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The Pope apologizes for the "deplorable evil" committed in Canada's residential schools -- Indigenous people want action

Interior of classroom, Indian Industrial School, Brandon, Manitoba, 1946
Interior of classroom, Indian Industrial School, Brandon, Manitoba, 1946

On this edition of Your Call, we're discussing reaction to Pope Francis's trip to central Alberta where he apologized for the "deplorable evil" committed in Catholic-run Indigenous Residential Schools.

More than 150,000 Indigenous children in Canada were removed and separated from their families and communities to attend these schools. The last one closed in the late 1990s. The Pope's trip has received a mixed reaction among the Indigenous community. Many say they want action, not just words.


Lori Campbell, band member of the Montreal Lake First Nation, intergenerational survivor of the Residential School system, associate vice-president of Indigenous Engagement at the University of Regina in Saskatchewan

Brandi Morin, French, Cree, Iroquois journalist covering Indigenous issues for several outlets, including the CBC, Indian Country Today, the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, and Aljazeera, and author of the forthcoming memoir, Our Voice of Fire

Bruce Allan, member of the Beaver Clan Stellat’en First Nation, residential school survivor, resolution health support worker at the Indian Residential School Survivors Society, and educator at the College of New Caledonia since 1995 in First Nation Studies

Web Resources:

The Conversation, Lori Campbell: I survived the ’60s Scoop. Here’s why the Pope’s apology isn’t an apology at all

AlJazeera: Pope’s Canada visit ‘doesn’t heal’ wounds of Indigenous survivors

Associated Press: Pope in headdress stirs deep emotions in Indian Country

The Star: Another pope’s apology isn’t enough when Catholic Church’s cover-ups and hypocrisy continue to this day

The Star: Survivors helping survivors: residential school hotlines flooded with calls after Kamloops mass grave discovery

Rose Aguilar has been the host of Your Call since 2006. She became a regular media roundtable guest in 2001. In 2019, the San Francisco Press Club named Your Call the best public affairs program. In 2017, The Nation named it the most valuable local radio show.
Bee Soll is a producer with Your Call at KALW, and a producer, writer, and editor at KCBS Radio in San Francisco. She is a former reporter for Crosscurrents and contributor at KPFA Radio.