Truth & Reconciliation
The Anglican Church of Canada, along with the Presbyterian Church in Canada, the Roman Catholic Church, and the United Church of Canada were partners with the Government of Canada in running Indian Residential Schools. These schools, in policy and practice, were an assault on Indigenous families, culture, language and spiritual traditions, and great harm was done. We continue to acknowledge and regret our part in that legacy.
In response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 2015 Calls to Action, churches who participated in the Residential School system acknowledged and welcomed the specific calls to action offering direction to the churches in their continuing commitment to reconciliation.
As a national body, the Anglican Church of Canada has appointed Ms. Melanie Delva as its Reconciliation Animator to develop reconciliation as a spiritual practice built into who we are. Through the Anglican Healing Fund, the Church continues to financially support local, community-led healing projects that encourage and initiate programs that help heal, educate, and recover Indigenous language and culture.
Joining with the National Church and parishes throughout the country, Christ Church Cathedral also prioritizes its participation in a continued journey of reconciliation.
Responding as a Cathedral to the TRC’s Calls to Action
In consultation with Brander McDonald, the Diocesan Indigenous Justice Ministries Coordinator; Chief Robert Joseph and the team at Reconciliation Canada; as well as with indigenous members of the Musqueam, Squamish, and diverse urban indigenous communities of our city, our goal through 2019 is to focus on Call to Action number fifty-nine.
This Call to Action is addressed specifically to churches, to
“develop ongoing education strategies to ensure that congregations learn about their church’s role in colonization, the history and legacy of residential schools, and why apologies to former residential school students, their families, and communities were necessary.”
In the coming years, the Cathedral’s staff, council, and leadership will coordinate and deliver substantial education and formation on Call to Action fifty-nine. As the Cathedral Church of the Anglican Diocese of New Westminster, we will acknowledge the unceded Coast Salish territories on which we gather each Sunday and on every major liturgical feast.
The Cathedral has posted the Calls to Action at a major entrance for all to read. We will regularly include the acknowledgement of elders and chiefs in the Prayers of the People at daily and Sunday celebrations of Eucharist. We will endeavour to honour and live-into a life-long relationship of reconciliation with First Nations.