Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

July 27, 2022

Song of Anguish and Pain of Pope's Presence Mislabeled by Media

Photo by Gavin John for Global News


Singer says impromptu song at Maskwacis papal apology being mistaken for ‘O Canada’

Si Pih Ko’s song is being shared and resonating with people worldwide, she said it is being mistaken for the wrong tune, Karen Bartko at Global News reports.

“It wasn’t O Canada. It’s our village in our language of the Four Winds,” Si Pih Ko said to Global News at the Lac Ste. Anne pilgrimage.

“‘You are hereby served the spoken law, we the daughters of the great spirit and our tribal sovereign members can not be forced into law or treaty that is now the great law. We have appointed chiefs on our territories, convern yourselves accordingly,’ and then I turned my back on him and said ‘hiy hiy’ and I shook it off.”

She said it pained her to see First Nations leaders on the stage with Pope Francis in Maskwacis.

Read the full article at Global News:

Sipihko, A Cree woman, weeps after she sings a song in Cree to Pope Francis at Maskwacis on July 25, 2022. Pope Francis formally apologized on Monday for the ways in which members of the Catholic Church participated in a system of cultural destruction and forced assimilation of Indigenous peoples, calling the effects of residential-school policies “catastrophic.”⁠

After Pope Francis was presented with an honourary headdress, Sipihko came from the crowd singing a song to the tune of the national anthem in her native tongue, a language that was forbidden to speak in the residential school system. ⁠

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