Source: (CBC / Guglielmo Mangiapane/Reuters)
“Reconciliation is the responsibility of all Canadians. It is our responsibility to be open, to listen, and to share. No one must ever forget what happened at residential schools across Canada, and we must all ensure it never happens again.” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
On July 25, in Maskwacîs, Alberta, his Holiness Pope Francis began what he referred to as a “penitential pilgrimage”. The Pope delivered a personal apology to the Residential School Survivors, their families, and communities present in Maskwacîs and to all Indigenous people of Canada, “I humbly beg forgiveness for the evil committed by so many Christians against the Indigenous peoples.”
This is a historical but also long overdue moment in the history of our nations and one I am hoping will lead to further reconciliation. The Call to Action #58 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report, specifically calls upon the Pope to issue an apology to Survivors, their families, and communities. It is my hope that the Pope’s apology will help with the healing that is needed by Indigenous peoples and communities.
The transcript of the Pope’s apology can be read here.
Read the Prime Minister’s statement on the personal apology delivered by His Holiness Pope Francis here
If you need someone to talk to, a National Residential School Crisis Line offers emotional support and crisis referral services for residential school Survivors and their families. Call the toll-free Crisis Line at 1-866-925-4419. This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Hope for Wellness Help Line also offers support to all Indigenous Peoples. Counsellors are available by phone or online chat. This service is available in English and French, and, upon request, in Cree, Ojibway, and Inuktitut. Call the toll-free Help Line at 1-855-242-3310 or connect to the online chat at www.hopeforwellness.ca.
We acknowledge that our office is located on the traditional territories of the Wendat, the Haudenosaunee, and the Anishinaabe peoples and that. Richmond Hill is situated on lands covered by Treaty 13 and the Williams Treaties.