The Pope is arriving in Canada for the first time in 20 years tomorrow (Sunday) where he is expected to apologize for the Catholic Church’s involvement in the Canadian Residential School system.
This papal visit was prompted by the discovery of thousands of unmarked graves at residential school sites across the country in the last two years, and a meeting between the Pope and 32 Canadian Indigenous elders, leaders, youth, and school survivors in Vatican City back in March.
“I certainly hope the Pope has an unqualified apology to First Nations for their part in the residential school system” says Terry Teegee, British Columbia Assembly of First Nations (BCAFN) Regional Chief.
Teegee will be part of a delegation leaving to meet the Pope in Edmonton tomorrow.
Despite being disappointed the Pope will not be visiting BC and the site of the Kamloops residential school where 215 unmarked graves were found in May of 2021, Teegee says he is happy to be present for the apology and address.
“I think there is a lot of repentance the church needs to do.”
The Catholic Church was responsible for running over half of Canada’s residential schools which operated between the late 1800s and 1996.
On Monday, the Pope will meet with residential school survivors from across Canada, and visit the site of the Ermineskin Residential School. This will be the only residential school stop in his six-day Canadian voyage.