Column: Pope Benedict's 'apology' comes too late
"When Karen Chaboyer saw the news from the Vatican yesterday of Pope Benedict XVI expressing his "sorrow" over the long-term suffering and abuse of thousands of aboriginal Canadians in the residential schools run by the Roman Catholic Church, her first emotion was one of anger.

It was, in fact, her first and only emotion.

And it remains a constant.

"Why did the victim have to go to the offender to get his apology?" she asks. "Why did Phil Fontaine (Grand Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, and himself a residential school survivor) have to cross an ocean?

"Why did the Pope not come to us? We're here, not there. And here is where it happened."

For Chaboyer, "here" was St. Margaret's residential school in the Northern Ontario outpost of Fort Frances, all within view of Couchiching First Nations, where she and her nine brothers and two sisters were uprooted from their off-reserve home, a log cabin on Rice Bay, and tossed into an environment that had only one purpose.

And that, as history now willingly but belatedly accepts, was to kill the Indian in the child."

Get the Story:
Mark Bonokoski: Pope's apology too late (The Toronto Sun 4/30)

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Pope Benedict discusses Native residential schools (4/30)
Pope Benedict to discuss residential schools (4/29)