Pope Francis has arrived in Canada at the start of a six-day official visit. As Dan Karpenchuk reports, he’ll meet this week with residential school survivors and is expected to apologize for the Catholic Church’s role in the schools.
He arrived late Sunday afternoon in Edmonton, Alberta, where he was welcomed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Governor General Mary Simon.
On hand were other church, Indigenous and political dignitaries.
In a message on his twitter account, Pope Francis wrote:
Dear brothers and sisters of #Canada, I come among you to meet the indigenous peoples. I hope, with God’s grace, that my penitential pilgrimage might contribute to the journey of reconciliation already undertaken. Please accompany me with #prayer.
— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) July 24, 2022
But the national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, Roseanne Archibald, was not happy that she was not included in the official welcome.
“We don’t feel it’s been about survivors. It has been about the church promoting the church’s idea. Fundraising for the church when they’re asking people to pick up their tickets. We have to focus on what we’re really doing here and that’s about survivors accepting or not accepting and listening to that apology from the pope.”
Chief Archibald says she’s also disappointed that there were no women in leadership roles for the Edmonton welcome.
The pope is to visit a former Indian residential school south of Edmonton Monday and is expected to deliver his first public statement in Canada, and he’s expected to apologize to Indigenous peoples for the church’s role in the abuses they suffered.
It’s estimated about 150,000 Native children were forced to attend the residential schools across Canada from the late 1800’s to the late 1900’s. Thousands were physically, sexually and emotionally abused. Many died.
More than 60% of the schools were run by the Catholic Church.
The Menominee Nation has announced a partnership with the Seminole Tribe of Florida to try, again, to open an off-reservation casino in Kenosha, WI.
Chuck Quirmbach from station WUWM in Milwaukee reports.
The Menominee made the announcement just hours after a village board okayed giving a company linked to the Seminole up to two years to buy 60 acres for the casino project.
This is the second collaboration for the Menominee and Seminole Tribes.
Seven years ago, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker blocked a casino plan. But Menominee Chairman Ron Korn, Sr. says his tribe is still looking for ways to support its members.
“We have a really difficult time meeting the needs of the members of our tribe, and so we’ve always looked for ways to generate additional revenue to help meet those needs. That’s been our goal for a very long time, and it remains our goal today.”
Korn notes that Walker, a Republican, is no longer Wisconsin Governor. Democrat Tony Evers is.
“That would be my point of view maybe, that he’d be more favorable.”
The Governor’s office is only one of several government entities which would need to okay the casino. So would the city and county of Kenosha, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
Evers says he’s a long way from making a decision. But he doesn’t rule out approval.
“I have approved casinos in the past. It’s not like I’m anti-gambling. In fact, I think the tribal nations of Wisconsin have the right to do that. I’ve approved sports gambling and some other things.”
But Evers is in a re-election fight against Republicans this year.
So the fate of the Menominee and Seminole project may not be known for some time.
Native journalist Tim Giago passed away on Sunday in Rapid City, SD.
He was a co-founder of the Native American Journalists Association and started several newspapers.
A GoFundMe was recently set up for Giago seeking assistance after he had major medical issues.
His family posted on social media that he passed away peacefully surrounded by his daughters and wife.
He was 88 years old.
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