Leaders from four First Nations in central Alberta say the Pope's upcoming visit can help the world understand the impacts and intergenerational trauma that the residential school system inflicted on Indigenous people.
Pope Francis is scheduled to visit the Maskwacis area south of Edmonton as part of his Canadian tour from July 24 to 29.
He is to meet with First Nations, Metis and Inuit groups while in Maskwacis and go to the former Ermineskin Indian Residential School site.
Chief Randy Ermineskin says the planned visit is triggering a lot of feelings and emotions in residential school survivors.
He adds that the community is working with mental health practitioners to provide support to survivors.
The Pope is expected to issue an apology during his visit to Maskwacis.