By Neenah Payne
Responses To Pope’s Repudiation of Doctrine of Discovery shows that Native Americans have been calling for popes to renounce The Doctrine of Discovery since 1992. On March 30, 2023, Pope Francis finally repudiated The Doctrine after his apology to the First Nations peoples during his visit to Canada in July last year and two visits by Native Americans to the Pope. While Native Americans have welcomed that step, they are pointing out it is far from enough to correct the abuses of 500 years.
That Doctrine is the basis for all land claims in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and parts of India. It is based on The Myth of White Supremacy, which maintains that only Europeans and their descendants have contributed anything of value to the world and therefore have the right to take the lands of anyone who is not European or of European descent and to enslave or kill them. With the sanction of the Catholic Church, Europeans committed the largest genocides in history in Africa, the Americas, and Australia. This myth ignores the massive contributions of ancient Egypt, China, India, the Moors, Native America, and other cultures.
The intolerance of the COVID era which tore families, friends, and the nation apart and during which California and other states encouraged neighbors to report on neighbors echoes the 600-year brutal Inquisition the Catholic Church waged in France, Spain, and Italy. A closer look at that horrific era can help us better understand the mistakes made during COVID.
As one video below explains, the goal of the First Nation and American Indian residential schools discussed in this article was “to redesign human beings.” Yuval Harari, often featured by Klaus Schwab, founder of the World Economic Forum, tells us that human beings are now “hackable” and belief in free will is now dangerous!
Russell Means told all Americans: “You’re the Indians of the 21st Century, and that’s very sad.”
Pope Apologizes For Residential Schools
In Canada, the Catholic church contributed to the death of 6,000 children. In Africa, it opened schools to make the native more governable. In Australia, the church promoted racial hierarchy through education. WION’s Palki Sharma brings you the dark story behind Church’s interest in education.
The 2021 video above says the Catholic Church has still not apologized to the First Nations peoples of Canada for the residential schools. However, Pope Francis apologized in Canada on July 25, 2022.
How Catholics Avoided Paying Millions in Reparations
During its final weeks in office, the previous Conservative government reached a deal allowing the church to walk away from most of its obligations.
On Friday, after Pope Francis ended a series of meetings with Indigenous people from Canada with an apology for the role the Roman Catholic Church played in a notorious residential school system, my colleague Elisabetta Povoledo got the chance to talk with some members of the Indigenous delegations.
Elisabetta, who is based in Rome but grew up in Winnipeg, spent much of the week following the delegates. She told me on Friday that the mood at their hotel and during a news conference following the final papal audience was “very upbeat.” “The pope’s words today were historic, to be sure,” said Cassidy Caron, president of the Métis National Council. “They were necessary, and I appreciate them deeply.” She went on, “And I now look forward to the pope’s visit to Canada, where he can offer those sincere words of apology directly to our survivors and their families whose acceptance and healing ultimately matters the most.”
But among the many issues still lingering between the Catholic Church and Indigenous people in Canada are cash reparations. While there were apparently raised during the meetings this week, Elisabetta said that no one she spoke with would offer details of those discussions.
Reparations were due under a landmark settlement in 2006 of a class-action lawsuit brought by former students. Most of the 4.7 billion Canadian dollars that were paid as reparations to Indigenous peoples came from the federal government. Protestant churches paid about 9.2 million Canadian dollars. But the Catholic Church, which operated about 70 percent of the more than 130 schools, only paid 1.2 million of the 25 million Canadian dollars it agreed to raise in cash contributions as reparations.
Read full article at the New York Times
Canada has reached a settlement agreement worth US$2.09 billion, (€1.93 billion) with representatives of Indigenous peoples, abused for nearly a century by Church residential institutions. The sum will be placed in a not-for-profit trust aimed at financing Indigenous education, culture, and language, the Canadian government announced.
Starting in the early 19th century, the Canadian government forcibly removed Indigenous children from their families to take them to residential institutions under the church’s administration. The schools were meant to assimilate Indigenous children into a Christian society, effectively stripping them of their identity, culture, and language. The last school only shut down in the late 1990s.
