These schools – funded by the Canadian government and administered by the Catholic Church – were aimed at erasing the culture and language of indigenous people.
The apology from Pope Francis this week comes after years of allegations detailing abuse and neglect at these residential boarding schools. Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission was established in 2008 to document what happened at these schools – and the lasting trauma that has followed.
Stephanie Scott is a member of the Anishinaabe from Roseau River First Nation. She’s executive director of the National Center for Truth and Reconciliation – and has been part of a years-long effort to gather the testimony of survivors. She shares with us the mixed feelings about the Pope’s apology, and the work that still has to be done towards reconciliation.
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