Mr. Kakfwi was the lead
in organizing visits to the NWT by Pope John Paul II
in 1984 and 1987. The first visit, which was supported
by all national Aboriginal organizations, was cancelled
due to weather. Determined and undeterred, Mr. Kakfwi
continued to push for Pope John Paul II to return and
complete his visit.
He was successful with
the Pope’s historic visit to Fort Simpson, NWT
in 1987 where the Pontiff apologized for the Catholic
Church’s role in the treatment of the Aboriginal
peoples in Canada.
The visit demonstrated
the strong spiritual foundation of the Dene, the attachment
of the Dene to the Catholic Church, and the influential
role which Pope John Paul II could play in raising the
international profile of Aboriginal rights.