In U.S., Indigenous groups echo Canadian complaints that Pope's apology falls short

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WASHINGTON — Indigenous groups in the United States are echoing Canadian complaints about the Pope's apology to survivors of residential schools north of the border.

The National Congress of American Indians acknowledged the apology from Pope Francis as a historic moment, but is pressing the church to do more.

President Fawn Sharp says the Canadian residential school system was modelled after a similar system in the U.S., one under investigation by the Department of the Interior.

The National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition wants the church to rescind the Doctrine of Discovery — a series of 15th-century Catholic Church decrees that justified the colonization of Indigenous lands.

The group also notes the Pope made no explicit mention of genocide or sexual abuse, nor any plans by the church to address what it calls crimes against humanity.

Both groups are calling on the church to release all records related to the boarding school system in order to improve accountability and further the healing process.

Pope Francis is leaving Edmonton for Quebec City today, beginning the next stage of what he has described as his "penitential" journey in Canada.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 27, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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