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The postponed December meeting between Indigenous leaders, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Pope Francis to discuss the church’s role in Residential Schools will now take place this spring, the groups announced yesterday.

The originally planned Dec. 17-20 trip to Italy was cancelled due to the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant.

“The Holy Father is now scheduled to meet with individual Indigenous delegations the week of March 28, 2022,” Tuesday’s press release reads. “A final audience with all participants will take place on Friday, April 1, 2022.”

The meeting is meant to “foster meaningful encounters of dialogue and healing” for the Catholic Church’s role in its more than 100-year operation of Indian Residential Schools for  Indigenous, First Nations, Métis and Inuit youth in Canada.

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Jenna Kunze
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Jenna Kunze is a reporter for Native News Online and Tribal Business News. Her bylines have appeared in The Arctic Sounder, High Country News, Indian Country Today, Smithsonian Magazine and Anchorage Daily News. In 2020, she was one of 16 U.S. journalists selected by the Pulitzer Center to report on the effects of climate change in the Alaskan Arctic region. Prior to that, she served as lead reporter at the Chilkat Valley News in Haines, Alaska. Kunze is based in New York.