#BreakingNews WATCH Pope Francis LIVE in Northern Iqaluit Canada on his Penitential Pilgrimage with Indigenous
- The Holy Father makes his final stop on his pilgrimage of healing, reconciliation and hope in Iqaluit, Nunavut. He arrives on the ITA Air A330 following a 3 hour, 5 minute flight. He is transported from the back of the aircraft by ambulift and transferred to a waiting car.
- PRESS Play on the Video Below to Watch :
- The Holy Father will not travel in a FIAT during the Nunavut leg of the pilgrimage. He will travel in another similarly modest vehicle for the short visit.
- Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. (NTI) President, Aluki Kotierk
- Qikiqtani Inuit Association (QIA) Representative Levi Barnabus
- Commissioner of Nunavut (Eva Aariak)
- Nunavut Premier, P.J. Akeeagok
- Deputy Mayor Solomon Awa
- Northern Affairs Minister, The Honourable Dan Vandal
- Survivor Andre Tautu
- Survivor Salome Kangok
- The Holy Father will then travel with the motorcade to Nakasuk Elementary School, one of four elementary schools in Iqaluit. The outdoor public event will already be underway.
- For the public event in Iqaluit, it is anticipated that the Holy Father will speak in Spanish and there will be consecutive translation (out loud over the microphone) in Inuktitut. As the final stop for Pope Francis’ pilgrimage to Canada, he will hear and have the opportunity to better appreciate a language that itself was suppressed as a result of residential schools. Inuit language and cultural expression, both victims of the residential school system, will be prominently featured in the public program.
- Iqaluit is the capital and largest city in the territory of Nunavut, Canada. The inhabitants of Iqaluit are called Iqalummiut (singular, Iqalummiuq), -miuq (pl. -miut) being a common suffix in Inuit languages to designate the inhabitants of a place. In May 2021, the city had a population of 7,429 (5,000 in 2000).
- The landscape is icy for eight months of the year and snowdrifts can be seen on the permafrost and icebergs can be seen further out in Frobisher Bay if it is not completely frozen. The Canadian Shield is being eroded by melting and retreating glaciers. In summer, the ground is rocky and one can discover plains, plateaus and hills with very little vegetation.
- Iqaluit is on the border of two polar climate zones: arctic and subarctic. According to the Köppen classification, Iqaluit has a tundra climate. There is little vegetation. Lichens and mosses cover the ground throughout the summer. The vegetation is limited to tundra, due to the very long and cold winters. In January, the temperature occasionally drops below -35°C (-60°C with the wind factor from blizzards). The lowest temperature ever recorded in Iqaluit was -45.6°C on February 10, 1967.
- Snow is normally present from the beginning of October until the beginning of June, but never in large quantities (very often less than 5 cm). Summer is short, cool and wet, with temperatures sometimes exceeding 15°C, normally in July and August.
3:50 p.m. Arrival at Iqaluit International Airport and brief welcome
4:00 pm Inuit Cultural Performance Begins
In front of Nakasuk School (open to the public)
4:05 p.m. The Holy Father travels by motorcade to Nakasuk Elementary School
4:15 p.m. Private Meeting with Pope Francis and former Residential School students inside Nakasuk Elementary School
5:00 p.m. Pope Francis joins public event in Square outside of Nakasuk Elementary School
6:00 p.m. Pope Francis departs square, transfer by motorcade to Iqaluit
6:15 p.m. Farewell Ceremony
6:45 p.m. Holy Father departs by plane for Rome
On July 29, Inuit will welcome Pope Francis to Inuit Nunangat. Inuit are honoured that Mary Simon, the Governor General of Canada, will also participate in the day’s events.
At approximately 4:15 ET, Pope Francis will gather with Inuit survivors and intergenerational survivors of residential schools for an intimate encounter inside Nakasuk School. He will be greeted by the Governor General, as well as an elder and youth representative. President Kotierk will facilitate the gathering.
Pope Francis will share in the lighting of the qulliq in a gymnasium recreated with the warmth and comfort of an igloo. Four individuals will deliver personal testimonies on behalf of themselves and their families. The event will be witnessed by a number of survivors and leaders from across Inuit Nunangat.
Following the event, at approximately 5 pm, Pope Francis and survivors will proceed to the grounds in front of Nakasuk School to join a public cultural event. The public event begins at 4 pm with performers from across Inuit Nunangat. There will be a brief pause in the program as Pope Francis takes the stage. The stage will be set to suggest a qammaq, an Inuit summer home, reflecting traditional construction materials – whale ribs, sod, stone.
Cultural performers were chosen by Inuit partners to highlight Inuit traditions that were nearly lost during the residential schools era. The artists contributing to all aspects of the day’s events, including arrival and departure ceremonies, tell a cohesive story of resilience and strength through trauma, and the revitalization of cultural practices that are now actively taught and learned.
“Inuit invited Pope Francis to visit our homeland, and on July 29 we are welcoming him to our home, to the place we have inhabited since time immemorial. This is a meaningful visit for Inuit, who have experienced lasting pain and suffering, and who remain welcoming and open to the possibility for true reconciliation,” said ITK President Natan Obed.
MC Lisa Koperqualuk
Lisa Qiluqqi Koperqualuk is an Inuk from Puvirnituq, Nunavik. She is President of the Inuit Circumpolar Council Canada and a member of the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami Board of Directors.
Performers from Papal Program to play extended sets, providing broader history and cultural context for their works, and storytelling between songs.
Deantha Edmunds Ramsay’s songs for this portion of the show are Song of the River, and Life’s Song, from her new album.
