This has been a sorrowful and challenging time for our country.
Flags at half mast across this land do not even come close to honouring the horrific legacy of Residential Schools and the perpetual grief and mourning of all survivors and those who lost precious children throughout our history. We have known for a long time that there were children who suffered and perished in these schools. We have known for too long that this atrocity took place under the guidance and oversight of the Canadian government and the church. We have known, and we have ignored it. We have known, and we did not seek justice, or fully stand in solidarity with indigenous peoples and work for answers, truth and reconciliation.
We join with indigenous peoples across Turtle Island in sorrow for all who were lost and all who suffered in the Residential School system. Yet there is more that we can do. We pledge to put actions behind the words and prayers and to take our place in walking humbly with indigenous peoples and all who seek truth and reconciliation. This page contains information, resources, and special events that will help our congregations and participants to learn about the Residential School system, as well as the Doctrine of Discovery and how we can be a part of the healing. As new resources are found they will be uploaded here. You are also welcome to send us your recommendations to add in.
We pledge to dig into our own involvement with these things both here in Canada and in the United States in an effort to better understand history and our part in it. We encourage all congregations to examine the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action that apply to the church specifically and begin intentional work to respond to those Calls in the spirit of unity, solidarity, and hope. The Region of Canada will do the same.
Systemic racism runs rampant through all levels of our society. We are called as a church to be a people who stand with the oppressed, who work to dismantle systems of injustice, and who join together to bring about Christ’s vision of peace, justice, and wholeness for all…not just those who have power and privilege. We are grateful for those who are actively working as educators, advocates, representatives, and challengers to and for the church so that we might be better equipped to fight this good fight.
Let us live truly, faithfully, and intentionally into being the church we say we are! Let us honour the memories of those who have perished through acts of racism and hate by dedicating our lives to rooting out racism in our own systems and in our own lives. Let us honour the lives of those who are affected by the sin of racism by listening to their stories, witnessing their struggle, standing in solidarity with them, and using whatever privilege we may have to call on governments and institutions for change. Let us love one another truly and without division or excuse. Let us work together to shatter hate, fear, and oppression.
Learn about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation. Some of the first steps we can take as we humbly walk this path are to educate ourselves on the issues, listen to the stories, and seek to understand our history and current issues. We have highlighted some of the reports available online and encourage you to continue exploring, learning, and being part of the healing process.
Check in here for links to upcoming events across Canada that are being offered by our ecumenical and other partners. A reading list of articles and books is also included for you to access and to share with friends, family, and congregations. In addition, current courses and educational opportunities will be listed here to support your ongoing learning and engagement. If you know of upcoming events, courses, etc., please let us know so that we can update our list.