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Mohawk Council of Kahnawá:keTsi nahò:ten kahiatónnion a'arákonEnsaié:nawaseOnhkharéhson Aionkhihsnoé:nen
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Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke

Pope visit should include release of Residential School records


The Mohawk Council of Kahnaw�:ke (MCK) wishes to comment on the announcement that Pope Francis will be making an official visit to Canada to meet with Indigenous dignitaries to address the issue of Residential Schools.

The MCK is hopeful that the Pope�s visit will be guided with intentions of true healing and reconciliation. It is no secret that the various churches � most notably the Catholic Church � worked with Canada to implement this tool of assimilation. While most of those responsible for this assault on Indigenous people are no longer with us, Pope Francis must not only apologize for the actions taken by his predecessors but also commit to compensation and the release of records of the Residential Schools that they administered.

While many survivors have grappled with the idea of claiming compensation (let alone deciding what to do with it), many more were concerned with the need for full disclosure of the roles churches and the federal government played and ensuring there is a national record of this established, and accessible to all Canadians

�In order for an apology to be meaningful, it must come accompanied with actions to promote healing and restitution,� said Oh�n:ton I:iente ne Ratits�nhaienhs (Grand Chief) Kahsennenhawe Sky-Deer. �This includes the full disclosure of all records and efforts that support healing processes for survivors and the generations that followed.�

�There is a lot of pressure for the Catholic Church to apologize for their role in residential schools, but we strongly believe there should be pressure to acknowledge and apologize for the role they played in day schools as well,� she added. �This visit may provide a good opportunity to make some real progress in reconciliation. We are hopeful that the Pope grasps the enormity of this matter, which is but one of the issues that bind the entire Indigenous population of Canada in its collective hurt and frustration.�

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