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Prince of Wales pledges to listen and learn over abuse at church-run schools in Canada

by Alex Collett

The Prince of Wales has paid his respects to the thousands of indigenous children abused in residential schools in Canada, some of which were run by the Catholic and Anglican churches. 

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall have begun a three day tour of Canada by meeting the PM Justin Trudeau.

Speaking during his tour of the country he said: "We must find new ways to come to terms with the darker and more difficult aspects of the past.

"It is a process that starts with listening. I have greatly appreciated the opportunity to discuss with the governor general the vital process of reconciliation in this country - not a one-off act, of course, but an ongoing commitment to healing, respect and understanding.

"I know that our visit here this week comes at an important moment - with indigenous and non-indigenous peoples across Canada committing to reflect honestly and openly on the past and to forge a new relationship for the future."

Hundreds of human remains were found last year, in unmarked graves at former church run schools.

From 19th century until the 1970s, more than 150,000 indigenous children were forced to attend state-funded Christian boarding schools in an effort to assimilate them into Canadian society. 

Children in their thousands died of causes and diseases.

The Canadian government hasacknowledged the physical and sexual abuse that took place.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Most Rev Justin Welby recently apologised for the church's involvement and the Pope is due to follow suit when he visits the country this summer.

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