Confederacy of Treaty 6 First Nations overwhelmed by those looking to attend Papal visit

Preparations continue in Alberta for Pope Francis’ Canadian tour, with leaders hoping the public will keep the focus on the purpose of his visit.

With the Pope due to arrive in Canada on July 24, the Confederacy of Treaty 6 First Nations is finding itself overwhelmed trying to answer requests and support survivors who are looking to attend any of the gatherings in-person.

“We hope that people will continue to support the Survivors and understand that the pope is coming here to apologize.” Treaty 6 Grand Chief George Arcand Jr. said in an interview with CityNews Monday, saying the Pope’s apology on First Nations land is “a beginning, it’s a start for us to begin some reconciliation and build a new path we need to build.”

“Survivors wishing to register for these events should connect to their respective National Indigenous Organization (NIO), Catholic diocese traveling with Survivors, or regional AFN representatives,” the Confederacy of Treaty 6 First Nations said in a statement Monday.

Those wanting to attend the event at Maskwacis residential school on July 25 can also contact to register.

For the event at Lac Ste Anne pilgrimage on July 26, people can visit the Lac Ste Anne pilgrimage website to register.

Meanwhile, those wanting to go to the event at Commonwealth Stadium on July 26 can also contact to register.

The Confederacy of Treaty 6 First Nations adds continued support will be given to survivors who still need assistance registering.


Support will also be provided by the federal government during the papal visit.

“Indigenous mental wellness workers and cultural support providers will be made available on-site to residential school Survivors, their families, and communities – including Traditional Healers, Elders, and other mental wellness supports,” the Confederacy of Treaty 6 First Nations added.

Supports available as listed by the Confederacy of Treaty 6 First Nations include:

  • The Hope for Wellness Help Line (available by phone at 1-855-242-3310 or online);
  • The National Residential School Crisis Line (available 24/7 at 1-866-925-4419);
  • The Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Crisis Line (available 24/7 at 1-844-413-6649);
  • The Indian Residential Schools Resolution Health Support Program.

-With files from Carly Robinson

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