Pope Francis has begged forgiveness for the “deplorable” abuses suffered by Indigenous Peoples in Canada’s residential schools.
He says he was “ashamed” and “indignant” at all they had endured.
Francis made the apology and vowed to visit Canada during an audience Friday with dozens of members of the Metis, Inuit and First Nations communities.
They came to Rome seeking a papal apology and a commitment for the Catholic Church to repair the damage.
More than 150,000 native children were forced to attend state-funding Christian schools in Canada between the 19th century and the 1970s.
The Canadian government has admitted that there were physical and sexual abuse at the schools and students were beat for speaking their native languages.
The Pope said he hopes to visit Canada in late July to deliver the apology in person.