Pope admits treatment of Canada Indigenous was genocide
Head of the Catholic Church Pope Francis has finally conceded that the treatment of Indigenous people in Catholic-run boarding schools in Canada amounted to a genocide following his six-day tour of the country.
"I didn't say the word (in Canada) because it didn't come to my mind, but I did describe the genocide; and I asked for forgiveness for this process which was genocide,” the pope stated Saturday while speaking to reporters onboard his plane flying back to Rome. “I condemned it too."
“Taking away children, changing the culture, changing the mentality, changing the traditions, changing a race, let’s put it that way, a whole culture.
“Yes, genocide is (a) technical word… But I have described what is, indeed, a genocide."
During the visit, the pope also apologized for the "evil" inflicted on Indigenous communities at Canada's so-called "residential schools," where children were malignly enrolled as part of a policy of forced assimilation.
He further pointed to the "cultural destruction" and the "physical, verbal, psychological and spiritual abuse" of children over the decades.
Canadian authorities sent nearly 150,000 Native American children into 139 “residential schools” run by the Catholic Church between the late 1800s and the 1990s, where they were totally separated from their families, language and culture.
Many of the kids were also physically and sexually abused, and thousands are believed to have died of disease, malnutrition or neglect.
Since May 2021, more than 1,300 unmarked graves have been discovered at the sites of the former schools, sending shockwaves throughout Canada -- which has slowly begun to acknowledge such very long and cruel chapter in its history.