Truth and Reconciliation
Commission of Canada:
Calls to Action
Truth and Reconciliation: Commission of Canada - Call to Action
In order to redress the legacy of residential schools and
advance the process of Canadian reconciliation, the Truth
and Reconciliation Commission makes the following calls to
Please Click Here to View Our Call to Action:
Support services for residential school survivors in B.C.:
First Nations Health Authority: https://www.fnha.ca/what-we-do/mental-wellness-and-substance-use/residential-schools
Indian Residential School Survivors Society, phone: 604 985-4464 or toll-free:1 800 721-0066
Tsow-Tun Le Lum for Indigenous Peoples in B.C., phone: 1 888 403-3123
The Métis Crisis Line for Métis people in B.C., is available 24 hours a day at 1 833 638-4722
The KUU-US Crisis Line Society provides a 24-hour, provincewide Indigenous crisis line for Indigenous Peoples in B.C.
Adults, call 250 723-4050
Children and youth, call 250 723-2040, toll-free: 1 800 588-8717
Pope Francis to visit Canada July 24 to 29
May 13, 2022 – Earlier today, the Vatican formally announced that Pope Francis will travel to Canada from July 24-29, 2022. The historic visit, focused on Indigenous healing and reconciliation, will be the fourth papal journey to Canada and the first since Saint John Paul II’s visit in 2002.
Bishop Raymond Poisson, President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) welcomed the formal confirmation of the visit on behalf of Canada’s Catholic Bishops: “We are immensely grateful that the Holy Father has accepted our invitation to continue the journey of healing and reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples of this land. In late July, Pope Francis will have the opportunity to visit Indigenous Peoples here in their homeland, as he promised when he met them recently in Rome. We pray for the health of the Holy Father as we undertake the intensive planning for this historic visit.”
On April 1, 2022, Pope Francis apologized for the Catholic Church’s role in Canada’s residential school system. The Holy Father expressed “sorrow and shame” for the abuse and lack of respect for Indigenous identities, culture and spiritual values in the residential school system.
The Holy Father’s apology was informed by private encounters between March 28th and April 1st with 32 Indigenous Elders, knowledge keepers, residential school survivors and youth representing the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), the Métis National Council (MNC), and the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK).
Given the vast landscape of Canada, the limited time period for the visit and considering the health of the 85 year old Pontiff, the Vatican has announced that Pope Francis will adopt only three communities as a base for his Canadian visit: Edmonton, Quebec City, and Iqaluit. The locations will limit travel for the Holy Father while still allowing an opportunity for both intimate and public encounters, drawing on participation from all regions of the country.
Edmonton is home to the second largest number of Indigenous Peoples living in urban Canadian centres. In addition, 25 residential schools were located in Alberta, the most of any province or territory in Canada.
Iqaluit, with close to 8,000 people, is home to the highest population of Inuit (3,900) of all Canadian cities with more than 5,000 people. Pope Francis was personally invited by Inuit delegates to visit the North during their meetings in March.
Quebec City provides an eastern hub for those who may wish to travel to see Pope Francis, especially Indigenous Peoples of the East. The region is also home to Ste. Anne-de-Beaupré, one of the oldest and most popular pilgrimage sites in North America, drawing Indigenous Peoples and others from throughout Canada and around the world each year.
While dates and general locations have been confirmed by the Vatican, specific sites and a formal program will be developed in dialogue with Indigenous partners at the local and national level. Given the focus on Indigenous healing and reconciliation, the Holy Father is expected to visit the site of a former residential school and other locations of particular significance.
Typically, six to eight weeks prior to a papal visit, a full program and itinerary are released by the Vatican. At that time, the public will have an opportunity to learn more about how they may participate in the numerous events and related activity for the papal visit, along with volunteer opportunities and other relevant details.
The CCCB has appointed Archbishop Richard Smith as General Co-ordinator for the Papal Visit, to guide this immense undertaking on behalf of the Canadian Bishops. As Archbishop of Edmonton, the Archbishop also accompanied Indigenous delegates to the Vatican earlier this year and has long-standing relationships with Indigenous leaders.
Archbishop Smith commented on the appointment: “I am humbled to serve as General Co-ordinator for this historic visit from Pope Francis. I look forward to working with Indigenous Peoples from across this land, as well as local, provincial and federal partners, as we prepare to welcome the Holy Father and continue to walk together on this important healing and reconciliation journey.”
The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) is the national assembly of the Bishops of Canada. It was founded in 1943 and officially recognized by the Holy See in 1948.
