Indigenous leaders say the apology didn't go far enough in part because Pope Francis didn't denounce the “Doctrine of Discovery” and blamed the atrocities on bad actors—not the institution.
The Catholic Church ran more than half of the country's brutal residential schools, which forcibly assimilated 150,000 First Nations, Métis, and Inuit children.
The denial or downplaying of what happened at residential schools works to protect the status quo and amounts to a form of genocide denial that needs to be confronted, experts say.
Pope Francis said he felt “shame” for the abuses carried out against Indigenous children by Catholic educators.
The investigation also uncovered testimonies of brutal treatment, including starvation and sexual assault, that non-Indigenous authorities repeatedly ignored.
Researchers are still searching for the cemetery where the children are likely buried.
Survivors, Indigenous nation members, and others gathered Tuesday to announce the “first step of bringing our children home.”
The BC Ministry of Children and Family Development is in talks with Indigenous and federal leaders. “Never again will Canada steal our future generations,” Gitxsan people said.
Some extremely bad optics by Canada’s prime minister and his team.
“Thousands of graves” are left to search before the true scale of missing Indigenous children is understood. In the meantime, Canadians have a lot of work to do.
Indigenous leaders want Renate Siekmann, a People’s Party of Canada candidate, to step down after she compared vaccine passports to the genocidal residential school system.
“I do think we should be proud to put our flag back up,” O’Toole told reporters on Thursday, even as thousands more unmarked graves are expected at residential school sites.