Resilience Montreal

Resilience Montreal: “An apology alone cannot mend lives forever changed”

“An estimated 400 to 500 Indigenous people are left homeless in Montreal each night, the vast majority of which have been impacted in some way by residential schools.”

On Tuesday night, Resilience Montreal issued a statement in response to the apology given by Pope Francis regarding the role of the Catholic Church in the residential school system. The statement begins by acknowledging “the multitude of feelings” experienced by Indigenous Canadians during this long-awaited papal atonement on Canadian soil, reflecting the mixed reactions to the apology documented across the country.

Many critics of the statement noted that Pope Francis said he was “sorry” on a personal level but didn’t apologize formally on behalf of the Catholic Church. Resilience, however, focused on the fact that the apology does nothing to help the many Indigenous Canadians who continue to suffer due to trauma and intergenerational trauma caused by the residential school system. They also noted that “for some, the visit has been painful and triggering.”

The statement included a note from Nakuset, the executive director of the Native Women’s Shelter and the director of development and philanthropy with Resilience Montreal.

“For over 20 years, I have worked tirelessly to support those affected by intergenerational trauma caused by residential school. After an apology, we need the community to come together in reconciliation to offer more resources, advocacy and justice.”


According to Resilience, “Indigenous people are 27 times more likely to experience homelessness than non-indigenous people, with an estimated 400 to 500 Indigenous people left homeless in Montreal each night. The vast majority of this population has been impacted in some way by residential schools, and often faces severe mental health issues and addiction. All the while, they are too often left behind by governments and community organizations that are supposed to support them.”

The statement ended with an appeal to the Catholic Church, as well as other denominations, to aid in the truth and reconciliation process by donating to organizations like Resilience Montreal, “which welcomes those deemed ‘too damaged’ to be granted not only opportunities to heal, but often even basic dignity.”

Resilience Montreal responds to the residential schools apology from the Pope

Free mental health support for survivors and those affected is available at the National Residential School Crisis Line: 1-866-925-4419.

For more on Resilience Montreal, please visit the organization’s website.

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