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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is calling on the Catholic Church to “step up” and take responsibility for its role in Canada’s residential school system. Trudeau said Friday that as a Catholic he is deeply disappointed by the position that the church has taken and he’s urging it to release records on the schools. He noted that he personally asked the Pope in 2017 to consider an apology for the institution’s part in the government-sponsored, church-run schools for Indigenous children that operated for more than 120 years. “We’re still seeing resistance from the church,” Trudeau said at a news conference. “Possibly from the church in Canada.” Last week, the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced that ground-penetrating radar had located what are believed to be the unmarked graves of 215 children at a former residential school in Kamloops, B.C. Some 150,000 First Nations, Métis and Inuit children were forcibly sent to residential schools, where many suffered abuse and even death. The discovery in Kamloops has sparked national outrage and grief, and has led to mounting calls for the federal government and church to investigate more potential school burial sites.

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