News and Events: Pope Francis apologizes to Canadian First Nations; Washington State launches MMIW alert and more

In this post:

  • Pope Francis apologizes to Canadian First Nations for residential schools
  • Washington States launches first-in-the-country statewide MMIR alerts
  • Webinar: Building Relations with the Plant Nation
  • Boarding School survivors tell their stories in new Healing Voices Video Project

Pope Francis apologizes to Canadian First Nations

Pope Francis has expressed his feelings of shame for the Catholic Church’s abuses of Indigenous children in Canada’s residential school system, according to multiple news sources. He promised to visit Canada as part of the healing process.

The pope was speaking at the Apostolic Palace in front of an audience consisting of delegates from Canada’s three largest Indigenous groups – the Metis, Inuit and First Nations communities – who had come to Rome to seek an apology and ensure that the Catholic church commits to repairing the damage. …

“I feel shame – sorrow and shame – for the role that a number of Catholics, particularly those with educational responsibilities, had in all these things that wounded you, in the abuses you suffered and in the lack of respect shown for your identity, your culture and even your spiritual values,” added the pope.

The Indian Express

Washington States launches ‘Missing Indigenous People’ alerts

Washington State has passed a new law that requires statewide alerts for missing Indigenous people, “similar to when a minor or vulnerable adult goes missing,” Indian Country Today reports.

On March 31, Gov. Jay Inslee signed the bill on the Tulalip Reservation in front of tribal leaders and community members, state leaders and others.

When activated, the first-of-its-kind alert will broadcast information about missing Indigenous people on electronic highway signs, through radio messages and across social media.

Indian Country Today

Webinar: Building Relations with the Plant Nation

The Lower Phalen Creek Project is hosting an upcoming webinar, “Building Relations with the Plant Nation” featuring traditional Dakota healer and spiritual leader, Galen Drapeau Jr. (Yankton Sioux Tribe) and his daughter, Native artist and owner of JD Creations, Jordan Marie Drapeau (Yankton Sioux Tribe)

  • When: Thursday, April 21st, 6:00-7:30 p.m.
  • Where: Zoom + Facebook Live

It’s an opportunity to learn what it means to be a good relative to our plant nations. Galen and Jordan will share traditional Dakota stories that highlight our relationships with plant relatives, teachings, and protocols around harvesting, and their own personal journeys in working with plants as food and medicine. The Lower Phalen Creek Project team will then discuss the complexities of harvesting in urban areas and how to work towards sustainability and environmental justice.

Galen and Jordan Drapeau are involved in the Tatanka Oyate Preservation Society (TOPS), which is archiving “all of our culture, medicines, songs, stories, ceremonies and anything that is relevant to our way of life for our future generations to come (7 generations).”

Boarding School survivors tell their stories in new Healing Voices Video Project

The National Native American Board School Healing Coalition (NABS) has launched a project to let Boarding school survivors share their journeys of survival and healing.

Click here for the first video. NABS has a YouTube Page, with other educational videos.

It is more important than ever that the world hears the truth from boarding school survivors. And we know that sharing these experiences can be part of healing for many people. That is why now is the time to share these journeys of survival and healing with the world.


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