|Archbishop James Weisgerber (centre), and his adopted brothers Tobasonakwut Kinew, Bert Fontaine, Phil Fontaine and Fred Kelly dance around the Thunderbird House after the ceremony. Mike Deal / Winnipeg Free Press|
Former Assembly of First Nations national chief Phil Fontaine realized that not all Catholics are painted with the same brush.
He told the Winnipeg Free Press, April 25, that it was only a select few Catholics that caused him harm while in a residential school.
"I tarred everyone with the same brush — I was wrong, simply wrong," former Assembly of First Nations national chief Fontaine told a gathering of reconciliation at Thunderbird House. "I apologize. I say that from my heart."Fontaine, brother Bert Fontaine, and elders Fred Kelly and Tobasonakwut Kinew made Archbishop James Weisgerber, Archdiocese of Winnipeg, their brother as part of a traditional ceromony of reconciliation.
"I’m honoured to be here — this is an historic event," said Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs Grand Chief Derek Nepinak, who served as witness to the adoption.Fontaine has been critical of the Church in regards to his dark experiences while attending residential schools. He said that his public reaction over the schools overshadowed the work done by good people.
"My words have also hurt a lot of people, my bitterness, my anger. I was indiscriminate in my words."