- Pope Francis argues that the atrocities Indigenous Peoples suffered as a result of being forced to attend residential schools amounted to genocide.
- The final report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls describes violence against women and girls as a kind of genocide.
According to Pope Francis, the horrors Indigenous Peoples endured while being coerced into attending residential schools amounted to genocide.
Following a six-day tour of Canada, the Pope remarked to reporters on his aircraft from Iqaluit back to Rome on Friday.
Francis expressed regret for the part the Roman Catholic Church played in the institutions several times during the week. He pleaded for pardon for wrongdoings perpetrated by some churchgoers and forced assimilation and cultural erasure.
Indigenous people expressed their disappointment that the Pope did not mention the crimes and abuses that students and survivors had to endure during his visit. They chastised him for not using the word “genocide” as well.
Francis responded in the affirmative when asked if he would use the term “genocide” and admit that church members had taken part in it.
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The Pope claimed that because it is a technical term, he didn’t think to use it while on his tour.
Through a translator, he remarked in Spanish, “I prayed for forgiveness for what has been done, and that was genocide, and I did condemn this.
Instead of using the word “genocide,” Francis said he would define the attempts to eradicate Indigenous Peoples through colonization and assimilation.
I use the phrase “genocide” when referring to removing children and altering a people’s culture, mindset, and traditions.
When the Truth and Reconciliation Commission published its final report in 2015, it described residential schools as cultural genocide. However, several Indigenous organizations have now changed this to state that it constituted genocide.
Last year, Leah Gazan, a representative for the Manitoba NDP in the House of Commons, introduced a motion for the federal government to label what occurred at residential schools as a genocide, but it failed to receive universal support.
Violence against ladies and girls is a kind of genocide, according to the National Inquiry into Missing as well as Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls’ final report. Numerous family and survivor statements addressed the effects of residential schools.
The Catholic Church controlled 60% of the educational institutions, and there was widespread neglect as well as physical and sexual abuse.
Throughout his stay in Canada, Francis voiced his grief, outrage, and shame.
On Monday, he addressed a group of residential school survivors, including their families, who gathered in Maskwacis, Alberta. “In the face of this dreadful crime, the church kneels before God and implores his pardon for the evil committed by so many Christians against the Indigenous Peoples,” he said.
The Pope received comments demanding him to revoke the Doctrine of Discovery, papal bulls, or other official declarations created to support the colonization of the Americas during his travels in Alberta, Quebec, and Nunavut. The idea involved believing that the colonized regions were vacant when Indigenous Peoples lived there.
According to some indigenous academics, the philosophy served as the foundation for all subsequent policies.
Indigenous leaders have asked for its cancellation and increased messaging for decades before and during the Pope’s visit.
Many expressed their disappointment that it was left out of the Pope’s apology.
On the Friday flight, he questioned whether he believed there had been a missed opportunity to offer a specific step toward rapprochement.
Colonization is undesirable. It’s unjust, but it’s still in use today. Perhaps with gloves and silk, but it is still used,” he remarked.
“Let’s remember that colonization is still going on. There is still colonization going on today.
A statement on the subject is forthcoming, according to Vatican representatives.
The bishops intend to work with the Vatican to have it remedied, according to a statement from the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, which assisted in organizing the Pope’s visit.
Source: Global NEWS