The President of the North Cariboo Metis Association says the Catholic Church is lagging behind governments when it comes to reconciliation.
Tony Goulet was reacting to this week’s meeting with Metis leaders and Pope Francis.
“Oh yes, for sure. The Catholic Church needs to apologize for their wrongdoings. I know they don’t want to because it could lead to them having to pay settlements, so they probably don’t want to go that route.”
Goulet says while he appreciates the Pope saying that the church is committed to moving forward with reconciliation, but he says that should include an apology.
He says he has seen first hand the trauma that has come out of the church run residential schools.
“My dad going to the residential school, my family going to the residential school in Alberta and all the terrifying things and everything that happened with that is quite emotional, and during this journey there is a lot more people because they didn’t want to talk about it right.”
Goulet says people just put things on the back shelf, and he feels a lot more stories will come out.
He says an apology would mean a lot.
“It would mean they finally, the Catholic Church has recognized that Metis were included in the residential schools. It would be a huge historic moment because for years it has always focused on aboriginal First Nations, but Metis and Inuit were also lumped in there.”
Goulet says Metis, Inuit and the Assembly of First Nations have another meeting with the Pope later this week.