Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

April 29, 2009 13:02 ET

Government of Canada Welcomes Pope's Expression of Sorrow to Former Students of Indian Residential Schools

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 29, 2009) -

On April 29, 2009, a delegation representing former Indian residential school students, led by the Assembly of First Nations, met with Pope Benedict XVI. The Pope expressed his sorrow at "the anguish caused by the deplorable conduct of some members of the Church" experienced by Aboriginal students in residential schools.

The Government of Canada welcomes the Pope's expression of sorrow to former students of Indian Residential Schools. This is a significant step that will allow former students and their families to continue with their healing process.

On June 11, 2008 Canada offered an apology to former students of Indian residential schools and admitted that the treatment of children in these schools was a sad chapter in our history. Canada also recognizes that the consequences of the Indian residential schools policy were profoundly negative and that this policy has had a lasting and damaging impact on Aboriginal culture, heritage and language.

We recognize that bringing closure to the legacy of the Indian residential school system lies at the heart of reconciliation and a renewal of the relationships between Aboriginal people who attended these schools, their families and communities, and all Canadians.

Chuck Strahl

Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Metis and Non-Status Indians

Contact Information

  • Office of the Honourable Chuck Strahl
    Nina Chiarelli
    Press Secretary
    INAC Media Relations