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  • Al Jazeera

Pope Apologizes for Church's Role in Canadian Residential Schools

July 25, 2022

Pope Francis apologizes to Indigenous people for the residential school system in Canada [Credit: Todd Korol/Reuters]

Cited article by Al Jazeera

HRRC welcomes the Pope's apology on behalf of the Catholic church for the church's use of residential schools in Canada. Accepting responsibility for past injustices plays a vital role in repairing relations between groups and allowing those who have suffered to heal and move forward.

Article Summary

Pope Francis apologized to the Indigenous peoples of Canada for the church-run residential schools that forced assimilation upon Indigenous children. This comes months after hundreds of unmarked graves were identified under residential schools in Canada. Many have called for accountability from the Canadian government and the Catholic church.

Between the late 1800s and the 1990s, approximately 150,000 First Nation, Metis, and Inuit children were forcibly separated from their families and placed in residential schools. The children faced significant physical, psychological, and sexual abuse, while also having their native language banned. Thousands are believed to have died at these schools. In 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada said that the system amounted to cultural genocide.


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