Huqqullaaqatigit is a group of Ualinningmiut-style singers and dancers from Cambridge Bay. Together, they have 60 years of life experiences in learning of who they are.
Julia Ogina, leader of Huqqullaaqatigit, will speak on behalf of the performers. She will describe what has brought them all together today. Our songs were almost lost but they have a way of finding us because we are spiritual beings. This is what Inuit culture is. Cultural expression is healing. Our songs are an expression of our strength.
Julia invites her family to the stage. Julia, her daughter Trisha and grandaughters Makaia and Kaylie Havioyak sing a pisiq as three men, Jerry Puglik, Noah Kudlak and Malachai Angulalik Mala, drum dance, sharing one drum
Qiaqvaaq throat singers Mary Anautalik and Lois Suluk Locke. Mary is the last living elder relocated from Ennendai Lake and the last living Qiaqvaaq singer (an older form of throat singing) in Arviat. Lois, her student, is an actor, jaw harp player and a throat singer.
Kattajaq throat singers Akinisie Sivuarapik and Emily Sallualluk are sisters from Puvirnituq. They began throat singing at ages 6 and 8 respectively and were taught by their grandmother Mary Sivuarapik.
The four throat singers will take the stage together. Mary and Lois sing a qiaqvaaq throat song. Then Lois and Akinisie sing the Love Song. Sisters Akinisie and Emily continue to throat sing to round out the performance.
Deantha Edmunds Ramsay is an Inuit classical singer from Nunatsiavut. She will Saimartigut Jêsuse, an Inuttitut song of peace that is traditionally sung at Christmas and New Years. Elder Piita Irniq will drum dance with youth drum dancer Malachai Angulalik Mala. Piita will present his drum to Pope Francis.
Finally, following the address by Pope Francis, the choir of Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church will sing the Lord’s Prayer in Inuktitut.
Pope Francis speaks. Consecutive interpretation will be provided on stage in Inuktitut by Jeannie Arreak-Kullualik.
Father Daniel Perrault and the choir from Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church sing the Lord’s Prayer in Inuktitut. The choir includes Rhoda Ungalaq, Alex Korablin, Maricel Moralidad, Taiga Las, and Victor Roque Jr. with others.
FAREWELL CEREMONY (IQALUIT AIRPORT)
6:10 pm Pope is escorted to airport lounge
Courtesy call with Governor General and Whit Fraser
6:15 pm Singers Sandi Vincent, Mia Maurice, Laura Churchill, Minnie Akeeagok, Sylvia Cloutier and Alexia Galloway-Alainga will perform two songs.
Quviasuliqpunga is a traditional song from North Baffin. It honours a special time of year for Inuit, when the first two stars appear in the sky while it is still light out. It is a reminder that we are proud to be alive as there is another day to come.
Inuit Sivuniksangat speaks to the future of Inuit. It is an original song by Sylvia Cloutier and Celina Kalluk. Its lyrics say: I am young, I am proud, I come from a beautiful land and I come from very strong people.
6:20 pm Farewell party on tarmac
Canadian Rangers Guard of Honour
Her Excellency, The Right Honourable Mary Simon
NTI President Aluki Kotierk
Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK) President Natan Obed
Métis National Council (MNC) President Cassidy Caron
Assembly of First Nations (AFN) Regional Chief Gerald Antoine
Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC) Minister - Hon. Marc Miller
Commissioner of Nunavut, Eva Aariak
Nunavut Premier, P.J. Akeeagok
Survivor Uluta Ivalutanar
Survivor Chester Porter
Chief of Protocol of Canada, Stewart Wheeler
Representative of Canada to the Holy See, Paul Gibbard
Apostolic Nuncio to Canada, Archbishop Ivan Jurkovič
Archbishop of Quebec, Cardinal Gerald Lacroix
Archbishop of Toronto, Cardinal Thomas Collins
Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) President,
Msgr. Raymond Poisson
Papal Visit to Canada - General Visit Coordinator
Archbishop Richard Smith
6:26 pm Pope Francis is escorted past a salute by the Guard of Honour
6:35 pm Pope Francis boards aircraft
6:45 pm Departure from Canada
The qulliq is a small stone lamp fueled by seal oil and wick from arctic cotton. It is an important part of Inuit spirituality and is often used ceremonially to open an event with brief remarks from the qulliq lighter. But it is above all a practical tool used to heat a dwelling, make tea and cook food.
Inuit throat signing is an intimate acoustic performance by two women who stand close together and exchange short rhythmic patterns through inhalation and exhalation. The sounds mimic those heard in nature, and come from deep within the performers. This performance features two distinct styles of throat singing – katajjaq, which is more commonly performed, and qiaqvaak, which is rarely heard.
Drum dancing is a social activity common during community gatherings and celebrations. It is typically but not always performed by men. It has spiritual significance, important in ensuring successful hunts. Like many Inuit traditions, it was eradicated as Inuit became colonized and is experiencing a resurgence among youth who are learning from elders
These songs are often sung by elders. They are meaningful repetitions of Inuktut phrases and melodies uniquely owned and passed down through families.
The inspiration behind design of stage is a qammaq, a traditional summer house made of prepared skins and rocks, framed with ribs of a whale, and sometimes driftwood and tundra. An actual qammaq would be much smaller but the thematic significance of the qammaq is that it is a home.
An igloo or iglu is a traditional winter home made of snow blocks and warmed by the heat of the qulliq, creating a icy and impermeable inner layer The white of the ice and snow is tinged in yellow from the flickering qulliq flame.