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Indigenous delegates to have private meeting with Pope Francis during Vatican visit

Pontiff will hear personal stories of the legacy of residential schools
Pope Francis salutes bishops as he arrives for his weekly general audience in the Paul VI Hall, at the Vatican, Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Alessandra Tarantino

The Catholic Bishops of Canada says 25 to 30 Indigenous people will be meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican in December.

The delegates will include elders, knowledge keepers, residential school survivors and youth.

The bishops say in a news release that First Nations, Inuit and Métis delegates will each have private meetings with Pope Francis where he will hear personal stories of the legacy of residential schools.

Indigenous delegates will also be able to share their expectations for the Pope’s visit to Canada.

Last month, the Vatican announced that Pope Francis is willing to make that pilgrimage, but Indigenous leaders have said it must come with an apology.

Calls for the Pope to apologize intensified in the last year after the discovery of hundreds of unmarked graves at former residential school sites.

—The Canadian Press

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