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The Longest Way Home

Antonio Denti | Vatican City State (Holy See)

Canadian Indigenous People at the Vatican, the historic day when Pope Francis told them 'I am sorry', referring to the role of the church in the abuse suffered for over a century by more than 150.000 indigenous children in the so-called residential schools. A terrible story, but also one of deep survival, strength and deliberate resilience of the Indigenous People who have become a stronger version of what the schools wanted to erase. And also the story of an attempt of reconciliation, with oneself and we the other, both on side of Indigenous People and of the church.

'The Longest Way Home' is a story of deep survival. Under Bernini's colonnade, built exactly while France and England were fighting for the colonial domination of Canada, history came to a moment of reckoning in April 2022. Pope Francis received a delegation of Canadian Indigenous People and apologized to them for the role of the church in the so-called residential schools, where children were separated from their parents, and made forget their culture, language and traditions. But the Indigenous at the Vatican were a proof that if violence can destroy a person it can also lead him to revolt and to find himself. So, the Indigenous under the colonnade - who decided to reconquer their identity and protect it like a flame in the wind - were a stronger, deliberate  version of  what the residential schools had wanted to erase. Proud in their traditional clothes, under Bernini's colonnade.

 

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