In this 1910s photo provided by the United Church of Canada Archives, students write on a chalkboard at the Red Deer Indian Industrial School in Alberta. In Canada, where more than 150,000 Indigenous children attended residential schools over more than a century, a National Truth and Reconciliation Commission identified 3,201 deaths amid poor conditions. (Credit: United Church of Canada Archives via AP.)


ROME – A group of Canadian indigenous persons traveling to Rome to meet the pope this month said they will ask for an apology and an admission of guilt for the Catholic Church’s role in the “genocide” of their people, and that they’ll demand papal edicts endorsing colonization be rescinded.

A joint delegation of Canadian bishops and three different indigenous communities in Canada will travel to Rome March 28 – April 1, where they will hold both individual and group meetings with Pope Francis.

Among the indigenous communities are the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), the Métis National Council, and the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami. Delegates include elders, “knowledge keepers,” residential school survivors, and youth.