Archive for tag: Residential Schools

Archive pour tag : Residential Schools

On two occasions this past year, Pope Francis has expressed his deep sorrow for the pain and trauma suffered by former students of residential schools and their descendants. At the end of March, he met with delegations of First Nations, Métis and Inuit Peoples in Rome where he stated: “Listening to your voices, I was able to enter into and be deeply grieved by the stories of the suffering, hardship, discrimination and various forms of abuse that some of you experienced, particularly in the residential schools. … I ask for God’s forgiveness and I want to say to you with all my heart: I am very sorry. And I join my brothers, the Canadian bishops, in asking your pardon.”

Following this initial meeting, he travelled to Canada in July where he re-iterated his heartfelt apology for Catholic involvement in residential schools and again joined with the Canadian Bishops in asking pardon. He stated: “Today I am here, in this land that, along with its ancient memories, preserves the scars of still open wounds. I am here because the first step of my penitential pilgrimage among you is that of again asking forgiveness, of telling you once more that I am deeply sorry…. I ask forgiveness, in particular, for the ways in which many members of the Church and of religious communities cooperated, not least through their indifference, in projects of cultural destruction and forced assimilation promoted by the governments of that time, which culminated in the system of residential schools.”
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Posted: Oct. 27, 2022 • Permanent link:
Categories: One Body, OpinionIn this article: apologies, Indigenous peoples, Pope Francis, Residential Schools
Transmis : 27 oct. 2022 • Lien permanente :
Catégorie : One Body, OpinionDans cet article : apologies, Indigenous peoples, Pope Francis, Residential Schools

In the face of sin and failure, the temptation to wallow in despair and do nothing comes from the devil, Pope Francis said on Thursday.

While commentators, politicians and survivors discussed whether Pope Francis’s apology for the Catholic Church’s role in running residential schools was enough, the Pope insisted that reconciliation requires faith, action and the courage to move forward.

“The enemy wants to paralyse us with grief and remorse, to convince us that nothing else can be done, that it is hopeless to try to find a way to start over,” he said during Mass at the National Shrine of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré.
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Posted: July 28, 2022 • Permanent link:
Categories: CNSIn this article: apologies, papal visit, Pope Francis, Reconciliation, Residential Schools
Transmis : 28 juil. 2022 • Lien permanente :
Catégorie : CNSDans cet article : apologies, papal visit, Pope Francis, Reconciliation, Residential Schools

Pastoral Letter of the Catholic Bishops of Saskatchewan on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission

From June 21st to 24th, Saskatoon will host one of the seven national gatherings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). We are writing to invite you to give serious attention to this gathering and its aims.

As many of you are aware, the Government of Canada organized ‘Indian Residential Schools’, most run by Christian churches, from the 1840s onward, with the last school closing in 1996. Not everything that happened at residential schools was negative, and many people worked there with good will and generosity. However, the schools were a part of a policy of deliberate cultural assimilation of Aboriginal peoples, and over the decades, much abuse took place at these schools. As the Catholic Church in Saskatchewan, we were involved in the residential schools and we recognize a moral responsibility and obligation to be involved in healing and reconciliation efforts.
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Posted: June 7, 2012 • Permanent link:
Categories: NewsIn this article: abuse, bishops, Catholic, Donald Bolen, Indigenous peoples, Residential Schools, Saskatchewan, Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Transmis : 7 juin 2012 • Lien permanente :
Catégorie : NewsDans cet article : abuse, bishops, Catholic, Donald Bolen, Indigenous peoples, Residential Schools, Saskatchewan, Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Historic apology to residential schools students seen as a beginning

[Art Babych • Anglican Journal] Archbishop Fred Hiltz, the Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, today said he was moved by Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s apology to victims of residential schools and is optimistic that the historic apology – made on behalf of the Canadian government – will be followed by action.

“I was equally grateful for the apologies – and that’s what they were – offered on behalf of the other political parties,” he said in an interview with the Anglican Journal on Parliament Hill after Mr. Harper delivered the apology in the House of Commons June 11, followed by apologies from the other party leaders. “I was very encouraged by their determination to make sure that this apology is seen as a beginning, and that it will be accompanied by actions that will significantly improve the quality of life for First Nations people in this land,” the primate said.

The government’s apology was directed at the generations of victims of what Mr. Harper called “a sad chapter in our history” and asked for forgiveness for the students’ suffering and for the damaging impact the schools had on aboriginal culture, heritage and language.

