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HomeNewsLheidli T’enneh Chief demands Pope Francis apologize on Canadian soil

Lheidli T’enneh Chief demands Pope Francis apologize on Canadian soil

(Files by Dione Wearmouth-MyPGNow)

Lheidli T’enneh Chief Dolleen Logan has responded to the notice that multiple Canadian Indigenous leaders are heading to Italy to ask Pope Francis for an apology for the residential schooling system, on behalf of the catholic church.

She is now demanding that Pope Francis come to Canada and make a formal apology to the families that have been impacted by the school system.

More specifically, she is calling on the leader to come to the two locations where bodies have recently been discovered, one in Kamloops and the other at the former Marieval Indian Residential School located east of Regina, Saskatchewan.

“If Pope Francis were really serious about reconciling with Indigenous people in Canada, his first step would be to travel here as soon as possible and visit the unmarked graves in BC and Saskatchewan,” she explained.

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Chief Logan added that when she found out that Canadian Indigenous leaders were planning on going to Italy to beg for an apology, she was extremely angry.

“Why are we bowing to his wishes? Why are we still bowing to the leaders of the church based in the Vatican that has inflicted so much pain on the Indigenous people for the last 150 years? why are we still playing his colonial games that suggest that somehow beholding to the Pope, to the Queen or to the Federal Government?”

According to the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishop’s statement, the meeting with the Pope and Indigenous leaders will take place on December 17th-20th this year.

The statement also says the Bishops will, “reaffirm their sincere hope that these forthcoming encounters will lead to a shared future of peace and harmony between Indigenous peoples and the Catholic Church in Canada”.

Chief Logan adds that if the Pope were truly sincere, he would do more than simply set up a meeting and expect the Indigenous leaders to come forward.

“If he were serious about reconciling with Canada’s Indigenous people he would accept responsibility for what the Roman Catholic Church did while operating residential schools and show true remorse, not just talk about healing,” she explained.

She hopes that other Indigenous leaders across the country will mimic her plea and come forward in demanding the Pope come to Canada and make a sincere apology to those directly impacted.

“The Monarchy and Canada allowed and continued to allow this to happen until the last residential school closed in 1996. The time for talk is done! It is time for action from the leaders of all parties involved in these crimes.”

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