Former Chieftain Phil Fontaine to Represent Manitoba First Nations at Meeting with Pope – Winnipeg | The Canadian News

An indigenous leader from Manitoba will travel to the Vatican to meet with Pope Francis this winter.

Phil Fontaine, former Grand Chief of the Manitoba Assembly of Chiefs and three-time national head of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), has been selected to represent Manitoba in a First Nations delegation to sit with the pontiff in December. .

“Mr. Fontaine will participate in discussions on reconciliation with First Nations for the role of the Catholic Church in the administration of the former Indian Residential Schools,” said AFN Regional Head Cindy Woodhouse, “and the need for an official apology. of the Pope on behalf of the Catholic Church. “

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Fontaine, 77, is himself a survivor of abuse in a residential school in Manitoba and has been a prominent voice for decades in raising awareness of the traumatic experiences children face in government and church-run facilities throughout Canada.

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He will be in Rome with other indigenous leaders from December 17-20.

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The search for the truth in the old residential school of Fort Alexander

The Search for Truth in the Old Fort Alexander Residential School – July 28, 2021

Last month, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops apologized “unequivocally” for the abuses committed by members of the church community who participated in the management of residential schools.

The bishops have pledged to provide records that could help commemorate students believed to be buried in unmarked graves, raise funds for initiatives backed by indigenous leaders, and work for the Pope to visit Canada.

Several of the 94 calls to action established by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada involve the Catholic Church, including call to action No. 58, which asks the Pope to issue an apology to the survivors and their families. for the role of the church for spiritual, cultural, emotional, physical and sexual abuse in residential schools, and that the Pope deliver that apology in Canada.

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Archdiocese apologizes for priest’s comments about survivors of residential schools

Archdiocese Apologizes for Priest’s Comments About Residential School Survivors – July 30, 2021

The Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line (1-866-925-4419) is available 24 hours a day to anyone experiencing pain or distress as a result of their residential school experience.

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