April 28, 2022
Treaty 1 and Dakota Territory, Homeland of the Red River Métis, Winnipeg MB –The Manitoba Legislature is set to pass an NDP motion to invite Pope Francis to Manitoba as our communities confront the truth and pain of our shared history.
For many Manitobans, the discovery of children’s graves on Residential School sites opened their eyes and their hearts to the truth of our country and our province’s history – a truth that can no longer be ignored. NDP Critic for Indigenous Reconciliation, Ian Bushie, noted that this history “is more than just stories – it is the lived experiences of Indigenous children and families.”
“It is now impossible to ignore the abuse, trauma and suffering that was inflicted on Indigenous children and families here in our province by the Church and the State,” said Bushie. “But there is hope for healing and a better future. The moving stories and images coming out of the meetings at the Vatican make it clear that healing and forgiveness are possible. Now we must do everything we can to ensure that Manitobans from all walks of life have that same opportunity to hear the Pope’s apology and move forward with healing.”
The NDP motion asked the Legislature to invite Pope Francis to Manitoba to deliver a papal apology to Residential School survivors, visit the graves of children who died at Residential schools, and bless the grave of Louis Riel. Survivors have asked that the Pope make Manitoba one of his destinations given the large Indigenous population and important work of Manitobans in our country’s journey of truth and reconciliation.
“A visit from the Pope would be a historic opportunity for our province, and an important step in the journey we are all on together,” said NDP Leader Wab Kinew. “The Pope should come here to honour Survivors, their families and the children who never made it home. It could be a step in having all Manitobans move forward together in a good way.”