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MASKWACIS, Alberta, Canada — Mavis LongJohn sat with her sister at the top of the arbor bleachers where just moments earlier Pope Francis had offered apologies for the Catholic Church’s role in Canada’s residential school system.

The crowd was dispersing quickly as the Pope’s helicopter disappeared into the overcast sky on its way back to Edmonton.

LongJohn had traveled from Sturgeon Lake First Nation in Saskatchewan to Maskwacis First Nation as part of her own healing journey. She went to the St. Michael’s Indian Residential School in Duck Lake, Saskatchewan, and she carries not only her own story but those of her parents and her late sister.

“I cried,” she told ICT about hearing the Pope’s apology. “I was looking down on the ground because my deceased parents were residential school survivors as well. I had an older sister who passed away in 1996, who is not able to hear what the pope has said. My mom passed away two weeks ago — she was 91 — and she was unable to experience this event, but hopefully she is looking down from the spirit world.”

​​The Pope’s apology drew applause from the thousands of people gathered Monday at Maskwacis on the site of the former Ermineskin Indian Residential School, but it also drew tears among many in the crowd. READ MOREMiles Morriseau, ICT

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More people across Indian Country are sharing their stories of the late Tim Giago.

“Tim was a media visionary,” wrote Avis Little Eagle of the Teton Times on Facebook.

Giago died July 24, 2022, at the age of 88 in Rapid City, South Dakota. His Oglala Lakota name was Nanwica Kcjii which translates to He Stands up for Them or The Defender. He was born on July 12, 1934. Doris Giago, his former wife, said he had cancer and complications related to diabetes. His wife Jackie Giago didn’t want to talk.

The Oglala Lakota journalist, ICT founder and co-founder of the Native American Journalists Association left a legacy that will carry on for generations of Indigenous journalists to come. READ MORE ICT

EDMONTON, Alberta — Pope Francis arrived for his first big Mass in Canada on Tuesday to honor grandparents, a day after he apologized for the Catholic Church’s role in severing generations of Indigenous family ties by participating in Canada’s “disastrous” residential school system.

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Tens of thousands of people in attendance at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, Alberta, cheered as Francis entered and looped around the field in his popemobile, stopping occasionally to kiss babies. Accompanying him was a steady beat from Indigenous hand drummers.

Phil Fontaine, former chief of the Assembly of First Nations and a residential school survivor, urged the crowd to forgive in remarks delivered before Francis' arrival: “We will never achieve healing and reconciliation without forgiveness,” he said. “We will never forget, but we must forgive.”

It wasn’t clear if Francis would actually celebrate the Mass himself or designate someone else to lead while he presides sitting from the side of the altar, as he has done in recent months because strained knee ligaments make standing and walking difficult. Either way, Francis was expected to deliver the homily. READ MOREAssociated Press

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TAOS PUEBLO – Coral Dawn Bernal wrote on anything.

Her handwriting is found on empty cigarette packs, receipts, loose paper and dozens of notebooks filled front and back with her poetry.

Bernal’s family said they’ve discovered more than 800 poems she wrote in her brief life, cut short in part by debilitating medical issues.

Her words are now painted on the front of a home that will soon host artists and anyone from Taos Pueblo who want a place to stay while they visit or work at the brand new Coral Dawn and Paul J. Bernal Center for Arts & Literature.

Her father, Caprio Bernal, described her name.

“She’s from the Pacific Northwest and Taos Pueblo,” he said. “When I met my wife, we had a beautiful little girl named Coral, and we named her Coral Dawn because of coming from the Pacific Northwest and being born in the dawn.” READ MORE Source NM

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  • Papal Visit: Apology at last in Canada: Pope Francis tells thousands gathered at Maskwacis he is sorry but the question remains: 'What's next?’
  • ‘Don’t be afraid to stand up,’ the legacy of Tim Giago: The Oglala Lakota journalist ‘has been a champion of free press in Indigenous communities his entire career and faced challenges, threats and political pressure, but always pushed to bring essential news and information to the people’
  • MMIP: Beyond the reservation: In Portland, home to one of the country’s largest urban Indigenous populations, the city’s tribal relations director is spearheading efforts to tackle the problem
  • Alaska homeless camp out in tent city: Alaska Natives make up nearly 16 percent of Anchorage’s population and almost half of people living in the state’s largest city without housing are Native
  • 'We don't want more food stamps, we just want our way of life.' Low chum numbers disrupt Yukon River residents' lifestyles
  • Native American tribe attempts to restore populations of crucial fish
  • The Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah hope to preserve their heritage by saving their language
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