Indigenous peoples of Canada

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Why the Pope won’t apologise for the abuse of Canadian children

Richard Gagnon is the Catholic Archbishop of Winnipeg
Richard Gagnon is the Archbishop of Winnipeg.  He says the Catholic Church in Canada has already said ‘sorry’ for abuse in church-run residential schools.  

Canada’s residential school system took off in the 1880s and was a deliberate attempt to assimilate the original inhabitants of the country to deal with what the government of the time called the ‘Indian problem’.  The system lasted more than 100 years. 

Most schools closed in the 1970s but a few remained until the 90s.  The children were not allowed to speak their native languages, were told their native cultures were sinful.  They were given new names, were often malnourished and severely beaten.  Some were sexually abused.  

About 70% of these schools were run by the Catholic Church.  Now Canada wants an official apology from the Pope.  

Photo: Trudeau and Pope   Credit: ETTORE FERRARI/AFP/Getty Images