Indigenous leaders and survivors from residential schools in Canada meet Pope Francis

(For Immediate Release March 28, 2022) 

Indigenous leaders and survivors from residential schools in Canada meet Pope Francis

We stand with our indigenous brothers and sisters across North America who experienced cultural erasure, human rights violations, and the abuse of their bodies and souls at the hands of government officials and Church leaders. This week, many of them will meet with Pope Francis.

“While the time for acknowledgement, apology and atonement is long overdue, it is never too late to do the right thing,” Cassidy Caron, president of the Metis National Council, told reporters in St. Peter’s Square after the audience.

Francis has set aside several hours this week to meet privately with the delegations from the Metis and Inuit on Monday, and First Nations on Thursday, with a mental health counselor in the room for each session. The delegates then gather Friday as a group for a more formal audience, with Francis delivering an address.

We echo the words of Natan Obed, president of the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami “Primarily the reconciliation requires action. And we still are in need of very specific actions from the Catholic Church.”

To us, action requires clearing away the wreckage of the past, admitting the grave actions of priests, brothers religious, and especially nuns who apparently pretend to be a minority when it comes to abusing children. We must not forget the suffering victims, who were placed in the care of those who took vows of obedience to the church’s teaching, have suffered. Victims and the families of those senselessly lost deserve apologies, reconciliation, true amends, and reparation, and that is the shortlist.

We hope that their plight during this week receives the attention it deserves and that the papal apologies will not simply be another footnote in the long list of crimes against children perpetrated by the global Catholic Church.

CONTACT: Mike McDonnell, SNAP Communications Manager ([email protected], 267-261-0578), Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director ([email protected], 517-974-9009) Shaun Dougherty, President, SNAP Board of Directors ([email protected], 814-341-8386)

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is

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