Papal Primer: Pope Francis visits Iqaluit today

Things to watch for during Pope Francis’ visit to Nunavut’s capital Friday

Pope Francis, speaking at the Vatican in April, is scheduled to arrive in Iqaluit on Friday afternoon, the last day of his six-day trip to Canada. The head of the Roman Catholic Church calls the trip his “pilgrimage of penance” and apologized Monday for the abuses some church members committed against Indigenous children at Canada’s residential schools. (Screenshot courtesy of Salt and Light Media)

By Nunatsiaq News

Pope Francis is scheduled to arrive in Iqaluit on Friday at around 3 p.m.

It’s the final day of his six-day visit to Canada that began Sunday in Edmonton and moved to Quebec City on Wednesday. He calls it his “pilgrimage of penance.”

On Monday, Francis said he was “deeply sorry” for the abuse some members of the Roman Catholic Church committed while working in Canada’s residential school system.

On Wednesday, he called the federal policy to separate Indigenous children from their cultures, languages, families and communities a “deplorable system” and requested forgiveness.

As the leader of more than one billion Catholics around the world heads to Iqaluit, here’s what you need to know about the papal visit:

Pope Francis

Name: Jorge Mario Bergoglio; he took the name Francis when he became Pope
Age: 85
Born: Dec. 17, 1936
From: Buenos Aires, Argentina
2013: Elected Pope, takes name Francis

2: Popes who have visited Canada
2002: Last papal visit to Canada by John Paul II, who also visited in 1984 and 1987. His 1987 trip included a stop in Fort Simpson, NWT.

Aircraft — Francis has travelled aboard a blue ITA Airways (Italy’s state-owned airline) Airbus A300.

Popemobile and Fiat 500X — Iqalummiut shouldn’t expect to see the Popemobile — the white customized Jeep Wrangler with the bubble dome on the back — or the Fiat 500X compact car Francis has used to travel short distances. The Pope will use a “similarly modest vehicle” to travel from the Iqaluit airport to Nakasuk Elementary School, organizers say.

Pope Francis is scheduled to speak in Iqaluit Friday from a temporary stage in front of the Nakasuk Elementary School on the final day of his six-day visit to Canada. (Photo by Corey Larocque)

Schedule – Friday, July 29, 2022
(all times eastern)

  • 9 a.m., Quebec — Private meeting with the members of the Society of Jesus at Archbishop’s Residence, Quebec City, Quebec
  • 10:45 a.m. — Meeting with a delegation of Indigenous peoples from Eastern Canada, Archbishop’s Residence, Quebec City, Quebec
  • 12:45 p.m. — Departure of Pope Francis from Quebec City
  • 3:50 p.m. — Arrival of Pope Francis in Iqaluit
  • 4:15 p.m. — Private meeting with former residential school students at Nakasuk school
  • 5 p.m. — Public event in front of Nakasuk school
  • 6 p.m. — Community feast in front of Nakasuk school
  • 6:15 p.m. Farewell ceremony / departure of Pope Francis from Canada
  • Iqaluit weather forecast for Friday afternoon: 14 C and cloudy.





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(5) Comments:

  1. Posted by Observation Post on

    Wow… two hours in Iqaluit. The elites who plan these events really do show their barely veiled contempt for the classes below them and rarely ever learn a thing do they? Insulting.

  2. Posted by Thirsty on

    Awesome. Hope the food trucks will be there. Would love to listen to his holiness while enjoying a nice tasty burger. Food trucks where are you?

  3. Posted by Un be lievable on

    Have you all seen this: ?


    “What is Iqaluit?” It is the Capital of Nunavut, a Territory established in 1999 as the result of a land claim settlement between the Government of Nunavut. OK, you got close on that one.

    “Why is the Pope going there?” On his “Penitential Pilgrimage” the Pope is apologizing to the Indigenous Peoples of Canada, meaning: First Nations, Metis and INUIT. Iqaluit is the venue, because that works for His Holiness. I imagine that the Inuit might have preferred a different, likely Western Arctic, venue in view of the Catholic historical presence and events that occurred there. Hey, that would be the basis for a good article, now wouldn’t it?

    New questions: Who should a journalist consider as topmost in relevance when discussing the Pope’s visit to Iqaluit in an Indigenous or Canadian context : INUIT! And the Church perspective? Perhaps a Priest serving in the Western Region, or maybe some Inuit serving in lay-ministry roles there, what do you all think?

    The Parish priest in Iqaluit had a chance to advance the objectives of His Holiness here. He was clearly unable or unwilling to explain the real significance of this event. Does he think it is positive to report that “only a handful of his parishioners are Inuit” relevant to their % of population. Has he asked himself why that is, or what he should do about it? Studying the TRC could be a good start my friend. Here it is: Learn about the history of Nunavut and your responsibilities as a Nunavummiut.

    It is getting very clear as to why some non-Indigenous Catholic faithful do not display an understanding of their own history and the significance of the Pope’s apologies to the First Nations, Metis and Inuit of Canada. This Catholic Church publication has shown itself unable to explain the most basic significance of what is happening today in Iqaluit: an apology to Inuit, because…?

    ‘Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.’

    Un be lievable

    • Posted by iThink on

      “what do you all think? ”

      I think you are trying very hard to find something to be mad about.

      The article reads like a primer for an audience that has no clue who Inuit are or where Nunavut even is. That might be disappointing to you, but it’s not surprising given that this is an American publication.

  4. Posted by Name Withheld on

    He chooses Iqaluit likely due to the size of the airstrip?

    I personally would have chosen Chesterfield Inlet as that is where alot of Nunavumiut were sent. We are all different and people will choose for other reasons.

    I personally think there isn’t much to see in Iqaluit aside from the mountains. It’s like going into a city, where everyone is too busy to wave hi. No livelihood in the land. Alot of ravens, public drunkenness and smell of weed!!

    I’m overall ecstatic that I was able to see and hear him.

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