The Catholic Church in Canada issued an official apology to the aboriginal people last Friday evening.
“Many religious communities and Catholic dioceses have served in this organization, which has led to the suppression of tribal languages, culture and spirituality, without respecting the rich history, traditions and wisdom of the tribal people.”, they said.
“We, the Catholic Bishops of Canada, express our deepest condolences and unequivocally apologize.”, they said. They also recognized “Suffering in Residential Schools” And this “Serious Abuse by Some Members” Of the Catholic community. This statement also agrees “Historical and Continuing Trauma, as well as a Legacy of Suffering and Challenges That Continue to Indigenous Peoples to This Day”.
In all, more than a thousand anonymous graves were discovered near former Catholic Indian residential schools this summer, shedding light on a darker side of Canadian history and the policy of compulsory integration of first nations.
About 150,000 Native American, Metis and Inuit children were forcibly enrolled in 139 residential schools across the country, where they were cut off from their families, language and culture. Many of them have been mistreated or sexually abused, and more than 4,000 have died there, the commission said.
In recent months, horrific discoveries have sparked fear and anger in the country. Symbolically, the Canadian flag at the Peace Tower in Ottawa has been on the half pole since the end of May to pay tribute to tribal children and the remains of 215 children have been found in the British Columbia (western) Kamloops.
The national holiday, July 1, was marked by rallies across Canada, which took thousands of people to the streets, most of them wearing orange T-shirts, associated with tributes to former Native residents. At the same time, many Catholic churches were burned or destroyed.
As a consolation, Ottawa appointed the Inuit female Governor-General of Canada, the first tribal person to serve as Queen Elizabeth II’s representative.
But many aboriginal groups are waiting for the pope to signify another sign from them this time: they have repeatedly called on Lord Pontifical to apologize, and he must come and present them to Canada. A domestic delegation is to be welcomed by Pope Francis in December.
Healing and Reconciliation
“We have to apologize”Tk’emlups te Secwépemc first nation leader Rosen Casimir underlined in early June after announcing the discovery of 215 baby remains in the Kamloops. “It would be strong from the head of the Catholic Church, and from our point of view, I think he owes it to the natives.”, David Chartreuse, vice president and spokesman for the Parliamentary National Des Medes, ruled in early July.
According to this aboriginal leader, forgiveness is necessary to begin the healing and reconciliation process, but they will only be truly effective if Pope Francis provides tribal residential schools on Canadian soil, especially in the western part of the country. . Were in high numbers.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has stated that reconciliation with indigenous peoples is one of his priorities, and he himself condemns the pope’s refusal to recognize the Catholic Church. “Responsible” And their “Part of the crime” In the administration of residential schools.
The bishops’ apology comes a week before the first National Truth and Reconciliation Day, scheduled for Sept. 30, in memory of missing children and survivors at a residential school.