Indigenous Peoples

Indigenous Delegation: 17-20 December 2021 (Vatican City)

Click for more information about the postponement of the Indigenous Delegation: CCCB Media Release

Over the past year, a national conversation on the tragic history of residential schools in Canada has unfolded throughout our country.

The Catholic Bishops of Canada are profoundly saddened by the residential school legacy and remain fully committed to working with Indigenous Peoples and communities across the country to support healing and reconciliation.  We also sorrowfully acknowledge the historical and ongoing trauma and the legacy of suffering and challenges faced by Indigenous Peoples that continue to this day.

These pages will provide an update on the latest initiatives as we walk together toward healing and reconciliation. In particular we have assembled a number of resources related to the December 2021 Delegation to Rome. This encounter with the Holy Father will include Indigenous survivors, Elders, knowledge keepers and youth meeting with Pope Francis.

This space will provide updates regarding the delegation in addition to providing relevant information for educational and spiritual resources, assist the media in their coverage and inform anyone interested in learning more about the ongoing journey to healing and reconciliation.


About the Delegation

The delegation has been planned through ongoing dialogue with the Assembly of First Nations, Métis, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, and other Indigenous partners. The Vatican has confirmed that the Holy Father will participate in private meetings with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis delegates respectively to hear their personal stories of the lasting legacy of residential schools. Delegates will also have the opportunity to speak with the Holy Father about their hopes and expectations for his eventual pilgrimage to Canada.

In addition to this group of delegates, several other Indigenous people have been invited to participate in the journey, including for a final audience with the Holy Father. Centred around the principles of mutual trust, respect, and a shared desire to move forward for a more hopeful future, the Canadian Bishops and Indigenous Partners have agreed upon the theme, “Indigenous Peoples and the Church: Walking Together Toward Healing and Reconciliation”.

Collectively, the delegation includes participants from across the country, representing multiple faith and linguistic backgrounds. Every delegate brings their own perspective on the history of colonialism and residential schools.


Advent Video Series on Healing and Reconciliation

Resources for Parishes and the Faithful

Resources for Journalists

Educational Resources