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Manitoba Métis To Meet With Pope Francis

A Métis group from Manitoba was flying to Rome on Monday ahead of a meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican later this week.

The delegation from the Manitoba Métis Federation on Thursday will be the first to meet the head of the Roman Catholic Church since he apologized to Indigenous people for the previous conduct of church members involved in residential schools.

Recently, the Pope apologized at the Vatican early this month following a week of meetings with Métis, Inuit and First Nations delegates.

The Manitoba Métis Federation had a separate meeting organized with Francis.

Delegates include residential school survivors, elders and youth.

David Chartrand, the federation’s president, says many Métis are deeply connected to the church.

"Now that His Holiness has issued an apology to all Indigenous peoples, we can focus our meeting on the relationship between the Red River Métis and the Catholic Church — past, present, and future," Chartrand said in a news release Monday.

Some bishops will be accompanying the Manitoba Métis delegates to the Vatican.

"It is the desire of all the Bishops in Canada to move forward with reconciliation and to build strong relationships with Canada’s Indigenous Peoples," Richard Gagnon, Archbishop of Winnipeg, said in a news release.

"I want to say to you with all my heart: I am very sorry," Francis said at the last meeting with Indigenous Canadians. "And I join my brothers, the Canadian bishops, in asking your pardon."

In light of the spirit of reconciliation, Pope Francis is set to come to Canada, possibly during the summer.

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