Aboriginal leaders and abuse victims, among them Phil Fontaine, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, were in the chamber as Mr. Harper delivered the apology.

“Today, we recognize this policy of assimilation was wrong, has caused great harm, and has no place in our country,” said Mr. Harper. “The Government of Canada sincerely apologizes and asks the forgiveness of the aboriginal peoples of this country for failing them so profoundly.

“The Government of Canada now recognizes it was wrong to forcibly remove children from their homes … to separate children from rich and vibrant traditions,” he said. “We apologize for having done this.”

Mr. Harper also noted that while some former students have spoken positively about their experiences at residential schools, “these stories are far overshadowed by tragic accounts of the emotional, physical and sexual abuse and neglect of helpless children, and their separation from powerless families and communities.”

Several First Nations, Métis and Inuit leaders spoke in the chamber in response to the government’s apology with Mr. Fontaine – wearing a traditional aboriginal headdress – calling it “the achievement of the impossible.” He added: “Finally we have heard Canada say it is sorry.”

Clement Chartier, Métis National Council President thanked the government for the apology and said, “It has taken courage and conviction on the parts of many, many people to confront this dark period in Canada’s history.”

Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion said the apology “is about a past that should have been completely different.” But, he added, “it must be also about the future. It must be about collective reconciliation and fundamental changes.”

Native groups and leaders of the four churches that operated the residential schools on behalf of the federal government – Anglican, Roman Catholic, United and Presbyterian – had urged the government to consult with First Nations leaders in the drafting of the apology.

The government rejected the idea but Archbishop Hiltz said the groups seemed satisfied that the apology had the necessary ingredients. These included “acknowledgement of a policy of assimilation that was flawed and wrong in its inception, words of contrition on the part of the government for removing children from their families, (and) words of contrition for abuse which many of them suffered in the school,” he said.

Bishop Mark MacDonald, the national indigenous bishop of the Anglican Church of Canada, said he was pleased with the government’s apology. “I’m going to be processing it for a long time,” he told the Journal. “It was an extraordinary event and I was very happy with what I heard and moved by what I heard and I’m filled with all kinds of emotions. So it will take me a while to process it. But I thought it was an extraordinary day and one of the best days of my life.”

Bishop MacDonald and Archbishop Hiltz, along with other church leaders and scores of First Nations people watched the proceedings in the House of Commons on screens set up in two large meetings rooms nearby. Also in attendance were Archdeacon Sidney Black and the Rev. Gloria Moses, co-chairs of the Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples.

More than 1,000 others watched from outside the House of Commons where a big screen television was set up. About 30 events marking the historic formal apology were organized in cities and communities across Canada. The Anglican Church of Canada urged parishes to ring their church bells at 3 p.m., the time Mr. Harper was scheduled to deliver the apology.

After the apology was delivered, Mr. Harper and Indian Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl led the procession from the House to one of the rooms for a smudging ceremony, the presentation of tobacco and tea to aboriginal elders, and the signing of the Statement of Apology.

Eleven of the special guests, including Mr. Fontaine and 104-year-old Marguerite Wabano, the oldest residential school survivor, were presented with a framed Statement of Apology from Mr. Harper, and congratulations and hugs from Governor General Michaëlle Jean.

The government’s apology to residential school students comes 15 years after the Anglican Church of Canada, through former primate Archbishop Michael Peers, issued an apology for its involvement in the schools. The church ran about 30 of the schools between 1820 and 1969. About 150,000 First Nations, Inuit and Métis children were taken from their communities over most of the last century and forced to attend state-funded but church-run boarding schools aimed at assimilating them.

(Art Babych is the editor of Crosstalk, the monthly newspaper of the diocese of Ottawa.)
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Posted: June 11, 2008 • Permanent link:
Categories: Anglican JournalIn this article: Canada, Residential Schools
Transmis : 11 juin 2008 • Lien permanente :
Catégorie : Anglican JournalDans cet article : Canada, Residential Schools

from the Saskatoon Star Phoenix Aboriginal and church leaders are joining together on a cross-country tour aimed at helping the healing process related to residential schools. The event, Remembering the Children, will make a stop in Saskatoon Sunday. The city is one of four being visited, along with Ottawa, Vancouver and Winnipeg. The purpose of
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Posted: Mar. 7, 2008 • Permanent link:
Categories: NewsIn this article: Indigenous peoples, Residential Schools, Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Transmis : 7 mars 2008 • Lien permanente :
Catégorie : NewsDans cet article : Indigenous peoples, Residential Schools, Truth and Reconciliation Commission