Canada’s Catholic bishops have apologized to indigenous Canadians over residential schools.
After “months” of meetings and conversations with First Nations, Métis and Inuit leaders and communities, the bishop issued an apology and expressed regret in a statement Friday.
“We acknowledge the suffering experienced at Indian residential schools in Canada,” He said in his statement. “…we, the Catholic Bishops of Canada, express our deepest remorse and expressly apologise.”
The group recognized the involvement of Catholic communities and dioceses in the system, “which led to the suppression of indigenous languages, culture and spirituality, failing to respect the rich history, traditions and knowledge of the indigenous people.”
He acknowledged and apologized for the “historic and ongoing trauma and legacy of suffering and challenges faced by indigenous peoples that continue to this day”.
The bishops then promised fundraising campaigns across Canada to address the initiatives launched after consultation with Indigenous partners.
He called on Indigenous people to take “healing initiatives, to listen to the experience of indigenous peoples, especially the survivors of Indian residential schools, and to educate our clergy, holy men and women, and to remain faithful to the indigenous people.” asked to help his diocese for culture and spirituality.
The bishops also committed to providing documents and records to locate and memorialize those buried in unmarked graves.
more to come.