TORONTO, JULY 13, 2022 – Salt + Light Media has completed a documentary on the historic meetings that took place at the Vatican in March and April 2022 between Pope Francis and delegations of Indigenous Peoples from Canada. The 59-minute documentary offers behind-the-scenes access to the experiences of representatives of the Assembly of First Nations, Métis National Council and Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, as they joined their communities and all Indigenous Peoples in receiving Pope Francis’ apology for the role Catholic leaders and representatives played in the abuses committed within Canada’s residential school system.
“The documentary captures the emotions from this year’s historical events and will help Canadians appreciate the broader story of the journey toward a meaningful reconciliation,” says Fr. Alan Fogarty, SJ, Executive Producer and CEO of Salt + Light Media. “Every Canadian and person of faith is called to participate in this journey – today, and well into the future. We know that by documenting and sharing these testimonies, especially leading up to the Pope’s Apostolic Journey to Canada, we can play a critical role in the healing process.”
Produced, directed and narrated by Pedro Guevara-Mann, the film features interviews with Wilton Littlechild, former Grand Chief of the Confederacy of Treaty Six First Nations and Member of Parliament; Natan Obed, President of the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami; Cassidy Caron, President of the Métis National Council; and other Indigenous delegates, as well as bishops from Canadian Catholic dioceses. It also contains footage from the meetings that took place at the Vatican this spring, as well as from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission process that preceded the encounter.
“Reconciliation is not a checkmark we put on a box,” says Pedro Guevara-Mann. “It’s an ongoing journey of relationship that requires hard work. I’m honoured to be part of this journey.”
The film is the first of a series of three documentaries Salt + Light Media has committed to produce on residential schools, Indigenous Peoples and faith, and the truth and reconciliation process. The second is in production and is expected to be completed by late fall of 2022.
The documentary will also be made available at no charge on Salt + Light Plus, the channel’s subscription based streaming service from Monday, July 18, at 7 p.m. ET. Salt + Light Plus is available online at slmedia.org/slplus or by downloading an app from the Roku and Amazon Fire TV stores. A French-subtitled version is being completed and will be released shortly.
Excerpts from the documentary:
“Truth and reconciliation is possible, but in order to get to reconciliation, we need to get to the truth, and some of the truth is Canada’s darkest history.” Sempulyan Stewart Gonzales
“What’s happening here is an opportunity for us as bishops to create a context where survivors, Indigenous peoples are able to speak directly to the pope of their experience, for him to be able to hear them and engage, but also to do this part of the walk together.” Archbishop Donald Bolen
“I wanted him to hear us, and he sure did. And he reflected that back to us, which was incredibly powerful. You know that he is personally committed to moving forward on these issues. And we don’t know how that’s going to look quite yet, but I know that he heard us.” Cassidy Caron
“Reconciliation can mean many things at many times, but it requires for non-Indigenous peoples and Indigenous peoples to both play a positive role within that constructive space.” Natan Obed
“Forgiveness is the hardest thing. The hardest. But I’ll tell you, it’s one of the most powerfulest things an individual could do.” Ted Quewezance
SOURCE Torchia Communications