Indian country responds to Pope Francis receiving headdress during ‘penitential pilgrimage’


Pope Francis received a traditional headdress from Chief Wilton Littlechild after he apologized for the Catholic Church’s role in Canada’s residential schools. Pope Francis wore the headdress briefly and did not speak while wearing it. This is the first public apology from the head of the Catholic Church.

“I am deeply sorry. Sorry for the way in which, unfortunately, many Christians supported the colonizing mentality of the powers that oppressed the indigenous people. I am sorry. I ask for forgiveness,” he said. said.

Many took their responses on social media to one of the most important and iconic Indigenous cultural honors, the gift of a headdress.

Joe Horse Capture, Vice President of Indigenous Collections of Native American History and Culture at the Autry Museum tweeted“I have so much to say about it, and it’s all negative. I practice the mantra ‘If you can’t say anything positive, don’t say anything at all.’ But I’ll be honest, it’s difficult! #WTF.

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Russ Diabo, Mohawk from Kahnawake, Indigenous policy analyst, editor and publisher of the First Nations Strategy Bulletin, said the Twitter“What we have witnessed today is the pageantry leading two easy statements from the Pope and putting a head covering on him, it is the Catholic Church and Canada working together to create a mythology for a common agenda of ‘reconciliation’ told by prominent federal aides/residential school survivors!”

An unknown Twitter profile named Nicoló said“Take this headdress from the head of the Holy Father.”

Rod Mickleburgh, former Chinese correspondent for The Globe and Mail, author of two award-winning books, said of the pope wearing a headdress“Cheers and applause from the crowd, as the pope receives a headdress.”

Pulitzer Prize for Drama finalist Kristina Wong said“This is a long overdue apology to the indigenous people, but did the pope really have to wear the full Indian headdress to do this?”

Great Christian Eagle said of the Pope’s visit“Disconnect. As an Indigenous person, I get triggered by all the news about the Pope. I saw someone give him a headdress and it made him so angry. A headdress is earned. The Pope is head of an organization that raped and murdered indigenous children.


About the Author: “Darren Thompson (Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe) is a journalist based in the Twin Cities in Minnesota, where he also contributes to Unicorn Riot, an alternative media publication. Thompson has reported on political unrest , Tribal Sovereignty, and Native Issues for the Native Peoples Television Network, Indian Country Today, Native News Online,, and Unicorn Riot. He has contributed to The New York Times, Washington Post, and Voice of America on a variety of issues Indigenous Peoples in International Conversation. holds a bachelor’s degree in criminology and legal studies from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.”

Contact: [email protected]

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