The announced settlement is the result of a class action lawsuit by 325 Indigenous groups. Its goal is to address the collective harm that the system of residential schools caused, including the loss of language, culture, and heritage. The settlement is guided by what is called the Four Pillars, which the plaintiffs representing the Indigenous groups developed. They refer to reviving and protecting Indigenous languages, cultures, and heritage and ensuring the wellbeing of the Indigenous communities and their members.
“It has taken Canada far too long to own up to its history, stand up to the genocide it committed and recognize the collective harm caused to our Nations by Residential Schools,” said Garry Feschuk, an Indigenous leader who is one of the plaintiffs in the suit. “It is time that Canada not only recognize this harm, but help undo it by walking with us. This settlement is a good first step,” he added.
Between the late 1800s to the 1990s, nearly 150,000 First Nations, Metis, and Inuit children were sent by Canada’s government to 139 residential schools run by the church as part of a failed policy of forced assimilation. Many faced physical and sexual abuse at the hands of headmasters and teachers, while thousands are believed to have died because of neglect, malnutrition, and disease. Since 2021, hundreds of remains of Indigenous children in unmarked graves have been discovered at the sites of former schools, with the national truth and reconciliation commission decrying “cultural genocide.”
During a trip to Canada last year, Catholic Pope Francis personally apologized for the horrors committed by Catholic Church run indigenous residential schools.
Canada is to pay more than $2bn to settle a lawsuit seeking compensation for harm to Indigenous languages and cultures.
Canada will pay more than $2bn to hundreds of Indigenous communities to settle a lawsuit seeking compensation for the loss of language and culture caused by residential schools, the government has announced. The class action lawsuit by 325 Indigenous groups ended with the settlement of 2.8 billion Canadian dollars ($2.1bn United States) which will be placed in a trust fund independent of the government.
It will be used to “revitalize Indigenous education, culture, and language – to support survivors in healing and reconnecting with their heritage,” according to a government statement. The precise terms for disbursing the $2.1bn are yet to be approved by the federal court.
The Canadian government sent about 150,000 children into 139 residential schools from the late 1800s to the 1990s. The institutions were mostly run by the Catholic Church, and during their time there, Indigenous children were cut off from their families, language, and culture. Many children were also physically and sexually abused, with thousands believed to have died of disease, malnutrition or neglect.
“It has taken Canada far too long to own up to its history, own up to the genocide it committed and recognize the collective harm caused to our nations by residential schools,” said Garry Feschuk, an Indigenous leader who is one of the plaintiffs in the suit. “It is time that Canada not only recognize this harm, but help undo it by walking with us. This settlement is a good first step,” he said in a statement released on Saturday.
Over the past two years, thousands of unmarked graves have been discovered at the former schools, putting the spotlight on Canada’s dark colonial past. More than 1,300 graves have been identified. Earlier this month, ground-penetrating radar uncovered nearly “2,000 areas of interest” that need to be thoroughly investigated in Lebret, Saskatchewan, the Star Blanket Cree community said.
A fragment of a child’s jawbone dating to some 125 years ago has already been identified on the grounds of a former residential school in the western Canadian community. “The residential school system decimated our languages, profoundly damaged our cultures, and left a legacy of social harms. The effects go beyond my generation. It will take many generations for us to heal,” said Shane Gottfriedson, another Indigenous leader and plaintiff. “We believe that all survivors deserve justice and the compensation which they are owed,” said Marc Miller, federal minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, in the press release.
A national commission of inquiry in 2015 called the residential school system a “cultural genocide”. Hundreds of people protested, demanding an independent investigation into the residential schools that Indigenous children were forced to attend.
Last year, the Catholic Church’s Pope Francis visited Canada on a penitential trip during which he apologised to Indigenous people for the “evil” of residential schools, the church-run, forced-assimilation institutions that First Nations, Inuit and Metis children were made to attend for decades.
The Canadian government will pay A$3billion in compensation to hundreds of Indigenous communities for decades of abuse suffered by First Nations, Métis and Inuit children in residential schools. The settlement, announced on Saturday, is the result of a class action lawsuit by 325 Indigenous groups.
