Washington D.C., Jun 11, 2021 / 11:01 am
A group of Canadian Indigenous leaders are planning a trip to the Vatican this fall to request a formal papal apology for past abuses at Catholic-run residential schools.
Leaders of the Assembly of First Nations and the Métis National Council are planning the visit, alongside the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB). In Canada, Indigenous populations that historically populated the region south of the Arctic are referred to as “First Nations.” The “Métis” communities share both Indigenous and European heritage.
Both National Chief Perry Bellegarde of the Assembly of First Nations and Vice-President David Chartrand of the Métis National Council told CBC News that the aim of the visit is to promote the healing process; the visit would come months after the remains of 215 Indigenous children were discovered at the site of a former Catholic-run residential school in Kamloops, British Columbia.
An apology would be “a very big part of healing,” Bellegarde said to CBC News. “Our missing children have not received the same dignity nor respect in death or in life that every human being deserves.”