The Roman Catholic archbishop of Toronto says the church is working toward reconciliation with Indigenous people about the abuse suffered by children and families during the residential school system. But Cardinal Thomas Collins also accused Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of being unfair in his comments about the church’s role in residential schools. Collins says he feels Trudeau’s comments that the Catholic Church needs to take responsibility are unhelpful and not based on facts.
At the Vatican yesterday, Pope Francis has expressed pain over the discovery in BC of the remains of Indigenous students at a former residential school site. But he didn’t offer the apology requested by the Prime Minister. Francis instead called on political and church authorities to shed light on what happened and to foster healing.
I join the Canadian Bishops and the whole Catholic Church in Canada in expressing my closeness to the Canadian people, who have been traumatised by shocking discovery of the remains of two hundred and fifteen children, pupils at the Kamloops Indian Residential School.
— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) June 6, 2021
Police are investigating after a statue of Egerton Ryerson was toppled in downtown Toronto yesterday. The statue is displayed prominently on the campus of Ryerson University. But it came under renewed scrutiny after the discovery in Kamloops, BC, of what are believed to be the remains of 215 Indigenous children at a former residential school. Ryerson is credited as one of the architects of Canada’s residential school system.
What a beautiful site to see on a Sunday evening.
A couple decades too late, but the Egerton Ryerson statue has been desecrated and toppled over.
Throw it in the lake, rename the school, reconcile with the truth.#TruthAndReconciliation
— Al Mac (@SparkAlMac) June 6, 2021
Experts say Canadians have not been taught enough about residential schools. Many say the fact that Canadians were surprised at the recent discovery of the remains of 215 Indigenous children at a former school in Kamloops, BC, shows there is work to be done. Most provinces and territories have only recently begun teaching about the facilities where several thousand children died and many suffered terrible sexual and physical abuse. Several provinces say they are in the process of beefing up their curricula to include more about the devastating impacts of the schools.
Photo Credit: Archdiocese of Toronto via YouTube