Inuvialuit Regional Corporation will not send a delegation to meet the Pope during his July 29 visit to Iqaluit, Nunavut, openly questioning the commitment of the Catholic Church to righting the wrongs committed to Indigenous and Inuit peoples of Turtle Island.

A July 22 press release explains the IRC’s stance on the visit, noting the church has yet to commit funding for rehabilitation of its victims and the IRC is respectfully declining the invite.

“The Roman Catholic Church operated three residential schools in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region,” reads the statement. “Inuvialuit continue to bear the burden of intergenerational trauma stemming from residential schools and will never forget these atrocities.

“Until there is a clear statement made by the Roman Catholic church committing to address past wrongs, IRC will withhold any involvement (while the church continues to withhold any settlement payments, despite promises made in the Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement.)”

In addition to committing funds for rehabilitation, the statement adds the IRC expects direct communication with the Catholic Church to collaborate on a “real approach to reconciliation.” In their absence, the IRC is inviting the Holy See and Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops to reflect on the Catholic Church’s role in colonization of Inuvialuit Nunangat.

Noting some Inuvialuit are travelling to see the Pope on their own, the statement added the IRC wishes those people the best in their healing journey.

Eric Bowling

Your source for all things happening in the Beaufort Delta. Eric jumped at the chance to write for the Inuvik Drum after cutting his teeth in Alberta. He enjoys long walks, loud music and strong coffee....

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  1. I laugh at some comments. Yet u r afraid to put your name. And I think I know what you r from your comments. A visit from the pope is nothing. R we supposed to bend down and be grateful he came? No let the richest pay the families for the trauma they have caused. Just as the government should pay.

    How many times has the catholic church paid already to victims of sexual assaults?

    And a road really!! Natives do not place value on little things like that.
    You might think we are nothing but we have natives in every profession.
    The families should receive something for what was done to the children. To this day people are suffering.
    They tried to hide what they did. Now it is coming out.

  2. Nazi leaders who fought in WW2 were prosecuted for war crimes they committed in the 1940s. I think the same should happen to all priests and nuns involved in the residential school system!!

  3. We had enough of apologies ! We need action…not words..The Iqaluit people are correct in doing this…

  4. I don’t think the IRC realizes how big the occasion is by having the Pope visit Iqaluit. The Pope is revered by all Christian faiths around the world, for him to come here is surprising to me. This is a BIG deal for him to come here, this isn’t a Prime Minister or President, this is the leader of the Catholic church. He has more power than anyone in this world and he is coming here to Iqaluit. Think about that before you snub your nose at this visit and maybe watch a few youtube vids to see the Pope and all the grandeur.

  5. Wrong target for compensation, quit the churches. Present governments are responsible for damages from past ones, the real instigators/planners of residential/assimilation schools programmes in Canada.

  6. Meanwhile Iqaluit never even had “streets” and literally made them just for the Queen’s visit ☠️

  7. Good for you IRC.
    Their whole religion is a hypocrisy, until they do what you ask of them but then, by admitting their wrong doings, they would then have to open the many other of cans of worms in their closet.