Guest Shot

A boy from the Wind River Indian Reservation is shown in his boarding school uniform in this photograph by Joseph Dixon, dated Oct. 11, 1913.

News last week of the pope’s visit to Canada came as a surprise. When he spoke, he offered an apology the size of a continent: “I humbly beg forgiveness for the evil committed by so many Christians against the Indigenous peoples,” he said, speaking in Spanish through an interpreter.

“I ask forgiveness, in particular, for the ways in which many members of the church and of religious communities cooperated, not least through their indifference, in projects of cultural destruction and forced assimilation ... which culminated in the system of residential schools.”

Casper author Tom Rea is the cofounder and editor of, a project of the Wyoming State Historical Society. Guest Shots are solely the opinion of their authors.

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