Representatives from Métis Nation Saskatchewan(MN-S) will be joining other officials and Indigenous delegates in Pope Francis’ visit to Alberta. A release from MS-N expresses hope that the trip will represent “another step forward on the shared path of reconciliation for Métis Survivors of the residential school system.
The release also expresses the hope that the world can learn more about the struggles of survivors from the Métis perspective, which they fear has largely been ignored or forgotten.
"During the visit to the Vatican this past March, Métis Survivors and Elders were able to share their personal stories of survival and resiliency with the Pope. We hope these stories will be reflected in the Pope's apology here in Canada," stated Vice President of the MN–S, Michelle LeClair.
The group is particularly focused on survivors and families from schools such as the Île-à-la-Crosse and Timber Bay residential schools, groups that have been excluded from Indian Residential School Settlements and apologies that have been issued to other survivors.
MS-N reports that over 300 representatives will attend events in Edmonton, Maskwacis and Lac Ste. Anne.
"We understand that all Survivors are on their own personal journeys toward healing. While some welcome the Pope's visit, this trip brings up complicated feelings for others," explained LeClair. "As the Métis government in Saskatchewan, we respect the views of all our Survivors and citizens and will be there for them as we work towards healing."
Compensation for survivors and those impacted by the Île-à-la-Crosse school, which was funded through the provincial government, is ongoing.