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Native American tribe adopts Canadian prelate

Catholic World News - April 16, 2012

Archbishop James Weisgerber of Winnipeg has been adopted by members of the Ojibway tribe in a ceremony intended to promote reconciliation between the Church and Canada’s First Nations (Native Americans).

Between 1884 and 1948, First Nations children were compelled by law to leave their homes and attend residential schools, many run by Catholic religious communities, in which physical and sexual abuse took place. The last residential school closed in 1996.

“I believe we have a very long way to go, but the road is worth traveling,” the prelate said. “As long as it takes to create the problem, it takes that long to heal it, and we’ve got to persevere.”

“In so many ways, our presence here has damaged the aboriginal people--their culture, their language, their communities--and they are the ones who are asking us for reconciliation,” he added.

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  • Posted by: spledant7672 - Apr. 17, 2012 12:30 AM ET USA

    Imagine the sex abuse scandal, add the sanctioned forcible removal of children from their families, and you have the beginnings of feelings about the residential school scandal. I live among its causalities. We have a long way to go but we have come father than I thought we would in my lifetime. It's the elders who are leading it. Former National Chief Phil Fontaine apologized during the adoption ceremony Saturday for blaming all Catholics for his treatment in residential schools. Glory to God.

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