Pope Francis has apologized for the Roman Catholic Church’s role in residential schools. Francis also said he will come to Canada during a final meeting with First Nations, Inuit and Metis delegates at the Vatican. Each of the groups had told the Pope in meetings earlier this week that they hoped he would apologize for the Roman Catholic Church’s role in the institutions during an upcoming trip.
An estimated 150,000 Indigenous children were forced to attend residential schools and more than 60 per cent of the schools were run by the Catholic Church.
Around 190 people, including delegates, family and supporters, gathered to share spiritual practices and hear the Pope’s words during the final address. Elder Fred Kelly prayed for the children who went to residential schools and healing in the future.
Some delegates, including residential school survivors, were apprehensive and anxious going into today’s final meeting at the Vatican, because they weren’t sure they’d get the apology they had
worked so hard for. Afterwards, there was drumming and dancing in St. Peter’s Square.