SASKATCHEWAN MÉTIS DELEGATION POSTPONES VATICAN VISIT DUE TO OMICRON COVID-19 VARIANT
December 7, 2021 – Following discussions with fellow delegates of the Métis National Council (MNC), the delegation of the Métis Nation–Saskatchewan (MN–S) has agreed to postpone the planned visit to the Vatican due to the increasing spread of the Omicron COVID-19 variant.
The MN–S delegation, including MN–S Vice-President Michelle LeClair, Elder Norman Fleury, and Ile-a-la-Crosse Boarding School survivor Anne Lafleur, was scheduled to travel to the Vatican for an audience with Pope Francis later this week. However, the MN–S, alongside fellow delegates and the Métis National Council (MNC), has chosen to prioritize the safety of Métis communities and Elders by refraining from travelling during another wave of COVID-19.
The MN–S remains committed to calling to account those responsible for the residential school system. We will be working with our partners to reschedule an audience with the Pope as soon as it is safe to deliver a strong message on behalf of our citizens conveying the experiences of the survivors and all those who never returned home from residential schools.
In July, the Métis Nation Government of Saskatchewan established a commission dedicated to addressing the harms sustained by Métis survivors of day, industrial and residential schools. For more information, please email [email protected].
A joint statement from the Métis National Council, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, and the Assembly of First Nations is on postponing the trip to the Vatican is here.