Inuvialuit Statement on Papal Visit

Press Release

July 22, 2022 [Inuvik] – Inuvialuit Regional Corporation (IRC) has respectfully declined an invitation to participate in the Papal visit to Iqaluit on July 29, 2022, as it remains unclear if a formal apology will be made or not.

The Roman Catholic Church operated three (3) residential schools in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region (ISR). Inuvialuit continue to bear the burden of intergenerational trauma stemming from residential schools and will never forget these atrocities.

The Inuvialuit Regional Corporation recognizes the Papal visit, but 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).

IRC would also expect a commitment from the church to work closely with Inuvialuit and IRC on a real approach to reconciliation.

We understand that some Inuvialuit will attend the events as part of the Papal visit. While not participating itself, IRC wishes Inuvialuit survivors and families healing as they continue their journey.

In our absence, IRC invites the Holy See and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) to reflect upon their role in the colonization of Inuvialuit Nunangat.

For further reading, please see ITK’s Inuit Calls for Justice, Action in Private Encounter with Pope Francis here, https://www.itk.ca/inuit-call-for-justice-action-in-private-encounter-with-pope-francis/ .

For media inquiries, please contact Communications, Alexandrea Gordon at 867-678-5490 or [email protected]

About the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation

Established in 1984 to manage the settlement outlined in the Inuvialuit Final Agreement (IFA), Inuvialuit Regional Corporation (IRC) represents the collective interests of Inuvialuit in and beyond the Inuvialuit Settlement Region (ISR). The IRC works to continually improve the economic, social, and cultural well-being of the Inuvialuit through the implementation of the IFA and by all other available means.

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