About one week from now, Indigenous and non-Indigenous people will be converging on Edmonton, Alberta for the Alberta Truth and Reconciliation Commission National Event, March 27 – 30. For this seventh and final TRC National Event, the theme, taken from the seven traditional teachings, is “wisdom.”
Anglicans -- Indigenous and non-Indigenous, from within the province and elsewhere -- are prayerfully and hopefully anticipating opportunities to share their experiences of residential school, and preparing to listen, learn and respond. Your prayers and those of many across our church and across Canada for strengthened and reconciliation are earnestly requested.
A delegation from Church House plus the bishops, clergy and people of the dioceses of Edmonton, Athabasca and Calgary will be present for the lighting of the Sacred Fire and opening procession, statement giving by residential school survivors, reflections from honorary witnesses and TRC Commissioners, an interfaith panel on reconciliation, church listening circles, educational and cultural activities, and a public Anglican expression of reconciliation (scheduled for Friday afternoon, March 28, 4 to 6pm Mountain time).
Our ecumenical partners will also be present – Evangelical Lutheran, Presbyterian, United, Catholic, Mennonite, Christian Reformed and other. The Canadian Council of Churches will make an expression of reconciliation, and KAIROS will facilitate a circle on “Pearls of Wisdom: Recovering Indigenous Women’s Honour” and convene other gatherings.
The Anglican expression of reconciliation will include a presentation of a 7’ x 2’ print, full-colour historical timeline of evolving relations between Indigenous peoples and the Anglican Church of Canada.
The vision for the timeline originated with Esther Wesley. An advisory group of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal former staff, Elders, and others provided input. A team of seven worked to produce it: John Bird and Esther (research and writing); Nancy Hurn and Laurel Parson (archival materials); Saskia Rowley (design); Janet Thomas (editing and proofing); and myself as project manager.
Historical sketches of Anglican-run residential schools in Alberta are available here -- http://www.anglican.ca/relationships/histories Scroll down and you’ll find histories for each of the schools listed below.
The schools were in the Diocese of Athabasca – St. Peter’s at Lesser Slave Lake; St. Andrew’s at Whitefish Lake, and St. John’s at Wabasca. They were also in the Diocese of Calgary – St. Paul’s on the Blood Reserve; St. Cyprian on the Peigan Reserve; St. Barnabus on the Sarcee Reserve; Old sun at Gleichen; and St. Dunstan’s Industrial School for older Sarcee boys in Calgary.
A program for the TRC National Event is available here - http://www.myrobust.com/websites/alberta/File/TRC-074.04%20ABNE%20program-final-noHW.pdf
Can’t come? The Alberta National Event will be livestreamed at www.trc.ca . Consider watching with others and discussing afterwards. Also watch the Anglican Journal http://www.anglicanjournal.com/ and Anglican web site http://www.anglican.ca/ for stories of the event.
Please share this update with your members of your parish and your networks. Then, let’s listen, learn, share, watch, and pray for the Spirit to work truth, healing and reconciliation in us!
Thank you. Henriette
Director, Public Witness for Social and Ecological Justice
Office of the Primate
Anglican Church of Canada
416 924 9199 ext 213