On July 24–29, 2022, Pope Francis will make a historic visit to Canada, where he will meet with many Indigenous Peoples across the country and issue an in-person apology for the Catholic Church’s involvement in the residential school system, which for nearly 200 years waged a cultural war on Canada’s Indigenous Peoples. In this episode of Behind the Story, Ricardo da Silva, S.J. hosts Priscilla Solomon, C.S.J. and Gerry Kelly, both of whom have decades of experience in working for reconciliation. Ricardo, Priscilla and Gerry discuss the history of the residential school system, the Catholic Church’s involvement, the church’s attempts at reconciliation, and how the visit of Pope Francis could further the process of reconciliation with an encompassing apology on Canadian soil.

00:12 – History of residential schools in Canada

02:16 – Guest introductions

03:28 – Acknowledgement of indigenous lands

05:28 – Sr. Priscilla’s family experiences with residential schools

09:22 – Gerry’s experience of residential schools

15:27 – Legal evolution of indigenous rights in Canada

18:41 – Indigenous “wardship” in Canada

19:59 – Understanding the church’s involvement in residential schools

26:45 – Reconciliation with women’s congregations who ran the schools

30:33 – Obstacles to reconciliation

33:27 – What was the “settlement agreement”?

35:27 – The Truth and Reconciliation Commission

39:05 – Church efforts at reconciliation

45:55 – Need for public apologies

46:50 – Pope Francis’ upcoming visit to Canada

51:08 – Hopes for the apology of Pope Francis

54:38 – Why Sr. Priscilla stays in the church

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