According to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission139 government-funded schools were established and most of them administered by the Catholic Church in which around 150,000 indigenous children were interned, separated from their families, forced to abandon their languages, traditions and culture.
In these boarding schools, they suffered abuse of all kinds and It is estimated that more than 3,000 children died of diseases caused by the conditions in which they lived from starvation.e, overcrowding and lack of hygiene. They were buried in mass graves without any identification.
Representatives of indigenous Canadians – First Nations, Inuit and Métis – who visited the pope in April were moved by Francis’ words, but in general indigenous people expect much more than a sentence of forgiveness when this visit.
Pope Francis will arrive at Edmonton airport on Sunday after a 10.5-hour flight. and is expected to be received upon arrival by Governor General Mary Simon, the first Indigenous person to hold the post, and Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada. Then he will rest all day like John Paul II did when he arrived at Strawberry Island, Ontario 20 years ago.
The next day will move to Maskwacis, where one of these large boarding schools originated and after praying in one of the cemeteries, he will be received by the elders of the indigenous peoples and will deliver the first of his nine speeches, which he has chosen to deliver in Spanish.
You will also visit the Church of the Sacred Heart of the First Peoples where he will speak to Aboriginal peoples, who represent approximately 1.7 million people, or 5% of Canada’s 38.8 million inhabitants.
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