A chief and residential faculty survivor says he might be on the lookout for justice and therapeutic when he leads the Meeting of First Nations delegation to satisfy with Pope Francis subsequent month on the Vatican.
“We do that to hunt true reconciliation,” Norman Yakeleya, Meeting of First Nations regional chief for the Northwest Territories, mentioned Thursday.
“We pray to God, we pray that the Holy Father will do the proper factor.”
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On Thursday, the AFN introduced 13 delegates, together with Yakeleya, might be going to the Vatican from Dec. 14 to 21. These chosen characterize First Nations throughout the nation and embrace residential faculty survivors and two youth delegates.
Wilton Littlechild from Alberta, who was a commissioner for the Reality and Reconciliation Fee of Canada, would be the spokesperson.
READ MORE: Littlechild speaks about deaths of youngsters discovered buried by B.C. residential faculty
The group can have a one-hour assembly with the Pope on Dec. 20 once they anticipate to speak about totally different themes together with the ten rules of reconciliation and unmarked graves on the websites of former residential faculties.
There may even be Métis and Inuit delegations, which can have separate one-hour conferences with the Pope.
The Canadian Convention of Catholic Bishops will cowl journey prices.
Yakeleya mentioned when he was a baby in a residential faculty in Inuvik, he by no means imagined in his wildest goals that he would have the ability to discuss to the Pope or maintain him accountable.
He mentioned the group will ask Pope Francis to ship an apology for the Catholic Church’s function in residential faculties. However, he mentioned, the dialogue should go additional as a result of “it’s additionally necessary to consider what occurs in a post-apology world.”
“Solely God is aware of what the Holy Father will say to us,” Yakeleya mentioned.
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Over a century, an estimated 150,000 Indigenous kids have been pressured to attend residential faculties. Greater than 60 per cent of the faculties have been run by the Catholic Church.
Requires the Pope to apologize for the church’s function within the faculties intensified for the reason that discovery final spring of a whole lot of unmarked graves at former residential faculty websites.
The delegation’s theme is how Indigenous Peoples and the Catholic Church can come collectively towards therapeutic and reconciliation.
Final month, the Vatican introduced that Pope Francis can also be prepared to make a go to to Canada.
Former AFN nationwide chief Phil Fontaine from Sagkeeng First Nation in Manitoba mentioned he hopes Pope Francis will decide to an apology in Canada in the course of the delegation’s go to to Rome.
Fontaine put experiences at residential faculties on the nationwide agenda in 1990 when he disclosed his personal abuse on the Fort Alexander faculty in Manitoba.
He was additionally a part of a earlier Indigenous delegation with former pope Benedict that requested an apology in 2009. Pope Benedict expressed his sorrow and “private anguish” however by no means apologized.
“The circumstances are so totally different for this go to,” Fontaine mentioned.
“We’re off to Rome with nice expectations.”
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