In a statement the Indigenous groups said the 2.8billion Canadian dollar payout will be placed in a not-for-profit trust, independent of the government and used to “revitalise Indigenous education, culture, and language – to support survivors in healing and reconnecting with their heritage”.
One of the class action plaintiffs, senior member of the Sechelt (shíshálh) First Nation, Garry Feschuk, said in the statement that Canada had taken “far too long to own up to its history, own up to the genocide it committed and recognise the collective harm caused to our nations by residential schools”. “It is time that Canada not only recognise this harm, but help undo it by walking with us. This settlement is a good first step,” he said.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada investigated the period 1883 to 1996 and eight years of research determined that more than 150,000 First Nations, Métis, and Inuit children were sent to residential “schools” after being removed from their families. The Commission’s report issued in 2015 estimated some 80,000 of the former students were still living.
Prior to the establishment of the Commission, a Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples had highlighted the abuse experienced by students of the schools and the serious on-going repercussions of their separation from family and culture.
At the schools, largely owned and run by the Catholic church, the children were subjected to cruel and inhumane treatment. Isolated from their families and prohibited from observing their culture and using their language, many of the children were physically and sexually abused, and vast numbers died of disease, malnutrition, or neglect. More than 1,300 mass graves have been discovered on the grounds of abandoned residential schools in recent years, leading to apologies from Pope Francis and shining a spotlight on one of the darkest elements of Canada’s past.
Shane Gottfriedson, of Tk’emlups Indian Band and former British Columbia chief of the Assembly of First Nations, said the residential school system “decimated our languages, profoundly damaged our cultures, and left a legacy of social harms”. “The effects go beyond my generation. It will take many generations for us to heal,” he said.
Canadian federal minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations Marc Miller said the government believes “all survivors deserve justice and the compensation which they are owed”. The details for the disbursing of the funds will be determined by the federal court of Canada in late February.
Reports of how much the Canada government has offered as compensation for the residential schools range from C$2 billion to C$40 billion. The Catholic Church, which ran 70% of the Canadian residential schools, defaulted on its promise to pay $25 million. With the approval of the Canadian government, the church has to pay just $1.2 million. Yet, the church’s assets are said to be in the tens or even hundreds of billions.
Responses To Pope’s Repudiation of Doctrine of Discovery shows that Native Americans are asking the Pope to do more than renounce the Doctrine of Discovery and to revoke it. They are also calling on him to say how much of the land the Church seized from Native America it is willing to return.
The First Nations peoples of Canada have had more success than Native Americans in getting the church and government to address long-standing issues. While Canada has a Truth & Reconciliation Commission (however ineffective), the US does not. The Pope visited Canada to apologize to the First Nations people for the many abuses of the church’s residential schools. When Pope Francis visited the US in 2015, he was not scheduled to meet with Native Americans.
National Day for Truth and Reconciliation: September 30
Canada observed its first national holiday honoring victims and survivors of the country’s residential school system. The statutory holiday came a day after a federal court upheld a 2016 ruling ordering the Canadian government to compensate Indigenous children who were placed into foster care.
Thursday’s National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and the court decision highlight the history of discrimination and harm toward First Nations communities. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the holiday recognizes the “harms, injustices, and intergenerational trauma that Indigenous peoples have faced – and continue to face – because of the residential school system, systemic racism, and the discrimination that persists in our society.”
“We must all learn about the history and legacy of residential schools,” he said in a statement. “It’s only by facing these hard truths, and righting these wrongs, that we can move forward together toward a more positive, fair, and better future.”
Thousands of mostly indigenous children were separated from their families and forced to attend residential schools between the 19th century and the 1990s. At least 150,000 Indigenous children from across the country were impacted, Trudeau said on Thursday.
In 2019, Trudeau said he and his government accepted the harm inflicted on indigenous peoples in Canada amounted to genocide, saying at the time that the government would move forward to “end this ongoing tragedy.”
Neenah Payne writes for Activist Post
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