Several weeks ago, First Nations leaders travelled to Rome for an audience with Pope Benedict XVI, at which the Pope apologized perfunctorily for the damage done to native children during decades of physical and sexual abuse at Canada’s residential schools.
Speaking on behalf of the delegation, Phil Fontaine, the national leader of the Assembly of First Nations, graciously accepted the pontiff’s apology.
Unfortunately, he was far too forgiving.
The rampant abuse of children continued for almost a century, a continuation of the deliberate policy of genocide carried out by the New World’s European invaders. It was the ultimate step in a long tradition of cultural genocide against the legitimate owners of this great land and it was largely successful in its goal of destroying the aboriginal peoples.
And the Roman Catholic Church was not alone in perpetrating this horrendous aggression against defenceless children. The Protestant sects (as I recall, they were the Anglicans, the Baptists and the United Church) also particpated in this orgy of sustained abuse.
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