Youth representative for Fort Nelson First Nation selected to meet Pope

FORT NELSON, B.C. – A Fort Nelson First Nation representative has been chosen as one of 13 First Nation delega…

FORT NELSON, B.C. – A Fort Nelson First Nation representative has been chosen as one of 13 First Nation delegates from across the Country to travel to Vatican City to meet His Holiness Pope Francis next month.

Taylor Behn-Tsakoza of the Fort Nelson First Nation was chosen as a youth representative to attend this event with other delegates including elders and residential school survivors.

“Our gathering in December is the next step in completing TRC Call to Action #58,” said Regional Chief Yakeleya.

“And while the apology from His Holiness is so important, it’s also important to think about what happens in a post-apology world. That’s part of the reason we’re honoured to have two youth delegates. This gathering is an opportunity to shape the future for our children and their children.”

According to a release from the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), the delegates will travel to Rome on December 14th before meeting with the Holy Father on December 20th.

Behn-Tsakoza is of Eh Cho Dene and Dunne Zaa ancestry and while growing up in the North she has experienced and witnessed obstacles that those in rural and remote communities face, according to the British Columbia Assembly of First Nations (BCAFN) website.

A release from the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops states the event will be a significant milestone.

“The journey towards healing and reconciliation is a long one, but we believe this will be a significant milestone in the Catholic Church’s commitment to renewing, strengthening, and reconciling relationships with Indigenous Peoples across the land,” said CCCB President, the Most Rev. Raymond Poisson.

“With this delegation, we hope to walk together in a new way, to listen with humility, and to discern the next steps that the Church can take to support residential school survivors, their families, and their communities.”

Other delegates chosen are as follows:

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