Canada welcomes Pope to visit, apologise for residential schools

Canada welcomes Pope Francis’ visit to Canada to formally deliver the Roman Catholic Church’s apology for its role in operating residential schools, said Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday.

According to a statement posted on the prime minister’s website, Pope Francis will be in Canada from July 24 to 29, 2022.

“The residential schools caused lasting pain and suffering to Indigenous Peoples in this country,” Trudeau said.

“While His Holiness delivered an apology in Rome last month, a formal in-person apology in Canada from the Roman Catholic Church to Survivors and their families would respond to Call to Action #58 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission,” he said.

The prime minister said the apology would be an “important and necessary” step for the Roman Catholic Church to continue engaging in dialogue with First Nations, Inuit, and Metis in order to advance meaningful reconciliation for Indigenous Peoples in Canada.

An estimated 150,000 First Nations, Inuit and Metis children attended residential schools in Canada. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission documented at least 4,100 deaths, according to previous local media report