This story may contain information that is difficult for many. A National Indian Residential School Crisis Line is available to provide support to former residential school students who can access emotional and crisis referral services by calling the 24-Hour National Crisis Line at 1-866-925-4419.
The Pope was in Edmonton on Tuesday to give an apology for the residential schools that affected Indigenous people across Canada.
Reception of the apology has brought mixed emotions, with some feeling as the apology was empty.
“My world and Indian country when it comes to in this empty apology that came from the Pope, I mean, words are fine, but we have a lot of hurt in our communities and a lot of trauma.” says Chief Willie Sellars, Williams Lake First Nations.
“Acknowledging the attempted genocide of Indigenous people in this country, that would be something along the lines of where he should be at.”
Sellars also feels as more could be done by the Pope to back up the apology.
“Helping fund these investigations at these residential school sites, looking into how he helps fund those investigations and supports them, and gives us access to the records at the Vatican. These are all very important things that are gonna help with that healing process.”
Sellars added that they aren’t going to wait for the Pope to participate in their healing journey, they don’t have time for that.
You can find the Williams Lake First Nation press release on their website here.