There’s mixed reaction among residential school survivors after the Pope agreed to visit Canada. While many survivors want the apology that they say is due to them, others are questioning the cost of the visit.
The Vatican said Oct. 27 that the Pope is willing to travel to Canada after an invitation from the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. This potentially sets the stage for a papal apology, although the Vatican has not indicated that an apology from the Pope would be guaranteed as part of a visit.
Michael Cheena spent eight years of his life at Bishop Horden Memorial School in Moose Factory Island, Ont. and Shingwuk Hall Residential School in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. He says he was surprised to hear about the announcement from the Vatican.
“I’m looking forward to seeing the Pope come to Canada to apologize to residential school survivors,” he told CTV News.
More than 150,000 children were forced to attend government- and church-run residential schools. The children were forbidden from practising their culture, and often subjected to physical, sexual and emotional abuse.
There were 139 schools in the system, which ran for over 150 years until 1996. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission estimates that approximately 4,100 to 6,000 children died amid abuse and neglect while in the residential school system.
The 58th call to action from the commission calls upon the Pope to issue an apology on Canadian soil for the Catholic Church’s role in the residential school system.
But other survivors, such as Shishigo Gowsh, are expressing concern about the cost of the visit. Papal visits have generally cost as much as $100 million, a large portion of which is paid for by taxpayers along with local Catholic churches.
“No, it’s not worth it. I don’t think so,” Gowsh told CTV News. “Why can’t he just do it like everybody else, through the television?
Many survivors would prefer the money to go towards healing, cultural and language efforts and to pay them compensation.
“I would love to see something where there’s actions rather than words, because that’s been happening too much,” residential school survivor Vivian Timmins told CTV News.
No timeline or itinerary has been announced for the papal visit, which some observers expect will take place sometime in 2022. A delegation of First Nations, Métis and Inuit leaders is also planning on travelling to Rome for a meeting with the Pope in December.
Designer Virgil Abloh remembered at Fashion Awards
Designers and celebrities paid tribute to Virgil Abloh at the Fashion Awards in London on Monday, where the late Louis Vuitton and Off-White creative force was honoured as a leader of change within the industry.
Abloh, the American-born son of Ghanaian immigrants, who became fashion’s highest-profile Black designer, died on Sunday https://www.reuters.com/lifestyle/louis-vuitton-designer-virgil-abloh-dies-2021-11-28 following a two-year battle with a rare form of cancer.
The 41-year-old, who also worked as a DJ and visual artist, had been menswear artistic director at luxury label Louis Vuitton since March 2018.
“Genius, disruptor … (he) will be missed tremendously by all,” veteran designer Tommy Hilfiger said on the red carpet. “He inspired designers as well as the public.”
Designer and television personality Tan France called Abloh “incredible and a visionary … (who) has done the most beautiful work.”
Abloh, who founded label Off-White, was known for mixing streetwear with high-end suits and gowns while at Vuitton. His influences included graffiti art and hip hop.
“Everyone here is going to be talking about Virgil, everyone here has been impacted by his brilliance,” actor Gabrielle Union said.
At the awards, where Abloh’s photo was projected on stage, the designer was among 15 individuals and brands named leaders of change for their actions in the past year helping the environment, people and creativity.
Others on the list included Balenciaga designer Demna Gvasalia, Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele, and Kim Jones, artistic director for Fendi womenswear and couture as well as menswear designer at Dior. Jones was also named designer of the year at the awards.
Michele also won the trailblazer award, while Hilfiger received the outstanding achievement award.
“I’m absolutely grateful, appreciative, humbled by it, but happy to be here and happy to still keep the business rolling,” Hilfiger, 70, said.
Demi Moore, Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Dua Lipa were among the celebrity guests attending the event, a fundraiser for British Fashion Council charities.
(Reporting by Hanna Rantala and Marie-Louise Gumuchian; Editing by Karishma Singh)
Bank of Canada to work with Indigenous groups on reconciliation
The Bank of Canada will work with Indigenous groups to understand the wounds caused by decades of discrimination and determine how reconciliation can create a more inclusive and prosperous economy for all, Governor Tiff Macklem said on Monday.
Macklem, opening a symposium on Indigenous economies, said Canadians could work to correct some of the consequences of those “ugly periods.”
Ottawa forcibly removed thousands of Indigenous children from their communities and put them in residential schools in an effort to strip them of their language and culture, a practice that continues to scar families and individuals.
“The Bank of Canada will be working with a broad spectrum of Indigenous groups to set out what reconciliation means for what we do,” Macklem said.
“Together, we’ll define what reconciliation means for the work of the Bank of Canada — toward a more inclusive and prosperous economy for everyone,” he said.
Canada‘s Truth and Reconciliation Commission called the residential school system “cultural genocide” in 2015, as it set out 94 “calls to action” to try to restore Canada‘s relationship with its Indigenous people, including economic reconciliation.
“We can’t go back and change what’s happened. But we can try to correct some of the consequences,” said Macklem, adding that it is the central bank’s job to create conditions for opportunity for all Canadians.
“Taking concrete steps toward economic reconciliation is our responsibility too. And it’s incumbent upon us to take the time to do this well,” said Macklem.
(Reporting by Julie Gordon in Ottawa; Editing by Dan Grebler)
Canada’s Trans Mountain still ‘days away’ from restarting pipeline
Canada‘s Trans Mountain said on Monday it was “still days away” from restarting the key oil pipeline at a reduced capacity as heavy rains continue to impede restoration efforts.
The pipeline, owned by the Canadian government, ships 300,000 barrels a day of crude and refined products from Alberta to the Pacific Coast. It was temporarily shut down as heavy rains and flooding caused widespread disruption in parts of British Columbia.
The operator said assessments of the impacts from the latest storm are being undertaken with a focus on the Coldwater and Coquihalla regions.
Work was interrupted at some sites on Sunday due to high water accumulation or lack of access, the company added.
The company on Friday had said it was working toward restarting the oil pipeline at a reduced capacity this week.
(Reporting by Rithika Krishna in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel and Krishna Chandra Eluri)
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