AA / Montreal / Hatem Kattou
Rosanne Casimir, head of the First Nation (indigenous), Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc, on Thursday called on Pope Francis to go to Kamloops (west), while urging the Vatican to post concrete gestures against the backdrop of the responsibility of the Catholic Church in the mass graves of indigenous children on the sites of residential schools, previously managed by this institution.
This is what emerges from a press release released Thursday by Rosanne Casimir, which was widely reported by the local media.
Kamloops is a locality in the province of British Columbia (west) where the first series of graves of Native children were discovered on the site of a residential school that was run by the Catholic Church, which still refuses to present apologies.
It should be noted that this appeal was made by the indigenous leader comes after the announcement made by the Vatican that Pope Francis is ready to visit Canada at the invitation of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.
“This would be a historic moment for the survivors and for the community who continue to suffer the consequences of the terrible discovery of the missing children,” the statement read.
Casimir underlined the “legal and moral financial obligations towards (indigenous) survivors”, while urging the Vatican to “take concrete steps to promote healing” and reconciliation.
The press release recalled that during a trip made by the Sovereign Pontiff to South America in 2015, the Pope “humbly asked for forgiveness, not only for the offenses of the Church itself, but also for the crimes against the indigenous peoples during what is called the conquest of America ”.
And Casimir adds: “the coming of the Pope to Canada, without concrete action, with the sole objective of reconciliation, ignores this harsh truth”.
The discovery of the anonymous graves of indigenous children as well as the offenses committed against the First Nations over the centuries is still debated in Canada against the backdrop of a reconciliation that is still unfinished and has not yet come to fruition.
This debate and beyond the memorial and historical dimension, knows social variations and is especially invited in electoral campaigns and in political life, provincial and federal, raising differences and reaching at times consensus at the level of principles. pending more concrete and tangible decisions.
Among the demands claimed by the indigenous leader is the recognition of the role of the Catholic Church of its “direct role in many horrible abuses”, via the residential schools and which had as first victims the indigenous children.
In addition, the press release demands that all “information and documents relating to the residential schools” be released while raising funds to compensate survivors.
The last point relates to the “apologies of Pope Francis, on behalf of the Catholic Church, to the survivors, their families as well as the communities concerned for the mistreatment that the children of the First Nations, the Inuit and the Métis suffered in boarding schools run by the Catholic Church ”.
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