NATIONAL STATEMENT ON KAMLOOPS INDIAN RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL
The Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada profoundly grieves the recent revelation of the deaths of 215 indigenous children in Kamloops, B.C. Our heart goes out to their families, their home communities, and to all First Nations across Canada.
The residential school system remains a stain on Canada’s history. We acknowledge that our ancestors participated in this injustice, even through their silence and inaction. On behalf of our family of churches, I sincerely apologize for the sins of our ancestors and failure to protect these innocent children.
We acknowledge the blindness and institutionalized racism of our past and we are committed to work toward a better future. As a church, we own our sins of the past and repent of this failure—yes, even generations later—and commit to representing Jesus better now and in the future.
We pause, we remember, we search our hearts, and we promise to do better for all children. We will continue to pursue truth and reconciliation in keeping with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission calls to action.
Come, Lord Jesus.
Rev. Dr. David Hearn
The Alliance Canada
CIRCLES FOR RECONCILIATION
WHAT'S IT ALL ABOUT?
The aim of Circles For Reconciliation is to establish trusting, meaningful relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples as part of the 94 Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
The means to achieve this is the creation of small gatherings of an equal number of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in discussion circles.
Each group of ten participants, led by two trained facilitators meets weekly or biweekly for ten gatherings 75 minutes in length. These ten meetings allow for the beginnings of respectful relationships, which the TRC stresses is the basis of reconciliation. The participants sit in a circle, providing greater opportunities for consensus and being respectful of traditional Indigenous values and customs. Themes for each Circle continue to be developed and, where necessary, are being adapted to different Indigenous customs and practices across Canada.
There is no cost for individuals to participate, only a common interest in working toward truth and reconciliation and equality of opportunity for Indigenous people.
Consider joining a circle in your area! Click here.
RECOMMENDED READING LIST
TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION PRAYER GUIDE
This learning and prayer guide has been developed to help raise awareness for the impact of residential schools on Aboriginal Peoples in Canada, and to offer the opportunity for intentional prayer as you are guided through the TRC’s Calls to Action and additional relevant information and resources. Let this expression of faith and hope in action renew our hearts and minds so that by the Spirit of our Creator God, we may honour one another as image-bearers and be reconciled.
A rich document called Honouring the Truth, Reconciling for the Future: Summary of the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) deepens our understanding of some of the heart cries of Canada’s Aboriginal population. Aboriginal history is exceptionally complex and cannot be summarized in a few pages. The T&R Commission has done an excellent job of contextualizing the 94 Calls to Actions in their final report.
We encourage you to visit the TRC website and read through the Executive Summary to understand the context of each call to action.
**DOWNLOAD THE FULL PRAYER GUIDE BELOW**