Pope arrives in Canada ahead of expected apology to Indigenous groups
Pope Francis arrived in Canada on Sunday for what he called a "penitential pilgrimage" addressing the Catholic Church's role in the abuse of generations of Indigenous children at Canadian residential schools.
What he's saying: "This is a trip of penance. Let's say that is its spirit," the pope told reporters Sunday, per Reuters.
Details: Francis' papal plane arrived at the Edmonton International Airport in the western province of Alberta, where he was met by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Governor-General Mary Simon, The Canadian Press reports.
- They sat either side of the pontiff as a drum group from Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation performed a song.
The big picture: Hundreds of suspected unmarked graves have in recent months been discovered on the sites of children forced to "assimilate" into white society from the 19th to the late 20th centuries.
- The pope apologized publicly in April for abuses at the schools, which Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission has described as "cultural genocide."
What's next: A focal point of Francis' Canada trip is his expected apology to Indigenous peoples when he attends a former residential school on Monday.
- He's also due to visit Québec's capital and Iqaluit, the capital of the territory of Nunavut, later in the week before departing Friday.