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7th Rangers: 'We won't forget': Manitoba residential school survivors respond to Pope Francis' apology

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'We won't forget': Manitoba residential school survivors respond to Pope Francis' apology
Tuesday, July 26, 2022

WARNING: This story contains distressing details.

Christina Kitchekesik couldn't travel to Maskwacis, Alta., to see Pope Francis apologize to survivors of residential schools, but felt emotional watching the televised program alongside others at a viewing event in Winnipeg on Monday.

"It'll always affect us for the rest of our lives. We won't forget, but we have to learn to live with it by healing yourself, going through ceremonies," said Kitchekesik, who is from Tataskweyak Cree Nation, about 900 kilometres north of Winnipeg.

She is one of a number of Manitoba residential school survivors — although she now considers herself a "thriver" — who watched the Pope address thousands of Indigenous people in Canada.

Pope Francis apologized for members of the Catholic Church who co-operated with Canada's "devastating" policy of Indigenous residential schools, saying the forced assimilation of Indigenous peoples into Christian society destroyed their cultures, severed their families and marginalized generations in ways still being felt today.

The Anish Corporation, an organization based in Swan Lake First Nation in Headingley, Man., that promotes health, wellness and emotional support for Indigenous peoples, held the viewing event on Monday on Peguis First Nation's Portage Avenue property to ensure survivors were well supported.

Thousands of Indigenous people have gathered in the small Alberta community of Maskwacis, where Pope Francis delivered a historic speech in which he said he is 'deeply sorry' and asked 'forgiveness for the evil committed by so many Christians against the Indigenous peoples.' Here, the pontiff receives a headdress after his speech. (Guglielmo Mangiapane/Reuters)

"It's really huge for survivors. I think they've been waiting for this for many, many years, and I hope it is something that moves them forward in their healing," said the team leader, Eva Wilson-Fontaine.

Read it all here.....

posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 2:38 PM  
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