“We came to say that it was a genocide that happened”, says lawyer Alexis Wawanoloath

On the second day of Pope Francis' presence in Quebec, the Aboriginal communities still expect a lot from the sovereign pontiff and want actions that will go further than words.

“We came to say that it was a genocide that happened”, says lawyer Alexis Wawanoloath

On the second day of Pope Francis' presence in Quebec, the Aboriginal communities still expect a lot from the sovereign pontiff and want actions that will go further than words.

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"As an indigenous individual and activist for the rights of indigenous peoples, I find it interesting to hear the pope say 'I apologize in the name of the Church', simple words, words that would come from the heart, “said in an interview Thursday at LCN Me Alexis Wawanoloath, lawyer in the law of indigenous peoples.

According to him, the pope's speeches give the impression of having been "written by jurists" where the blame is placed on individuals or colonial policies, and not an apology from the clerical institution.

"All these fine words, we'll see if it's really worth anything depending on the actions that will be taken afterwards," he said.

The opening of the archives without any restriction, the return of the artefacts which are in the Ethnological Museum of the Vatican or the participation in the fund for the recovery of the indigenous populations are some actions listed by the lawyer to promote reconciliation.

“Governments have already made official apologies for this. [...] Governments have taken full and entire responsibility on themselves, so I expect that a little from the pope as well,” said Mr. Wawanoloath.

“We wanted to kill the Indian in the child, we came to say that it was a genocide that happened here”, he argued.

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