Demand Apology for Church’s Role in Abusive Residential Schools

Target: Pope Francis

Goal: Apologize for the Catholic Church’s role in the detrimental effects of residential schools on Canada’s Indigenous population.

After six years of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the Canadian government released the final report on physical and sexual abuses that went on in Indian residential schools run by the Catholic Church. It resulted in at least 94 “calls to action” that invoke a series of remedial efforts, one of which is the request for the Pope to make an official apology on behalf of the Catholic Church.

Papal charters in the 15th century endorsed the invasion and theft of any land that they came across for the sake of their Christian monarchs. In other words, Christian rulers supported and encouraged the unethical and inhumane treatment of Indigenous peoples in an attempt to collect resources. Even after European invaders were in control of most of the land, they enforced their foreign culture and religion on the Natives. These measures included residential schools for growing children.

As the Truth and Reconciliation Commission proved, children in residential schools not only faced forced assimilation and insensitivity but physical and sexual abuse. Please sign this petition urging the Pope to formally apologize to the Indigenous Canadians who have suffered due to Church-run residential schools.


Dear Pope Francis,

I am writing this letter to you in an attempt to garner your sympathy and compassion for all Indigenous people that suffered at the hands of Church-run residential schools. Not only did the Church condone these institutions but they also ran some of them, and Catholic officials took part in physical and sexual abuses.

The immediate and long-term effects of forced residential schooling are no secret- the kids that attended these schools suffered mental illness, suicide, and community disassociation, among many other consequences. These schools actively took part in the cultural decimation of Indigenous peoples and separated families in order to further their “Christian” agenda.

I am asking you to issue an apology for these terrible effects on Canada’s Indigenous population, whose younger generations have no doubt suffered by way of historical and generational trauma. Please apologize for the church’s role in residential schools and be an active change agent in healing between the Church and Canada’s Indigenous population.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Frontier Forts

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315 Signatures

  • Sandra Dutcher
  • kajsa ingelsson
  • Sue Mohr
  • Martin Hoffman
  • Kjersti Gunnberg
  • Kathleen Archibald
  • Donna Pfeffer
  • Nancy Goodspeed
  • Daniel O'Keefe
  • Cathie Sekendur
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