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Consultation of Indigenous Languages, Issues Raised Before Pope Francis’ Visit

Stephanie Taylor and Kelly Geraldine Malone, Canadian Press

Published Tuesday, November 8, 2022 at 6:15 AM EST

Before Pope Francis arrived in Canada last July, federal officials expressed concern about the level of consultation with the indigenous communities that were to receive the Pope.

Briefing notes prepared for the Deputy Minister of Crown Indigenous Relations a month before the Pope’s arrival also show how much help the Catholic bishop translates his Spanish into Indigenous languages. This indicates that the authorities were concerned about

The briefing notes were obtained by The Canadian Press through a request for access to information.

Pope Francis, 85, visited Canada in July to apologize for the Catholic Church’s role in boarding schools.

Survivors had sought such apologies in the years leading up to the visits, including when indigenous leaders visited the Vatican in 2009 and last April.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission also cited an apology from His Holiness as one of the calls to action in its report examining the damage and legacy of boarding schools. Indigenous Canadian children were forced to attend government-funded, church-run institutions, where thousands were abused, neglected, and even died.

When the apology was finally made in July, it garnered mixed reactions. I felt that words were not enough.

However, the planning leading up to the visit raised some concerns.

A briefing document prepared ahead of a meeting with Papal Visit Coordinator Archbishop Richard Smith scheduled for mid-June will improve communication after federal officials recently planned a visit to Alberta. It indicates that you have expressed your need.

The state was home to the Muskwachis, a group of four First Nations south of Edmonton, and was to be the site of the Pope’s apology.

According to the documents, “a disconnect between the national, regional and local organizing committees has been revealed regarding the recent pre-tournament to Edmonton.”

“It was further emphasized that the Maskwacis and Lac Ste. Anne communities need to be more involved when a visit to their community occurs.

“In this regard, further outreach to Muskwatis was recommended, given the importance of this event in the overall papal visit.”

In a statement to the Canadian Press, a spokesman for the Pope’s visit said the Archbishop and others involved in the planning are working with community leaders and recognize that they are doing so under difficult circumstances. He said he was

Neil McCarthy said, “The very short window of just a few months to plan the Pope’s visit meant things moved very quickly and decisions had to be confirmed, and the traditional 18-month planning time was not enough. The advantage of the line meant that it was not possible at all.

“The Pope’s health restrictions meant the event was limited in time and scope.”

In addition to indigenous leaders, local churches and federal authorities also had to work with instructions from the Vatican. The Vatican decided that Francis’ visit to the community would last about an hour, although it had initially hoped it would be longer.

After his apology, Pope Francis visited Lac St. Anne, an important pilgrimage site for Indigenous peoples and Catholics northwest of Edmonton, to greet and cheer crowds of Nakota, Cree and Blackfoot.

One of the consequences of boarding schools was the destruction of indigenous languages ​​as children were forbidden to speak their mother tongue.

Prior to the visit, Ottawa officials considered the translation of Pope Francis’ words from Spanish into Indigenous languages ​​a must and a task that required a lot of planning.

“The risk of not interpreting some of the Pope’s speeches into the languages ​​of the indigenous peoples is that the Pope’s speeches, translated only into English and French for boarding school survivors and indigenous audiences, may not It is something that could be considered a separate act,” reads an internal document dated early June.

“Interpreting speech into indigenous languages ​​can be seen as a meaningful act of decolonization.”

In doing so, Ottawa will be able to “fulfill its various commitments to promote Indigenous languages, particularly the Indigenous Languages ​​Act,” citing legislation passed in 2019, it added. rice field.

The federal government ended up spending $2 million to hire indigenous language speakers to translate the Pope’s words for broadcast. The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Canada covered the cost of the services on site.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Canada, which organized the Pope’s visit, said the trip cost about $18.6 million.

The federal government has yet to announce the final cost of the visit, including security, but some departments have released details on pricing for some components.

In addition to translation services, Crown-Indigenous Relations said it spent about $32 million on transportation for survivors who wanted to attend the Pope’s events in person or host related activities in their own communities.

The ministry said an additional $3.6 million plus taxes were paid to production companies to broadcast the five-day trip.

Global Affairs Canada, the government department responsible for coordinating the visits of world leaders, was preparing to spend about $2 million, according to another document released through the Federal Access Act.

This report by the Canadian Press was first published on November 8, 2022.

Consultation of Indigenous Languages, Issues Raised Before Pope Francis’ Visit

Source link Consultation of Indigenous Languages, Issues Raised Before Pope Francis’ Visit

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