Upon arrival in Québec City, Pope Francis visited La Citadelle, where he took part in private meetings. Pope Francis, as both a spiritual leader and head of state, also offered a public address.
Addressing authorities, diplomats and Indigenous in Québec, Pope Francis decries the "deplorable system" of historic residential schools in Canada, calling it a tragic example of 'cancel culture,' and calls for concretely "promoting the legitimate rights of the indigenous populations and to favour processes of healing and reconciliation between them and the non-indigenous people of the country."
"I express my deep shame and sorrow, and, together with the bishops of this country, I renew my request for forgiveness for the wrong done by so many Christians to the indigenous peoples. It is tragic when some believers, as happened in that period of history, conform themselves to the conventions of the world rather than to the Gospel."
The Christian faith, he recognized, has played an essential role in shaping the highest ideals of Canada, characterized by the desire to build a better country for all its people.
"At the same time," he continued, "it is necessary, in admitting our faults, to work together to accomplish a goal that I know all of you share: to promote the legitimate rights of the native populations and to favour processes of healing and reconciliation between them and the non-indigenous people of the country."