Pope Apologizes to Indigenous Groups in Canada

On his historic trip across Canada, Pope Francis is apologizing for the abuse of Indigenous children who were removed from their homes and sent to church-run residential schools, where they faced psychological, physical and sexual abuse. Francis made the apology in Maskwacis, Alberta, the site of a former residential school.

The pope’s apology comes seven years after Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission accused the Catholic Church-run residential schools of taking part in a form of “cultural genocide.” The commission determined more than 4,000 Indigenous children died from neglect or abuse in residential schools across Canada. Unmarked graves are still being found. The first residential schools opened in 1883; the last one closed in 1998. During that time, over 150,000 Indigenous children were sent away to rid them of their Native cultures and languages and integrate them into mainstream Canadian society.

it was pretty much what I feared, that it would be one of those very carefully worded apologies where the church itself, the organization, doesn’t take responsibility for their policies and practices, the cover-ups, knowing that there were sex offenders all over the world, not dealing with the sex offenders, protecting them, and that, in fact, they themselves, the church itself, was the one responsible for all of the crimes that were committed by their Christian members because they issued the papal

— source democracynow.org | Jul 26, 2022

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The Napalpí Ruling And Indigenous Repression In Argentina

In May, Voice of America reported that a court in Resistencia held the Argentinian state responsible for committing “crimes against humanity” in July 1924, when police and settlers massacred around 400-500 indigenous Qom and Moqoit peoples for protesting slave-like working conditions in the Napalpí reservation. Judge Zunilda Niremperger ordered the state to pay “historic reparations”, although these will not include financial compensation.

On July 19th 1924, a group of 130 men, armed to the teeth with Winchester rifles, surrounded indigenous encampments and opened fire indiscriminately, killing countless men, women, and children. The assailants then hacked anyone left standing to death with machetes and hunted down witnesses for weeks.

Testimonies make for grim reading. Survivors like Melitona Enrique, who died at the age of 107 in 2008, said that the “crows went a week without flying because they kept eating the corpses.” Historian Delia del Pilar Otero says murderers collected the testicles, penises, scalps, and ears of slain indigenous victims and proudly exhibited them like war trophies.

Journalist Mario Vidal added none of the men who carried out these heinous crimes ever spent a day in court. Chief of Police Diego Ulibarrie, upon learning that the federal

— source theowp.org | Jean-Philippe Stone | Jun 19, 2022

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Pope to Offer a Long-Sought Apology to Canada’s Indigenous People

Pope Francis is traveling to Canada this week to ​apologize to ​Indigenous communities for the Roman Catholic Church’s role in ​the country’s notorious residential school system, ​​where thousands of Indigenous children died, and countless others were sexually and physically abused.

The visit comes after years of pleas from Indigenous leaders and leading politicians for a Vatican apology about the schools, which were designed to erase Indigenous culture and language by forcibly separating children from their families to assimilate them into Western ways.

And some Indigenous leaders say it will fill in one of the biggest remaining pieces in Canada’s efforts at reconciliation over a brutal education system that a national commission declared to be a form of “cultural genocide.”

“Many of us have had thoughts about the Catholic Church for a long time and this particular moment may sweep aside these doubts that have been there,” said Phil Fontaine, the

— source nytimes.com | Ian Austen, Elisabetta Povoledo | Jul 25, 2022

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Another pope’s apology isn’t enough

The truth is, there have been many apologies issued by many popes.

But as Pope Francis’s visit to Canada begins this weekend, the question to be asked is whether these men have taken substantive actions to end the abuse in which the church they lead has been complicit.

The Catholic Church and its officials have directed, authorized, counselled and/or were complicit in the horrific physical and sexual abuse of children; subjugation, vilification and violence against women; and the deaths of millions of Indigenous peoples in Canada, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, South America and the African continent. According to recent inquiries, that abuse has continued into the present.

For some First Nation, Inuit and Métis survivors, this papal visit to Canada that begins this weekend in Alberta is an important part of their healing journey. For others, the Pope is the last person they want on their territories, as he represents a religious organization that has caused much misery around the world.

In 2017, Australia’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse found that from 1950 into the 1980s, 4,445 victims were sexually abused in a Catholic

— source thestar.com | Pamela Palmater | Jul 24, 2022

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Santhal Hul Wasn’t Just the First Anti-British Revolt, It Was Against All Exploitation

‘The struggle of man [humans] against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting,’ wrote Milan Kundera in one of his works.

This powerful quote is reminder of many things, of which one is the act of remembering. The very act of remembering is not a neutral act but laden with ideological considerations and biases. This hold truer when we remember historical events and figures of political importance. How we remember past events and figures, what are the things and acts that we omit or leave out from remembering and what we remember is motivated by our ideological considerations and political projects.

