Canadian Governor General Simon: “Recovery is a journey, not a destination”

In this space we document the address given by the Pope to a meeting with the Governor General of Canada, Mary May Simon, officials, representatives of civil society and indigenous peoples and the diplomatic corps in Quebec.

Holy Father, welcome to Quebec City.

My husband, Wid, and I are proud to welcome you, connect with survivors, elders, leaders, guardians of knowledge, diplomats, dignitaries, former commissioners of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and onlookers from coast to coast.

I want to thank the First Nations who have lived in this area for thousands of years for welcoming me to the traditional and treaty land.

(in French)

No matter where you ask, whether here in the Citadel or anywhere else in Canada, you are on Aboriginal land. It is important to acknowledge this.

Holy Father, thank you for your visit to Canada, which you described as a “Pilgrimage of Penance”. We gather at this historic fort where stories are told and ideas are exchanged.

Your visit lets the world know that you and the Roman Catholic Church are joining us in our journey of reconciliation, healing, hope and renewal.

It started in Maskwacis where we found two facts. The first is the trauma and pain of survivors, the communities of people who have been affected for decades. Indigenous peoples are forced to live with policies that deprive them of their cultures, languages ​​and spiritual beliefs and practices. Survivors carry the trauma of their boarding school experience with them every day.

But these people, these survivors, cannot be defined. They are the parents who protect their children when no one else does. They are the advocates who fought and still fight for their languages ​​and cultures so that they can live on from generation to generation. They are artists who express their stories through their music, dance, culture and language.

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You are all proud. You are all strong.

Holy Father, you have come to listen, with an open heart and an open mind, some ready to forgive, others still living with hurt, but all ready to listen. All hope their healing journey continues.

(in French)

Tribes have shown the world – and continue to show us – that despite the challenges they face, they face them with dignity and great determination.

I recognize and appreciate what has been achieved through this week’s visit, what indigenous communities have achieved. Aboriginal people worked, waited and prayed for forgiveness on Aboriginal land in Canada.

You never give up. We must remember that it is because of their courage and perseverance that we are here today. Holy Father, your efforts are making Canada a stronger country.

(in Inuktitut)

You never give up. We must remember that it is because of their courage and perseverance that we are here today. Holy Father, your efforts are making Canada a stronger country

It is our shared duty to remember what happened in residential schools, to tell the stories of those who survived and those who never made it home, and to support and guide those who did.

Support in the form of mental health resources. Helping families discover the true fate of those who never came home.

…and guiding Indigenous peoples who need time and space to process what this visit means to them and what the next steps should be.

As you mentioned, this is an important step towards dialogue and action that leads to real reconciliation. We look forward to learning more about the Church’s future actions to continue this important work.

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On Monday you visited the First Peoples Church of the Sacred Heart in Edmonton. You said there that reconciliation is “grace to be sought.” I would like to add to this that reconciliation is a grace to be earned through continuous hard work and understanding.

This task is the responsibility of each of us. It is our sacred responsibility.

(French)

There is a time for everything. We are ready.

There has been an enormous shift in our thinking in Canada. In our nation’s history and consciousness, now is the time for reconciliation. As we address this issue and the future health and well-being of Indigenous communities, I believe each of us will promote healing.

Mamisagniq is “to heal” in Inuktitut. Steakhouse is a journey, not a destination. She needs time and it starts slowly, slowly and carefully. She follows her own path, which takes us forward, but also allows us to go in many other directions.

(in French)

Mamisagniq is “to heal” in Inuktitut. Steakhouse is a journey, not a destination. She needs time and it starts slowly, slowly and carefully. She follows her own path, which takes us forward, but also allows us to go in many other directions.

Ultimately, healing takes us beyond powerlessness, anger, or pain. It takes us beyond trauma.

It renews our mental, spiritual and physical health. I have experienced it.

I have experienced healing through art, community, kindness, generosity, language, culture and identity recovery.

Holy Father, I know that after you leave Canada, you will hear not only the struggles and pain of these communities, but also the pride they feel in being Indigenous, their resilience and how they contribute to Canada. and the world. Take these stories home, share them, and find ways to work together to reach and heal our communities.

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From what I have seen so far on this visit, I am very optimistic. Canada looks forward to working with the Holy See in harmony with many pressing global issues such as promoting peace and education, breaking down barriers, fighting poverty and disease, and restoring faith. Thanks for your effort.

I thank all Canadians for hearing and responding to the call for reconciliation.

(in French)

Thank you to all Canadians who have heeded the call for reconciliation.

(in Inuktitut)

I thank all Canadians who have heard the call for reconciliation and responded to it.

Holy Father, I wish you the best on your journey.

May the Creator bless us all.

(Vatican News – skr)

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