Pope Francis repeats apology for abuses to Manitoba Métis Indigenous Canadians

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55 members of the Manitoba Métis Federation of Canada came to the Vatican to meet with Pope Francis. They shared how decades of abuse committed in Catholic-run Indigenous residential schools throughout the country has scarred their lives and communities. 

President, Manitoba Métis Federation
The tears that were shed in there, the stories that were exchanged back and forth, His Holiness accepted them with such grace, and we were so touched when he asked for forgiveness from us.

The Pope has signaled that he hopes to travel to Canada as early as this summer, and the delegation asked him to visit their native lands in Manitoba.

President, Manitoba Métis Federation
I sent a message, I want him to come to my province in Manitoba, I want him to bless the grave site of Louis Riel, who was a devoted Catholic leader and he was executed and murdered in my country by the government. I'm hoping that our history, our relationship goes so far back that he will take some notice to our message and honor us by coming.

They say they were encouraged by the Pope's willingness to listen and engage with residential school survivors, like Andrew, who shared how he was sexually abused in a Catholic-run residential school.

Residential school survivor
For several decades I could not share it with anyone, when I told my mom what happened she told me she never wanted me to talk about it and I was put to shame. Pope Francisco listened intently, I think he recognized the sorrow and the shame that I felt.

The delegation is counting on the Vatican's help in rebuilding their people's relationship with the Church, which they hope will begin with a papal trip to their home.


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