Ontario English Catholic Teachers

Catholic teachers welcome papal apology; call for action to address residential school legacy


“Catholic teachers welcome Pope Francis’s apology for the Catholic Church’s role in Canada’s residential school system.

But this is only one step forward.

To further address the pain and trauma experienced by Survivors, their families, and Indigenous communities, the Association continues to call on Pope Francis to make a papal apology in Canada, directly to these groups.

As educators, it is our responsibility to listen, to learn, and to understand our own history, so that we may do justice, and seek justice, for the students we serve. As Catholic teachers, we acknowledge the devastation caused by Canada’s residential school system, and we strengthen our commitment to serve as allies in the continued struggle to end discrimination of all Indigenous peoples in Canada.

It has been seven years since the publication of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action, and the redress of the legacy of residential schools remains woefully incomplete.

The federal government must immediately implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. And we call on the provincial government to reinstate vital resources around Indigenous education.

To honour Survivors and victims we must have meaningful reconciliation with real, immediate, and dedicated truth and action.”

- Barb Dobrowolski, President of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association