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Trudeau says Papal apology is about residential school survivors, calls delegation to Vatican “brave and determined”

WARNING: The following story contains details some readers may find disturbing.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has acknowledged Friday’s apology from Pope Francis for the Catholic Church’s role in Canada’s residential school system.

Trudeau said the day is about survivors, “Today is about the Survivors, their families, and those who never came home. This week, First Nations, Inuit, and Métis leaders, Survivors, and youth travelled to the Vatican to continue urging the Catholic Church for an apology, which was an immense display of bravery and determination. This apology would not have happened without the Survivors who told their truths directly to one of the institutions responsible, and recounted and relived their painful memories.”

He said the First Nations, Inuit, and Metis have waited decades for the apology and for the Pope to “recognize the spiritual, cultural, emotional, physical, and sexual abuse their children endured while attending these residential schools.”

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“Today’s apology will resurface strong emotions of hurt and trauma for many. The government will continue to support Indigenous communities across the country with the funding and resources they need to continue to search for unmarked burial sites, uncover the truth of what happened at residential schools, and continue on their healing journey,” he said.

He has also called on the Pope to travel to Canada to apologize to fulfill the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action #58.

In his remarks Friday morning Pope Francis did commit to coming to Canada although no date was set.

The Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line is available 24-hours a day for anyone experiencing pain or distress as a result of his or her Residential school experience or for those affected by these reports.  The 24-hour crisis line is available at 1-866-925-4419.

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