hopeful. We thought it was going ahead," said Thomas, chief of the Kinistin Saulteaux Nation.

A delegation of First Nations leaders and residential school survivors met with former pope Benedict in 2009. He expressed his sorrow and ``personal anguish'' but never apologized.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission's final report included a call for the Pope to issue an apology "for the Roman Catholic Church's role in the spiritual, cultural, emotional, physical, and sexual abuse of First Nations, Inuit, and Metis children in Catholic-run residential schools."

The commission urged that the apology be delivered in Canada within a year of the report, which was in 2015.

Arlen Dumas, grand chief of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, said the role of top leaders in the Catholic Church is implicit in what happened when they refuse to acknowledge the schools.

"The reality is these things happened and happened under the auspice of the church," Dumas said.

He said the recent lack of an apology was particularly hurtful given Pope Francis' cultivated image based on humbleness and humility.

"It makes me more critical as to how the Bible says one thing, but the law of man dictates another direction," Dumas said in Winnipeg. "It's very problematic."

Dumas, a member of the Mathias Colomb Cree Nation, was raised in Pukatawagan in remote northwestern Manitoba.

He said there were only whispers while he was growing up about what was happening at nearby residential schools, because there was fear about speaking out.

Now, he said, there's no denying what happened.

The Pope's continued refusal to recognize the harms that were done is an insult to Indigenous people, he said.

"A meaningful apology would help facilitate a path to healing."

Anyone experiencing pain or distress as a result of their residential school experience can access this 24-hour, toll-free and confidential National Indian Residential School Crisis Line at 1-866-925-4419.

— With files from The Canadian Press's Kelly Geraldine Malone

FSIN wants in-person papal apology at residential school sites in Sask. .
The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations wants Pope Francis to come see residential schools for himself. On Friday, Vice Chief David Pratt re-upped calls from the FSIN executive for the Pope to apologize for the Catholic Church’s involvement in the residential school system and release all of its records. Speaking at St. Peter’s Square and in a Twitter post on Sunday, Pope Francis expressed “closeness to the Canadian people, who have been traumatised” by the discovery by Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation of the remains of 215 children in unmarked graves at the site of a Catholic-run residential school in Kamloops, B.C.

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