For media inquiries on the Papal Visit to Canada:
CCCB Statement on the occasion of the
anniversary of the findings at the Kamloops Residential School
It is with great sadness that Canada’s Catholic Bishops wish to recognize the one-year anniversary of the shocking reports from the site of the former Kamloops Residential School. These triggered a painful and lasting reminder of the ongoing legacy of suffering caused by Canada’s residential school system.
Over the last year, the Catholic Church’s reconciliation efforts have been galvanized by the reports from Kamloops, and elsewhere across the country. With humility, we have sought to undertake the necessary steps to meaningfully accompany Indigenous Peoples on the long journey towards healing and reconciliation.
In September of last year, Canada’s Catholic Bishops came together to apologize unequivocally for the role of Catholic entities in the residential school system, and for the grave abuses committed. In reaffirming our commitment to healing and reconciliation, we supported a delegation of Indigenous Peoples to the Holy See in March, where we welcomed an apology from the Holy Father, and have launched renewed fundraising efforts in support of reconciliation initiatives, as well as other initiatives on records disclosure and education.
This journey is far from over, and Canada’s Catholic Bishops recognize we must continue to walk in solidarity with the First Nations, Métis and Inuit Peoples of this land.
On this somber anniversary, Canada’s Catholic Bishops wish to reiterate our deep regret and heartfelt sadness for the Catholic Church’s role in the Indian residential schools. Today, we pray for children who did not return home, and for the survivors and communities who grieve and cope with the trauma as the truth of residential schools comes to light.
23 May 2022
Progress on the Path of Reconciliation April 2, 2022
Today Bishop Joseph welcomed the news of Pope Francis’ message of apology to residential school survivors at the end of his week of meetings with Indigenous, Inuit, and Metis delegates in Rome.
This is another step on the journey of healing and reconciliation with those who welcomed missionaries and immigrants to this land long ago. Last year, the Diocese of Kamloops embarked on a fundraising appeal to support residential school survivors, their families and communities and to promote reconciliation among the indigenous and non-indigenous peoples in our part of the country. The Diocese of Kamloops commits to raise $30,000.00 per year as its share of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops’ collective pledge to raise $30 million across the country over the next five years. The bishops’ conference established a new registered charity to manage funds raised across the country with transparency and good governance, including oversight from Indigenous Board Directors. The fund will publish annual reports and will be subject to an audit by an independent accounting firm each year. All the funds pledged and raised from the diocese will be returned and used to support projects recommended by a local working committee of Indigenous and non- indigenous persons, which is in the process of being formed. The diocese will provide updates as this work proceeds. We hope this initiative will be one more contribution to the work of fostering mutual respect and commitment to a shared future for all who call this land home.
Bishop meeting with Chief Rosanne Casimir and Council on July 30, 2021 (L-R Rick Gilbert, Bishop Joseph Nguyen, Chief Rosanne Casimir, and Jeanette Jules)
Canada’s Catholic Bishops Welcome Pope Francis’ Apology to Indigenous Peoples:https://www.cccb.ca/media-release/canadas-catholic-bishops-welcome-pope-francis-apology-to-indigenous-peoples/
Canadian Bishops, Assembly of First Nations, Métis National Council, and Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami Provide an Update on Delegation to Rome
December 7, 2021 – After careful assessment of the uncertainty and potential health risks surrounding international travel amid the recent spread of the Omicron variant, the Canadian Bishops, Assembly of First Nations, Métis National Council, and Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami have jointly decided to reschedule a delegation to the Vatican in December 2021 to the earliest opportunity in 2022.
The decision to postpone was a heartbreaking one, made after careful consultation with delegates, family members, community leaders, public health officials and the leadership of each of the three National Indigenous Organizations. Particularly for many elderly delegates as well as those who live in remote communities, the risk of infection and the fluid nature of the evolving global situation presents too great a threat at this time.
We take comfort in the desire, conveyed to us by the Holy See, that the safety of the delegation should inform any decision to move forward. It is also important to note that the delegation is postponed not cancelled.
Currently, the world’s health experts are still learning about the transmissibility of the Omicron variant. As more information becomes available, we will continue to assess the feasibility of future travel plans, based on guidance from the Canadian government and relevant international authorities.
Our shared commitment to walking together towards healing and reconciliation remains strong. We understand that the Holy See is very much committed to rescheduling this visit in the new year and we look forward to the opportunity for Indigenous Elders, knowledge keepers, residential school survivors, and youth to participate in private meetings with Pope Francis.
For further information:
Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops - firstname.lastname@example.org
Assembly of First Nations – email@example.com
Métis National Council – firstname.lastname@example.org
Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami – email@example.com