‘Angry and disappointed’: Syilx Okanagan Nation Alliance responds to Pope’s apology

Local reactions are streaming after Pope Francis’ apology for the Catholic Church’s involvement in Indian hostels.

Osoyoo’s Indian Band chief Clarence Louie said after seeing the apology, “He’s angry and disappointed.”

“Come on, let’s be honest, it was a forced apology. It was a political excuse. If someone is forced to apologize, I don’t think that’s a sincere apology,” Chief Louie said

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Thousands of tribal children have been forced into boarding schools, where they have been separated from their culture and families and abused.

“This church is a multi-billion dollar organization. It’s rich, very rich, and it’s caused the loss of our native language, a lot of cultural damage, and it should raise some of those billions to repair the damage of the past,” Louie added.

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Chief Louie believes more needs to be done than monetary retaliation and an apology.


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Mixed feelings at Edmonton Indigenous Church after Pope Francis’ apology


Mixed feelings at Edmonton Indigenous Church after Pope Francis’ apology

“There should be a criminal investigation, criminal,” he said.

“If only two non-native graves were found in this country, what would the RCMP do? They would start a criminal investigation. Here you have 215 unmarked graves in Kamloops, where is the criminal investigation? There is still too much racism.”

He added that the apology came too late and now is the time to act.

“No more kind words; no more false, forced excuses. We need some anger and action. I think it’s time for anger and action,” Louie said.

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Greg Gabriel, leader of the Penticton Indian Band, also commented on the Pope’s apology in a statement from the Syilx Okanagan Nation Alliance.

“Apologies and empty words from the Prime Minister, government officials or a trip to the Vatican will never heal the pain and hurt our people have endured, witnessed and continue to endure,” Chief Gabriel said in a statement.

“We have apologized – there is no forgiveness for the murder and attempted murder of our children. We have no faith in the processes of the colonial institutions and demand that the Vatican, the Roman Catholic Church and the Canadian government go beyond empty excuses.”

Chief Gabriel also called the Catholic Church to account.

“They have actively and explicitly tampered with evidence of their crimes and must be investigated and held accountable. We will not remain silent about those governments or organizations working to protect their own interests – manipulating evidence, deflecting responsibility and holding accountable,” Chief Gabriel said.


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In response to the Pope’s apology for boarding schools


In response to the Pope’s apology for boarding schools

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https://globalnews.ca/news/8735414/syilx-okanagan-nation-alliance-reacts-popes-apology/ ‘Angry and disappointed’: Syilx Okanagan Nation Alliance responds to Pope’s apology

Brian Lowry

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