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Pope Francis’s apology to indigenous Canadians is only a start

John Connell


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Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau greets Pope Francis at the Citadelle de Quebec. The Pope is on a 'penitential' six-day visit to Canada to beg forgiveness from survivors of the country's residential schools. Photo: AP/John Locher

Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau greets Pope Francis at the Citadelle de Quebec. The Pope is on a 'penitential' six-day visit to Canada to beg forgiveness from survivors of the country's residential schools. Photo: AP/John Locher

Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau greets Pope Francis at the Citadelle de Quebec. The Pope is on a 'penitential' six-day visit to Canada to beg forgiveness from survivors of the country's residential schools. Photo: AP/John Locher

When I lived in Canada, as I did for two years in Toronto, there were topics that were widely discussed and those that were not. The rights of aboriginal or First Nation Canadians was one of the latter, but it was something I was drawn to, not least because of my work with aboriginal Australians while living in that country.

There was the issue of murdered indigenous women in Canada whose cases were not properly investigated, and I saw racism and discrimination were still alive and ‘well’ there. The other issue I learned about was the industrial schools that housed thousands of indigenous children.


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