As news spreads that Pope Francis will make a stop in the Edmonton area on his July visit to Canada, response comes from Treaty 6 Grand Chief George Arcand as a voice welcoming the announcement. He said today:
"On behalf of the Confederacy of Treaty Six First Nations, I welcome the news from the Vatican announcing Pope Francis’ visit to Treaty 6 Territory during his trip to Canada between July 24 and 30, 2022. I thank the Survivors of Residential Schools who tirelessly advocated for Pope Francis’ visit to the lands now known as Canada.
I also want to acknowledge Chief Wilton Littlechild’s leadership - his unwavering commitment has been pivotal in seeking an official apology from Pope Francis and the Catholic Church.
There are numerous Residential School sites across the country that have been identified for the Pope’s week-long visit. I recognize the impact the Pope’s visit will have in Treaty 6, to the Survivors, their families and communities. My prayers are with the Survivors - it is my hope we are on a path to healing and that Survivors’ truths are validated with this historic visit to our Territories.
The Confederacy of Treaty Six First Nations is working with Archbishop Macdonald and The Holy See to plan Pope Francis’s visit to Treaty 6. I ask the People of Treaty 6 to be patient as we await further details. I look forward to meaningful dialogue with Pope Francis."