Trudeau Demands Pope Apologise After Discovery Of Nearly 1,000 Indigenous People’s Remains
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has spoken to Pope Francis in an attempt to get a papal apology for the church’s role in running the residential school system.
In recent weeks, close to 1,000 bodies of Indigenous people have been found at residential schools across Canada. These schools were designed by the Canadian government and the Catholic church to assimilate Indigenous children, and operated between 1893 and 1996.
There were reportedly sexual and physical abuses against children within these schools, and following the discovery of the bodies, many people want an apology for what has been labelled a ‘genocide’ against the Indigenous people of Canada. However, the Catholic church has not been forthcoming.
The Canadian government has apologised for the deaths – of what is now believed to be up to 15,000 people – but the Catholic church has only expressed its sadness about the situation. This has led to calls for a proper statement from the Vatican, and the Canadian prime minister has now taken action.
Trudeau told reporters in Ottawa:
I have spoken personally directly with His Holiness Pope Francis to press upon him how important it is not just that he makes an apology but that he makes an apology to indigenous Canadians on Canadian soil.
I know that the Catholic church leadership is looking and very actively engaged in what next steps can be taken.
Bobby Cameron, the chief of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN), which represents 74 First Nations in Saskatchewan told Vice News, ‘We are seeing the results of the genocide that Canada committed here, genocide committed on our treaty land. We will find more bodies… We won’t stop until we locate all of them.’
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