Pope Francis landed in Canada on Sunday (July 24) to kick off a five-day trip that will center around his apology on behalf of the Roman Catholic Church for the abuse that indigenous children endured at mostly church-run residential schools.
He touched down in Edmonton in the western province of Alberta, where he will visit a former residential school and meet with indigenous peoples on Monday (July 25). He is also visiting Quebec City and Iqaluit, the capital of the territory of Nunavut. He will depart on Friday (July 29).
The first full day of his Canadian tour will be dedicated to indigenous peoples and the apology, with a Mass to be held in Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium on Tuesday (July 26).
Between 1881 and 1996 more than 150,000 indigenous children were separated from their families and brought to residential schools. Many children were starved, beaten and sexually abused in a system that Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission called “cultural genocide.