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Pope Francis said he is "deeply sorry" to Indigenous communities for the actions of many within the Catholic Church and for its participation in the forced assimilation of Indigenous peoples and Canada's residential schools.

The 85-year-old was speaking at the site of Ermineskin Residential School in Maskwacis, Alberta, where he met with Indigenous leaders and residential school survivors on Monday.

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The U.S. has been following Canada's lead in searching for the bodies of Indigenous children at historic residential and boarding schools, and the newly-released results have turned out to be similarly horrifying.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has responded to Pope Francis' apology for "deplorable" abuse at residential schools in Canada and called it "a step forward."

Following remarks from the pope, the prime minister acknowledged the apology that was made for the Catholic Church's role in the abuse that happened in Canada's residential school system.

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This article contains graphic content that might not be suitable for some readers.

As many as 54 possible unmarked graves have been discovered on the grounds of two former residential schools by Keeseekoose First Nation in Saskatchewan.

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