Pope Benedict XVI has apologized to Canada's indigenous people for the "deplorable conduct" of the Roman Catholic Church who abused native Indian children.

"Given the sufferings that some indigenous children experienced in the Canadian Residential School system, the Holy Father expressed his sorrow at the anguish caused by the deplorable conduct of some members of the Church and he offered his sympathy and prayerful solidarity," the Vatican said on Wednesday.

The statement came after James Weisgerber, the Archbishop of Winnipeg, Manitoba met with Phil Fontaine, national chief of Canada's Assembly of First Nations.