Enduring Commitment to Reconciliation
Recently the public has been learning more and more about the Indian Residential School system, including the many deaths that happened at the schools, the rediscovery of long-lost cemeteries and gravesites, and the loss or non-existence of good records. The graphic reminder that the Indian Residential Schools were were not only a tool of cultural genocide but a place of abuse and neglect, but places where children died and were buried far from home and family, then lost in the official records, has brought home the heartbreaking tragedy of the Indian Residential School policy and its consequences.
The United Church of Canada is fully committed to truth-finding and truth-telling in relation to the Indian Residential Schools. It demonstrated this commitment by fully participating in the Truth and Reconciliation hearings from its inception in 2008 to its conclusion in 2015, and in opening all its records and archives to researchers.
In 1998, The United Church of Canada apologized for its role in running about 14 of the more than 139 schools, fully contributed its financial share of settlement payments to survivors, and actively continues to work to find ways to support Indian Residential School Survivors and Indigenous communities. At its June 2021 General Meeting, the Pacific Mountain Regional Council, which is the council of The United Church of Canada that covers BC and Yukon, committed to raising $1 million to assist Indigenous communities accurately locate lost graveyards and establish a healing centre on the Alberni School site.
– Doug Goodwin
“The United Church of Canada is making funds available to support the work of Indigenous communities for the identification of unmarked graves.”
See and connect with the life of Indigenous Ministry in the Pacific Mountain Regional Council:
The pin in the photo was made by Beverly Brown