Trudeau says Pope Francis should apologize on Canadian soil


Following this discovery of the remains of British Columbia, François expressed his pain and urged religious and political authorities to shed light on this sad affair. But he stopped before offering a formal apology.

Don Bolen, Archbishop of Regina, Saskatchewan, posted a letter to the Cowessess First Nation on the Archdiocese’s website this week, reiterating the apologies he said he made two years ago .

Almost three-quarters of the 130 boarding schools were run by Catholic missionary congregations, others by the United, Presbyterian and Anglican churches, which had previously apologized for their role in the abuses.

Former Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued a formal apology to Parliament in 2008 and Canada offered billions of dollars in compensation as part of a legal settlement between the government, churches and some 90,000 surviving students.

The government admitted that physical and sexual abuse was rampant in schools, with students beaten for speaking their mother tongue. Thousands of children died there from disease and other causes, many never returned to their families.

This was an incredibly damaging government policy that has been the reality of Canada for many decades and Canadians today are horrified and ashamed of the way our country has behaved, Trudeau said. It was a policy that tore children away from their homes, communities, cultures and languages ​​and forced them to assimilate.

Trudeau said many Canadians will not be able to celebrate as the country marks its anniversary on July 1.

Canadians across the country are realizing something that Indigenous communities have known very frankly for a long time, Trudeau said.

The trauma of the past resonates a lot today.

Indigenous leaders called the residential schools a system of cultural genocide.

A ground penetrating radar search at the Marieval school gave 751? indicating that at least 600 bodies were buried in the area after allowing for a margin of error in the search technique, said Chief Cadmus Delorme of the Cowessess First Nation, whose lands today include the ‘school.

Delorme said the research is continuing and the numbers will be verified in the coming weeks.

He said the burial site will contain both children and adults, and possibly people from outside the community who attended the church there.

Delorme said the individual graves had already been marked, but the church at one point removed the markers.

Last month, the remains of 215 children, some of whom were only 3 years old, were found buried at the site of what was once Canada’s largest Indigenous residential school, near Kamloops, British Columbia.

On Friday, the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, who operated 48 boarding schools in Saskatchewan and British Columbia, including those where the bodies were recently found, said they would release any historical documents they have.

He said in a statement that he had previously worked to make the documents available through universities, archives and a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, but that the work was not finished due to provincial and national laws on the protection of private life.

A National Truth and Reconciliation Commission released a report in 2015 that identified around 3,200 confirmed deaths in schools, but noted that schools failed to record the cause of death in nearly half of them. Many died of tuberculosis, a disease symptomatic of the deplorable living conditions.

In the United States, Home Secretary Deb Haaland announced this week that the federal government is launching an investigation into its past surveillance of Indian residential schools there. She said he would review records to identify old schools, locate burial sites and uncover the names and tribal affiliations of the students.


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