Anglican Leader Visits Survivors of Canadian Residential Schools

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PRINCE ALBERT, Saskatchewan — The leader of the Anglican Church told a gathering of Canadian residential school survivors on Saturday that he was sorry for the church’s role in the “terrible crime” that was committed.

Archbishop Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury visited the James Smith Cree Nation and heard stories shared by residential school survivors.

“It was the church that allowed it,” Welby said. “Build hell and put children in it and staff it. I’m more sorry than I could ever, ever begin to express.

On Sunday, Welby will attend an Aboriginal gathering in Prince Albert where he will meet with Aboriginal leaders and other residential school survivors.

The Anglican Church says it ran about three dozen boarding schools in Canada between 1820 and 1969.

In 1993, the Anglican Church of Canada apologized for running residential schools.

An estimated 150,000 Indigenous children were forced to attend residential schools in Canada.

In April, Pope Francis apologized to Indigenous peoples for the deplorable conduct of Church members involved in residential schools following meetings with Métis, Inuit and First Nations delegates at the Vatican.

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