Bob wants to ask forgiveness for the 1,000 Aboriginal children who died in Canada

‘Cultural genocide’: 1,000 Aboriginal children killed: Bob wants to ask for pardon in Canada

The Church in Canada separated more than 100,000 Aboriginal children from their families and brutally attempted to expel their culture. Several children died. Pope Francis now wants to travel to Canada and make penance.

The Pope embarked on a difficult and frustrating journey. The head of the Catholic Church wants to confront a terrifying chapter in the Church’s past in Canada. His primary goal would be to seek pardon from Aboriginal peoples in Canada for decades of abuse, violence, and humiliation committed by church officials on boarding school children.

As a penitent, the 85-year-old Argentine said a week ago in Rome, he will travel to people “to contribute to the path of healing and reconciliation”.

More than 1,000 children were killed

Long ago, the remains of more than 1,000 Aboriginal children were found in former boarding schools. Shock to the liberal state. Background: The Church in Canada separated more than 100,000 Aboriginal children from their families and brutally attempted to expel their culture.

There is official talk of “cultural genocide” – it was committed in all places in Canada, and it is very diverse today. Finding Bones hit Canadians in the face with full force and forced the country to contend with its dealings with the indigenous population – and with the role of the Catholic Church.

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Consequences of the colonial shock

Boarding schools in Canada – a country where many Catholics are not particularly devout – have been around for more than 100 years. They started with the first Franciscan school in the seventeenth century. The system did not emerge until after the Canadian Confederation was established in 1867. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission set up by the government in 2008 counted 139 schools that Aboriginal children were forced to attend. It was last closed in 1996, and an estimated 150,000 children were affected.

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The Pope’s visit is a great opportunity for Crystal Fraser, a historian at the University of Alberta: “The Pope’s visit to Canada is historic and an incredible moment in the continuing need for the search for truth and reconciliation in Canada,” say members of Gwichyà Gwich. In the Indigenous group they said this was an opportunity to continue working to treat Indigenous peoples from the effects of “colonial trauma”.

Pupils died from disease, malnutrition, and accidents

With this system, Canadian settlers attempted to incorporate free indigenous peoples, imposing culture, language, and capitalism on them. Brutal treatment and overcrowding in institutions led to many deaths: students died from diseases, malnutrition, or accidents, among other things. According to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the number of victims is in the thousands.

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The Catholic Church played a central role as patron of the institutions. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau – who is himself a Catholic and has made the issue a priority – has demanded an apology from the Pope. So Francis’ trip is also considered a political success for the government in Ottawa, which is committed to reconciliation with the indigenous population.

Pope’s itinerary

Francis will visit three locations: Edmonton, Quebec and Iqaluit in the far north of the Atlantic Ocean. He will first meet Aboriginal people at a former boarding and former boarding school. Unlike usual, Prime Minister Trudeau will not see first.

The itinerary also includes several meetings with representatives of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis. They had already gone to the Vatican at the end of March. At that time the Pope was already asking for forgiveness.

The health condition is still critical

Observers will also pay close attention to how Francis survived six days of his thirty-seventh voyage abroad with numerous transitions, nine discourses, and two congregations before thousands of believers. He still has knee pain. On the advice of his doctors, he canceled the trip to Africa that was scheduled for early July. Often stays in a wheelchair or walks short distances only with a cane.

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dpa