Midway through his six-day visit to Canada, Pope Francis traveled from Edmonton to Quebec City and issued another apology for the abuses committed at residential schools. As Dan Karpenchuk reports, the pope expressed shame and sorrow for the actions that took place at residential schools.
Before making his address at Quebec City’s historic Citadelle, the pope met privately with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mary Simon, who is Canada’s first Indigenous governor general.
In his speech, Francis said the deplorable residential school system, which separated many children from their families, different local Catholic institutions had a part. And he again asked for forgiveness for the wrongs done by so many Christians to Indigenous peoples.
Before he spoke, Mary Simon called his visit an important step.
“I acknowledge and applaud what has been achieved. What Indigenous communities have achieved this week’s visit. It’s Indigenous peoples who worked, waited and prayed for an apology on Indigenous lands in Canada. They never gave up.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also described the visit as important, but also suggested it was only the beginning.
“As your holiness said, begging pardon is not the end of the matter, it is a starting point, a first step. Monday morning I was sitting with survivors and I felt their reaction to your apology. Each will take from it what they need, but there’s no doubt you had an enormous impact.”
Some Indigenous leaders have said the pope’s apologies have fallen short.
Earlier, crown Indigenous Relations Minister Marc Miller said there were gaps in the apology that could not be ignored such as the omission of sexual abuses against Indigenous children at the schools, and that the pope had referred earlier this week to the evil committed by individual Christians, but not the Catholic Church as an institution.
Kansas will be the first state to vote on abortion since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.
Next week, voters will decide if the state’s constitution should continue to protect abortion. Members of the Native American community are registering voters for the election. And as Rhonda LeValdo reports, some Native women say they’re concerned about an abortion ban and access to birth control.
The Kansas City Indian Center (KCIC) is part of the Native vote movement, not only registering voters in Missouri, but also in Kansas as they straddle the state line. They want to get younger voters engaged in the process by doing registration drives anywhere they can, Executive Director of KCIC Gaylene Crowser (Standing Rock Lakota) explains.
“There’s a ton of voting laws that people who haven’t voted before don’t know. We do like to engage young voters and get them into a lifetime of voting and let’s face it democracy is Indigenous, they got this from us.”
And as Kansas will be the first state to vote on an abortion amendment to their constitution, Carole Cadue Blackwood (Kickapoo) and Lawrence school board member says this vote is about treaty erosion.
“I am voting no because it will ban abortion and access to contraceptives. This is treaty erosion. As a Kickapoo woman we were forcibly removed, we were disposed of our land and placed in Kansas and we are going to have more laws regulating us and regulating our bodies. I don’t think people understand when you get down to it, it is treaty erosion.”
The Value Them Both Amendment vote on August 2nd will either uphold Kansans rights to abortion or potentially end them.
Drug overdose deaths during the early days of the pandemic spiked significantly among Indigenous populations. That’s according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Aaron Bolton has more.
According to the recently published CDC study, drug overdose deaths nationwide increased 30% from 2019 to 2020.
The rate increased by 39% among Alaska Native and American Indian populations, nearly double the increase for whites during that same period.
The study found that health and economic disparities likely contributed to the spike in overdose deaths among Indigenous populations.
The study says overdose prevention efforts need to incorporate culturally responsive interventions and address poly-substance use in order to reduce drug overdose death disparities.
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