Pope’s July Iqaluit visit expected to bring excitement, healing

Pope Francis scheduled to visit Canada from July 24 to 30; Iqaluit one of three stops

Iqaluit will be one of three Canadian cities Pope Francis is scheduled to visit in July, the Vatican announced. The head of the Roman Catholic Church is coming to Canada to apologize for the church’s role in Canada’s residential school system. (File photo)

By David Lochead

News confirming Pope Francis will visit Iqaluit this summer was well received in the city Friday.

In an announcement, the Vatican said he will be in Canada from July 24 to 30, with stops in Iqaluit, Quebec City and Edmonton. Further details, such as how much time the aging pontiff will spend in Nunavut, were not released.

When Francis met with delegates of Inuit, Metis and First Nations at the Vatican in late March, he said then he hoped to be able to visit Canada.

Toward the end of that visit, on April 1, the Pope apologized for the role some Roman Catholic clergy played in abuses that occurred in the residential school system. It’s expected he will apologize again when he is in Canada.

A stop in Iqaluit by the Pope had been rumoured for weeks. The Vatican’s confirmation Friday came as good news to Iqaluit residents like Infiniti Legend, who will be able to experience the event for themselves.

“I think they’re going to be so excited when he comes in,” Legend said of the city’s reaction.

“I like the Pope coming up here,” said Saqiqtaq Levi Shoo, adding his brother attended a residential school.

Shoo said it will be good if the Pope apologizes in person – as is expected – for the role the Catholic Church played in the residential school system while he visits Nunavut.

The residential school system began in the 1880s as a method of removing Indigenous peoples in Canada from their identity, culture and language. Some schools remained open until the 1990s, including Kivalliq Hall in Rankin Inlet.

Since spring 2021, more than 1,800 unmarked graves have been found at residential schools. Calls have since come for the Catholic Church, which ran most of the residential schools, and other institutions to accept responsibility for their role.

Contacted by Nunatsiaq News on Friday morning, Iqaluit Mayor Kenny Bell said he was not yet familiar with the details of the visit.

In a statement Friday afternoon, Nunavut Premier P.J. Akeeagok said the territory will welcome the Pope’s visit.

“This visit is an important step towards reconciliation for Inuit who survived residential school and their families,” he said.

Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, whose president Natan Obed was one of the Inuit delegates at the Vatican, stated the organization welcomes the Pope for a visit “centered on truth, justice, healing, reconciliation and hope.”

Further details on the Pope’s visit, including the date of his Iqaluit stop and how long he will be in Nunavut, are expected to be released in the coming weeks, the Vatican press office stated.

This will be the fourth papal visit to Canada, with the first coming in 1984 by Pope John Paul II.

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(15) Comments:

  1. Posted by Northener on

    Yay that means we will get our roads repaired, or at least the ones he will be driving on.

      • Posted by En Route on

        Make sure to put signs directing the parade along the dirt roads!!!

        • Posted by Roadwarrior on

          Can’t believe after so many years they never pave anymore road other then the federal road going to the new all mighty airport.

          Mister Trudeau,fund’s need it for Road Repair Please,thanks you

  2. Posted by 867 on

    Hope he doesnt need to punch anyone out front the Northern heh

    • Posted by Beleiver on

      Imagine pope getting Harass by a crazy couple and Runing them over with the Pop Mobile ? Lol lock up all the crazy’s before they try to punch him or harass him lol

  3. Posted by Peter LeBlanc on

    Reconciliation is an interpretation of forgiveness that is conditional. Forgiveness without conditions is in Truth the Justice we all seek. The monetary conditions that if received will only be just if they benefit all of the people and not just some. Food and Forgiveness is the mandate of the Church to give and receive. Immediate food could be provided and Greenhouses and indoor growing could be funded by the Church to satisfy the food needs, if accepted for the Igaluit and Nunavit people. Deacon’82 Environment and Global Interdependence.

  4. Posted by papal infalability on

    Will the pope apologize for, and renounce, the concept of papal infalability?
    Will the pope apologize for and renounce the papal decree that Inuit and First Nations people have no souls, and hence have no right to property, and hence that Europeans are entitled to take whatever they want in North and South America?
    That’s the beginning of the apology I want to hear.
    Then he can apologize for the church indoctrinating people with the nonsense of virgin birth.
    I’m waiting, but I’m not holding my breath.

    • Posted by Back Taxes on

      I’m waiting for the church to pay 2000 years of back taxes, to everyone, and wave tax-free status forevermore.

    • Posted by Me Too on

      I’m waiting for him to tell “the faithfull” to give back the property they and their ancestors stole from First Nations and Inuit and Metis (maternal inheritence). Both the land and the resources taken from the land.

      • Posted by Stolen Goods on

        Yes, Canada has laws against possession of stolen goods. Time to enforce those laws.
        Stolen goods have to be returned to those from whom they were stolen, or to their heirs.
        It does not matter if you paid somone other than to legal owner. Such payments are meaningless, though you could try to get your money back by proving bad faith.

        • Posted by StolenButHoles on

          One Inuk Just Can’t Help To Ask Himself ?
          What Could They Have Stolen Way Back Then, From Us Eskimo ?
          Ice Cube & Blubbers ???? I Really Wonder ? There is the Question. Uhmm ?

      • Posted by Andre Bedard on

        My ancestor,My 7th great,great indian grand-ma’s tribe, During the Indians war,were all welcome,care for and protected by a Jesuit catholic priest,Cal: Father Jacques Marquette S.J. (June 1, 1637 – May 18, 1675) in the new France they all move in near the priest cabin,creating a parish,Town and became the First capital of Illinois USA. THANK’S YOU Pere Marquette for helping my ancestors.

        Later came the White man war, England vs France in 1754, then The American Revolutionary War for us independence in 1775 Supported by France and Spain,and then the American Civil War,Yankee & Southerner in 1861-1865
        Not to mention one of the sadness thing that happen in history of our tribe after all the war’s, the Indian Removal Act On May 28, 1830 forced relocation of thousands of Native Americans in what became known as the Trail of Tears.(Native American Removal from the Southeast)

  5. Posted by ChrisT on

    It’s going to be fun to see Kenny welcoming the Pope to Iqaluit after all the horrible things he said about Catholics during his campaign to tax places of worship.

    • Posted by HaillCeasar on

      I’m shure he will behave fine, he seems to be a nice gentlemen and our Honorable Mayor,but some one please tell him,not to pick up the Soap in the presence of the pope. All Haill kenny,.. Haill

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