The Pope’s tour is over. Here’s what some Indigenous Peoples want Canadians to take away

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Pope Francis concluded his historic “atonement pilgrimage” to Canada last week, focusing on paving a new path for indigenous peoples and the Catholic Church.

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His journey spanned Alberta, Quebec and Nunavut, including a former residential school, several churches, and some sacred sites for First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples.

Major, residential school survivors, elders, community leaders and youth from across the country reacted mixed to the Pope’s words of repentance. He issued his second, third and fourth apologies to residential schools during the visit, his first being at the Vatican last spring.


Many are still processing the journey and its implications for their own healing journey, calling on the Church to take concrete, reconciliation-based action in the coming months.

Granthshala News asked Indigenous witnesses of the Pope’s visit and their aides what they wanted non-Indigenous people in Canada to do away with Pope Francis’ penance.

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Ashley Keys in Saint-Anne-de-Beaupre, Ky.

Intergenerational Survivors from Bigtigong Nishnabeg in Ontario

“My hope and my prayer is that they will stop and look forward to listening. There is a lot of information and a lot of great resources – the Truth and Reconciliation Commission calls for action, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. I would say that They keep that curiosity and learn – learn to be a good person.”

Gary Tutu in Edmonton

Mission, BC. Metis Man attending St. Mary’s Indian Residential School in

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“I think Canadians want to help, but it’s also very uncomfortable for them and it’s easy to put that stuff out there and think about what’s going on this weekend or your own struggles in life.. .

“Empathy, not empathy. There is a big difference. Empathy – understanding, support and growth, there is hope.”

Alice Landriault DuPont in Quebec City

Affiliates of the non-profit organization Puamun Meshkenu

“I think we need to listen and listen to First Nations and be here in a very polite posture so that we can understand the past more and recognize the healing process that goes through in Canada… First Nations women There is a lot of violence against and a lot of work that needs to be done to have the necessary strength and security for all First Nations.

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“I will continue to learn where the communities in Quebec are, their names, residential schools … be there when they need white people in support.”

Lise Cuckoo-Dubey in Quebec City

Atikamek de Manawan, sister of residential school survivors. From

“I hope this really affects Canadians and Quebecers, Quebecers in particular – because I live in Quebec and we have a hard time making ourselves heard here. Even when we want to recognize systemic racism, our prime The minister refuses to accept that word.

“I know Quebecers are fed up with hearing this. I know they’re tired of hearing this. But we’re never going to back down. If they don’t want to listen to us, we’ll keep talking about it.. . That’s what I want for my people.”

Sherry Mitchell in Edmonton

Metis Intergenerational Survivor from Edmonton

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“Peace, hope and complete gratitude that it happened, being grateful and keeping the conversation open forever. A lot of people don’t even talk about it because they were either afraid or, you know, a lot of people frown upon them.” Won’t believe or it was their pain or trigger…

“Just openness and joy with all your heart… Just take heart, and see that there’s something out there, and it’s a really special time and it will be there forever.”

Everett Tom at Kamloops, BC

BC. Residential School Survivor from the St’át’imc Region in

“To learn from it and to make sure it doesn’t happen again, and (that) I don’t blame them. I don’t blame the people of today. But just to learn and educate from it.”

The Indian Residential School Crisis Line (1-800-721-0066) is available 24 hours a day for anyone experiencing pain or discomfort as a result of their residential school experience.

The Hope for Wellness Help Line provides culturally enabled counseling and crisis interventions for all Indigenous peoples experiencing trauma, distress, strong emotions and traumatic memories. Can be reached at any time on the toll free line at 1-855-242-3310.



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