Dene Nation calls for wellness leave as delegates meet Pope

Dene National Chief Gerald Antoine wants northern employers to allow wellness leave as Indigenous delegates meet Pope Francis this week.

In a Monday evening news release, Chief Antoine said allowing leave as those meetings take place was important “as some survivors and families may require reflection and wellness supports.”

Inuit and Métis delegations held private audiences with the Pope at the Vatican on Monday. Antoine will lead a First Nations delegation in a similar meeting on Thursday.


Both in the meetings and in surrounding reporting, issues are being discussed related to generations-long trauma brought about by residential schools and the Catholic Church’s role in that system.

Indigenous leaders are seeking an apology from the Pope, delivered on Canadian soil.