OTTAWA — The Metis National Council had gathered a delegation of representatives that will meet with the Pope in Vatican City at the end of the month.
President Cassidy Caron said, ”I am honoured to announce the members of the Métis National Council’s (MNC) official delegation that will travel to the Vatican for meetings with Pope Francis later this month. This delegation of survivors, Elders, youth and community members, will deliver a united message to the Pope on behalf of the Métis Nation. They will be accompanied by a secondary delegation of Elder helpers and family members, community leaders, and community-based wellness supports.”
The MNC’s official delegation to the Vatican will include:
- Cassidy Caron: President, Métis National Council
- Elder Angie Crerar: Survivor and President, Local 1990 Grande Prairie, Métis Nation of Alberta
- Elder Emilien Janvier: Survivors of the Île-á-la-Crosse Boarding School Steering Committee,
- Board Member Métis Nation–Saskatchewan Local 39, Elder to the Métis Nation–Saskatchewan
- Elder Antoinette Lafleur: Survivors of the Île-á-la-Crosse Boarding School Steering Committee
- Pixie Wells: President, Fraser Valley Métis Association, Métis Nation British Columbia and Advisor, Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak
- Gary Gagnon: Cultural Facilitator, Braided Journeys Program, Edmonton Catholic School District and Region 4 Vice President, Métis Nation of Alberta
- Mitchell Case: Community-based historian and educator and Region 4 Councillor, Métis Nation of Ontario
- Louise Simard: CAO, Métis National Council
The trip to the Vatican was delated last year due to a rise in COVID cases. It has since been rescheduled and will include representatives from Inuit and First Nations communities as well as leaders from the Assembly of First Nations.
In a statement the MNC says the delegation will share their experiences of lasting intergenerational trauma that residential schools inflicted upon the Métis Nation, as well as the need for the Church to provide reparations to the Métis Nation, including financial support for community-led healing and community rebuilding initiatives.
The delegation will also share the Métis Nation’s expectations for the Pope’s upcoming visit to Canada, which they say must include an apology to survivors and their families as called for in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action. “The significance of a papal apology on the very soil that residential school atrocities occurred cannot be stressed enough. It must be done here, in Canada, and in the spirit of reconciliation,” stated President Caron.