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Jul 25, 2023
It’s been one year since Pope Francis told the assembled crowd: “I am deeply sorry”
One year ago, Peyasu Wuttunee stood at a sacred fire in Maskwacis, Alta., next to residential school survivors and their family members.
He was there to offer support as people dried their tears with tissues, placed them in paper bags, and burned them.
It was a symbol of healing for some after they listened to Pope Francis speak at length about the lasting harms of residential schools for Indigenous people, and tell the assembled crowd: “I am deeply sorry.”
Wuttunee, the manager of Maskwacis counselling and support services, said there was a significant increase in people reaching out for mental-health resources in the two months after the Pope’s visit. It was something the organization prepared for, knowing many people would feel the impact of trauma resurfacing.