Phil Fontaine’s long fight for a papal apology

Front Burner

27-07-2022 • 23 mins


Decades ago Phil Fontaine helped open Canada's eyes to the horrors of the residential school system. And he's since spent years pushing for an apology from the top of the Catholic Church. Today he reflects on hearing Pope Francis say "sorry" for the second time. "My big issue right now is, what to do about this issue of moving beyond the apology," said Fontaine, who is a residential school survivor and served three terms as national chief of the Assembly of First Nations. Access to church records, how to handle unmarked graves and the return of Indigenous land are key issues for Fontaine. Also in this episode, Mabel Brown, a survivor who traveled from Inuvik, N.W.T., to see the Pope speak, shares what the apology means to her.