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Canada: Pope Francis upholds indigenous rights to pave the way for reconciliation and healing

Pope Francis kisses hand to Canadian Indigenous woman as he arrives at Edmonton's International airport, Canada.

"We desire to renew the relationship between the Church and the indigenous peoples of Canada, a relationship marked both by a love that has borne outstanding fruit and, tragically, deep wounds that we are committed to understanding and healing," Pope Francis urged the representatives of the Indigenous peoples, during his visit to Canada.

Pope Francis said that the advancement of indigenous people's rights in Canada can pave the way for healing and reconciliation with the country's non-indigenous peoples during a trip to the nation considered a "penitential pilgrimage."

He also said, "It is necessary, in admitting our faults, to work together to accomplish a goal that I know all of you share: to promote the legitimate rights of the native populations and to favor processes of healing and reconciliation between them and the non-indigenous people of the country."

The statement comes after apologizing to the survivors of the forced assimilation of native children in the country’s Catholic residential schools from the 19th century until the 1970s. 

The pontiff called the tragic incident an example of "cancel culture," which he denounced.

However, the Pope knows it will take time for humanity to transcend this horrible historical period. He also knows how hard it can be to get along with people from other cultures and accept their differences.

On May 27, 2021, the remains of around 200 "missing children" who were part of allegedly "undocumented deaths" were discovered with the help of ground-penetrating radar on the grounds of the Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Columbia. The findings have led to the investigation of other former residential school sites across Canada. 

 

 

Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.”  Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.