The national chief of the Assembly of First Nations says the Pope’s willingness to return Indigenous artifacts stored at the Vatican Museum suggests the items will make their way home.
Chief RoseAnne Archibald says in a news release that it demonstrates another success on the journey with the head of the Roman Catholic Church.
Pope Francis said in a recent news conference that in cases where items can be returned, it is better to do so.
Indigenous curators and experts have said they have been unable to get access to the unknown number of objects in the Vatican’s possession.
Indigenous delegates who have travelled to Rome to meet with Francis last year toured the museum and requested the return of the items.
Archibald says it’s an important step after the Pope’s apology for the Catholic Church’s role in residential schools and the denunciation of the Doctrine of Discovery, which was used to legitimize the seizure of Indigenous land.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 1, 2023.
– With files from The Associated Press