Alberta is seeing high demand for Pope Francis’ appearances in the Edmonton area, which start in less than a week.
The Pope is set to arrive in Edmonton on Sunday to a brief ceremony at the airport.
On Monday morning, he is scheduled to join survivors at the Ermineskin Indian Residential School in Maskwacis, Alta. The Pope will also visit Sacred Heart Church of the First Peoples, an Indigenous church in downtown Edmonton, on July 25.
Edmonton’s Indigenous church reopens for Pope’s visit next week
On July 26, an open-air mass is scheduled at Commonwealth Stadium at 10:15 a.m. Two blocks of free tickets have already been released for the mass, which were snapped up very quickly. The final block of tickets to the event are scheduled to be released online this Friday at 10:30 a.m. MT. The facility can hold about 65,000 people.
From Commonwealth, Francis will visit Lac Ste. Anne where a large pilgrimage takes place each year.
Pope visit to Lac Ste. Anne bringing up complex emotions
Officials with the Papal Visit to Canada say they continue to prioritize Indigenous participation at all events throughout the Papal visit. Tickets for the events have been made available to residential/day school survivors, Elders and knowledge keepers.
In a news release Monday morning, the Confederacy of Treaty 6 First Nations said it has heard from many survivors who hope to attend the events in person. Officials said they are doing their best to answer all of the requests they’ve received about the Papal visit.
“The uptake the last couple weeks has continued to increase. We have a lot of interest from people wanting to attend the events that are being planned here around Edmonton,” Grand Chief George Arcand Jr. said Monday.
“This event is for survivors, people who went to residential school.”
Unfortunately, the Confederacy said requests have overwhelmed administration and with limited resources, it has been challenging to deliver information to those living outside of Treaty 6 Territory.
“Confederacy of Treaty 6 is trying to accommodate as much of Treaty 6 people that want to be accommodated that are survivors,” Arcand Jr. said.
Pope’s visit to Lac Ste. Anne bringing up complex emotions
He said the Confederacy has had to bring in additional people to keep up with the calls and inquiries they’ve been receiving.
“There’s a lot of uncertainty at this point in time, but we’ve been able to work with the national organizations to try to create websites and contact people. And in fact, Maskwacis created their own site so that people can get on it and contact someone… Lac Ste. Anne has done the same thing,” he said.
Pizza delivery man hailed as hero after rescuing 2 kids, 3 teens from house fire
WHO declares highly-infectious Marburg virus outbreak in Ghana
“While we’re working on the logistics and making sure people have access, obviously people that aren’t privy to computers and privy to all the technology are going to have some challenges. But there’s always going to be an opportunity, particularly in Alberta, for people to call Confederacy of Treaty 6.”
New sod, more bathrooms and a police walkthrough, Lac Ste. Anne prepares for the Pope
Laryssa Waler, a spokesperson from the Papal Visit team, said they are working with multiple agencies and organizations to assist with the distribution of rickets to Indigenous participants at Maskwacis and Lac Ste. Anne.
“The mass at Commonwealth is open to Indigenous participants and the general public, but we are prioritizing Indigenous participation,” Waler said.
“Because the event at Maskwacis is a national event, we are also trying our best to ensure survivors from across the country can attend and are coordinating this with many organizations to ensure this happens.
“We are making every effort to accommodate the survivors, Elders, knowledge keepers, youth and leaders who wish to attend. We are also aware that there are capacity limits both at Maskwacis and Lac Ste. Anne, and that for many across the country it’s difficult to travel. For this reason, we are also investing in broadcast services so that the events can be made accessible for all to view in multiple languages and dialects.”
Supports available for residential school survivors traveling to papal visits
Arcand Jr. also wanted to clear up a few misconceptions about the Pope’s upcoming visit.
“People, I think, assume that they can just get in their vehicle and drive to any of the events. All of the events have been turned into a bit of a coordinated effort around parking, making sure that security issues are being dealt with.”
“The second one, of course, is that we have always made this event about the survivors — the Ermineskin, the Commonwealth and the Lac Ste. Anne event. So we have been really instrumental in working with the Ermineskin/Maskwacis people and working with the Lac Ste. Anne people to ensure that survivors who want to attend can be part of that.”
Arcand Jr. said they don’t have set numbers yet on how many people will be attending the events in Maskwacis and Lac Ste. Anne. He expects to have more details by the end of the week. At the end of the day, he said there are a number of people working very hard to ensure the Pope’s visit to Alberta is a success.
“We’re scrambling, but it’s a good scramble. It’s a good event. Obviously the Pope visiting and coming here to talk to the survivors is something we have been promoting. We know some people are not happy about the Pope’s visit, but we know a lot of people are. And so we’re working with all those people who still want to be part of the event.”
Security measures starting to ramp up in Edmonton ahead of Pope Francis’ visit
The Confederacy said survivors who want to register for any of the events should connect with their respective National Indigenous Organization (NIO), Catholic diocese traveling with Survivors, or regional AFN representatives.
If people are not sure who to contact at the above organizations, Indigenous Peoples can register for the Maskwacis event by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. To register a large group, email email@example.com.
Indigenous Peoples can register for the Lac Ste. Anne pilgrimage by emailing LSA@papalvisit.ca, LSA@visitepapale.ca or visit lacsteannepilgrimage.ca. To register a large group, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Indigenous Peoples can register for Commonwealth Stadium by emailing email@example.com. To register a large group, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
Source link : CNN