أخبار عاجلة
إطلاق صاروخ من لبنان باتجاه إسرائيل -
بايدن: روسيا ستواجه "كارثة" إن غزت أوكرانيا -

Alberta Métis delegates visiting Vatican to demand apology from Pope Francis

Alberta Métis delegates visiting Vatican to demand apology from Pope Francis
Alberta Métis delegates visiting Vatican to demand apology from Pope Francis

اخبارالعرب 24-كندا:الخميس 2 ديسمبر 2021 05:57 مساءً Angelina Crerar hopes her painful memories from her time in residential school will help persuade Pope Francis to make a formal apology on behalf of the Catholic Church for its role in running the institutions.

Crerar, a Métis knowledge keeper and elder from Grande Prairie, Alta., is among 30 Indigenous delegates travelling to the Vatican later this month to meet privately with the Pope in a bid for reconciliation with the church.

The church must answer for its role in the tragedy, Crerar said.

She said an apology is long overdue but that she has faith it will happen, for the sake of survivors and the children who didn't make it home.

An estimated 150,000 Indigenous children were forced to attend Canadian residential schools between the 1870s and 1997. More than 60 per cent of the schools were run by the Catholic Church.

Calls for an apology from the church have intensified since the discovery last spring of hundreds of unmarked graves at former residential school sites.

"What in the world happened to us? What happened to us?" Crerar said. "We all have the same questions." 

'It's time' 

Crerar also plans to ask the Pope to release the names of all children who were forced to attend residential schools in Canada.

Survivors have been waiting for decades to have their stories heard and their pain acknowledged, she said.

Crerar said she is grateful to go to Rome and "bring back" some of what Indigenous people have lost. 

"Our children deserve to have peace, to have their names engraved," she said. 

"It's time. Our children have had enough. They suffered a lot."

The Vatican announced in October that Pope Francis plans to visit Canada, but Indigenous leaders have said any papal visit must come with an apology from the Catholic Church.

Previous calls for apologies have gone unanswered. When an Indigenous delegation visited Pope Benedict in 2009, he expressed sorrow and "personal anguish" but never apologized.

Gary Gagnon, one of the delegates, says an apology from the church is needed for reconciliation to happen. (CBC)

Gary Gagnon, a member of St. Albert's Métis community, will also be part of the delegation Dec. 17-20. 

For more than 20 years, Gagnon has been employed as a cultural facilitator with Edmonton Catholic Schools. He also serves as a regional vice-president for the Métis Nation of Alberta. 

When he was asked to join the delegation to the Vatican, Gagnon felt overwhelmed by the burden. But he also felt a deep sense of obligation to survivors and to his community, he said.

"I have a short amount of time to get it right," he said Thursday. "There are many stories that are coming with us and we're going to miss some of those stories … but I believe it's the right thing to do." 

Gagnon said he will be leaning on his faith as he brings the painful histories of his community to Rome.

"To have that acknowledgement is a great gift to us and we have our stories going there," he said. 

"And some of these stories are cemented. They're already done. But there should be new stories coming back and that's what I'm hoping for … the new stories.

"I believe God chose his most humble people, his children, to wake up the nation." 

Gagnon said he will encourage Pope Francis to visit Alberta, and for the delegation to become part of an ongoing conversation around reconciliation.

He said Indigenous people deserve an apology. For reconciliation to happen, truth and acknowledgement must come first, he said.

"Those words are quite simple on paper. They're quite easy to write out, but they're hard to say sometimes — but I think that's our goal.

"I can only pray that we can touch the heart of him somehow." 

تم ادراج الخبر والعهده على المصدر، الرجاء الكتابة الينا لاي توضبح - برجاء اخبارنا بريديا عن خروقات لحقوق النشر للغير

السابق Elderly renters given short notice of 43 per cent rent hike
التالى Grocers pressured to bring back 'hero pay' amid Omicron surge

 
c 1976-2021 Arab News 24 Int'l - Canada: كافة حقوق الموقع والتصميم محفوظة لـ أخبار العرب-كندا
الآراء المنشورة في هذا الموقع، لا تعبر بالضرورة علي آراء الناشرأو محرري الموقع ولكن تعبر عن رأي كاتبيها
Opinion in this site does not reflect the opinion of the Publisher/ or the Editors, but reflects the opinion of its authors.
This website is Educational and Not for Profit to inform & educate the Arab Community in Canada & USA
This Website conforms to all Canadian Laws
Copyrights infringements: The news published here are feeds from different media, if there is any concern,
please contact us: arabnews AT yahoo.com and we will remove, rectify or address the matter.