Continuing Reflection on Residential Schools and Reconciliation
The confirmation of unmarked graves at the various sites associated with former Indian Residential Schools has sparked more conversation about these schools, the generational trauma and reconciliation with Indigenous People.
The first two that were announced were run by the Roman Catholic Church and we have seen the outrage expressed toward the church. This week investigation began at the Mohawk Institute Residential School on the Six Nations near Brantford, Ontario. This school was run by the Anglican Church of Canada for about 140 years, one of the longest running schools in Ontario. While a preliminary research would indicate 3-50 deaths, there are gaps in the records and as we have seen, likely far more will be discovered. As well, given that the school relocated a few times, as well as used children as farm labour, the area that will need to be covered will be extensive.
While the Anglican Church has and is providing access to our general archives, more work in the area may be required. In light of this latest development, it is important to continue to grow in our understanding and to engage in these conversations, although they may be hard at times.
Additional resources to those I have shared before:
From the Anglican Church of Canada…..
Doctrine of Discovery; Stolen Land, Strong Hearts
This film is one of the responses of the Anglican Church’s Primate’s Commission on discovery reconciliation and justice. The purpose of this film is to respond to the calls to action by helping to provide education and insight into the racist foundations of many of our property and other laws still in existence to this day.
The Anglican Church of Canada – Reconciliation Toolkit – learn the history, resources for study and use, building relationships and practicing reconciliation
Anglican Church of Canada – Indigenous Ministries – provides links to information about the work of Archbishop Mark MacDonald and The Anglican Council of Indigenous People, including the Sacred Teaching Podcast and other resources as we move toward the creation of the self-determining Anglican Indigenous Church.
Additionally, First Nations Child and Family Caring Society has some great learning resources whether you are trying to talk to your children or trying to understand this for yourself. There are a series of books about “Spirit Bear” that put these complicated issues in terms children and all of us can better understand. One of the books not in print, but available for download as a PDF is “Spirit Bear’s Guide to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada Calls to Action”.