The Metis National Council met with Pope Francis today.

The delegation of eight shared the stories of Metis experiences attending residential school.

“It was a powerful moment for our survivors to be able to share those truths with Pope Francis,” said President Cassidy Caron. “Each of those words are so meaningful, and each of those have so many actions that need to follow in order to move towards building a brighter, better, healthier, sustainable and prosperous, Metis Nation for our future generations, so that we can work to heal intergenerational trauma, and that this will never happen again.”

First Nations leaders and the Inuit are also at the Vatican to meet with the Pontiff, with the goal of inviting him to Canada to formally apologize for the Catholic Church’s involvement in residentials schools.

79-year-old Elder Antoinette LaFleur and her Ile a la Crosse community hope to take away from meeting with the Pope is to get recognition for the Ile a la Crosse Boarding School.

“The main thing that my people like where I come from, I’ve been struggling for years to try and recognize the Ile a la Crosse Boarding School.”

Caron explained that she invited the Pope to join the Metis on a healing journey.

“We know that reconciliation is a long journey, and it’s going to take commitment and action from so many people. It’s going to take action from Canadians, it’s going to take action from the government, it’s going to take action from churches, parishioners, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Catholic Church as a whole and the Pope. And there’s a role to play for everybody in our healing and in our reconciliation journey. And so today, we extended that invitation to the Pope, and to all of you to join us on our path for truth, reconciliation, healing and justice,” Caron said.

The Metis National Council will hold a general audience Friday with Pope Francis.

(Screenshot of Metis National Council President Cassidy Caron)