Canadian Indigenous leaders to meet pope over school abuse

Native Canadian Phil Fontaine, national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, attends Pope Benedict XVI general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican, Wednesday April 29, 2009. (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito, File)

TORONTO — When an Assembly of First Nations delegation traveled to the Vatican in 2009 to meet with then-Pope Benedict XVI, the pontiff told them in a private meeting of his “personal anguish” over abuse suffered by Indigenous children in church-run boarding schools they were forced to attend in Canada.