Source: Yara Nardi/ The Canadian Press
Regarding the papal visit to Canada scheduled from the 24th to the 29th of this month, the federal government is willing to provide more than $35million. This money supports Indigenous communities, organisations and residential school survivors.
The Pope is set to visit Canada later this month with the main aim of apologising for the role of the Roman Catholic Church in residential schools. This apology is to the Indigenous people of Canada. There are various public and private events lined up for his visit and in all these events, a lot of importance is placed on the participation of Indigenous people.
This visit is simply an amplification of the happenings at the Indigenous delegation that took place at the Vatican earlier this year. This event took place in Rome from March 28 to April 1, 2022. A lot of Indigenous people hope that the apology Pope Francis offers is full of him holding the Roman Catholic Church accountable for their actions. They desire for the apology to be better than the one that was offered at the Vatican.
Indigenous Services Canada and Crown-Indigenous Relations are using $30.5million of the funds provided by the federal government for the transportation, ceremonies and activities for the residential school survivors. The minister of Indigenous Services Canada, Marc Miller, stated previously that the federal government was willing to support survivors who are eager to attend. They were doing everything in their power to prevent anything bad in terms of planning from occurring.
The federal government also stated that an additional $ 3 million would be used to support Indigenous people in the regions that the Pope is going to visit. The Pope is scheduled to visit three regions in Canada. His visit begins in Edmonton, then he goes to Quebec City and this visit would end in Iqaluit; the capital city of Nunavut. They have also promised to fund the interpretation of events and statements from the Pope into the Indigenous languages, for this they have pledged to spend $2 million. Altogether the money promised for the duration of the Pope’s visit is $35.5 million.
The estimated number of Indigenous children that were forced into these residential schools was 150,000. These schools were active and functioning for over a century and the Roman Catholic Church owned about 60 percent of the schools. Several unmarked graves have been found around the location of former residential schools. These graves were filled with bodies of children that were forced into those schools. The estimated number of unmarked graves that have been found so far is 3,200. It is said that this is a rough estimate and the actual number of graves could be much higher than that.
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