One such popular act of ritualised remembering is that of the great Santhal rebellion that took place in mid-19th century in British India.

Every year the Santhal rebellion and its leaders Sidhu and Kanhu Murmu are remembered in ritualistic way by different political parties and communities, all from different perspectives. But beneath all these different ways of remembering there lies a unitary theme; that the Santhal rebellion was one of the first expressions of revolt against the British colonial regime.

This framework, though true but limited, has become so dominant that the Santhal rebellion is now merely seen as a part in a series of similar such events that took place in

— source thewire.in | Harsh Vardhan, Shivam Mogha | 30/Jun/2022

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Indian Boarding Schools Were Part of “Horrific Genocidal Process” Carried Out by the U.S.

A new report by the Interior Department has documented the deaths of 500 Indigenous children at Indian boarding schools run or supported by the federal government in the United States, but the actual death toll is believed to be far higher. The report also located 53 burial sites at former schools, which were run for over a century. The report marks the first time the Department of Interior has documented some of the horrific history at the schools, known for their brutal assimilation practices forcing students to change their clothing, language and culture.

And as you could hear in the voices of the people, Secretary Haaland, this is a very emotional experience for a lot of Indigenous people in this country. And it should be an emotional experience for non-Indigenous people in this country. This is quite a historic moment in time. Although it’s not new news to Indigenous people, it might be new news to those who are hearing this horrific genocidal process that has taken place.

I think, you know, there’s a reason why the forcibly transferring of children from one group to another group is an international legal definition of genocide. That’s what we’re talking about, because taking children, or the process of Indian child removal, has been one strategy for terrorizing Native families for centuries, from the mass removal of Native children from their communities into boarding schools, as this new report lays out, from their communities into their widespread adoption and fostering out to mostly white

— source democracynow.org | May 13, 2022

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Cheetahs in, Adivasis out

The poster was put up six months ago by the Forest Department of Madhya Pradesh acting on official orders from higher-ups. It has found its way into all the villages surrounding the Kuno National Park, where ‘Chintu Cheetah’, the friendly character in the poster, is planning to make his home.

Located on the western edge of Madhya Pradesh’s Sheopur district, Bagcha is a village of Sahariya Adivasis, who are ranked as a Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group (PVTG) in Madhya Pradesh with a literacy rate of 42 per cent. This village in Vijaypur block has a population of 556 people (Census 2011), who live in mostly mud and brick homes with stone slabs as roofing, surrounded by the national park (which is also referred to as Kuno Palpur) where the Kuno river flows.

— source ruralindiaonline.org | Apr 26, 2022

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Indigenous Resistance to Resource Colonization Worldwide

the fire started, I believe, Tuesday. We got the alert. It was really rapid, within like 15 minutes. There were like four — three or four evacuation notices that came out, just like literally in rapid fire. You would, like, call somebody to check, and then there’d be another street that was being evacuated because of the massive winds that were happening.

The firefighters are doing incredible to try to keep, you know, as many homes safe as possible, but there’s definitely been loss of homes and loss of property and loss of — just a lot of loss. You know, you hear stories about families who had a 1-year-old, and all they could grab on their way out the door was the child, you know, and so they’ve lost everything.

But this community really is incredible and helping everybody get together and stand together in it. On Tuesday, you know, I was out trying to help clear brush from places, especially with elders who had a hard time getting underneath their porches. But yeah, it’s pretty close. It’s moved a little bit further at the moment. But for about two days the sky was just full of smoke.

— source democracynow.org | Apr 22, 2022

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Over 530 Arrested in Historic Indigenous-Led Climate Protests in D.C.

This week over 530 climate activists were arrested during Indigenous-led civil disobedience actions in Washington, D.C., calling on President Joe Biden to declare a climate emergency and stop approving fossil fuel projects. Indigenous leaders have issued a series of demands, including the abolition of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, whose offices they occupied on Thursday for the first time since the 1970s. The protests come just weeks before the start of the critical U.N. climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, which President Biden and senior Cabinet members are expected to attend. “We’re not going anywhere,” says Siqiñiq Maupin, with Sovereign Iñupiat for a Living Arctic, who traveled from Alaska to D.C. and was among those arrested during the BIA occupation. “We do not have time for negotiations, for compromises. We need to take this serious and take action now.”

The BIA was created to erase Indigenous people. It has always been against us. And today, or yesterday, and every day, we demand that it be abolished. We do not need a blood quantum to say how Indigenous we are or to qualify that. We know our Indigenous ways to protect this land, this Earth, this water. And we understand that the Earth is unbalanced. And we do not have time for negotiations, for compromises. We need to take this serious and take action now.

— source democracynow.org | Oct 15, 2021

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