Truth, Reconciliation, & Indigenous Ministry
To redress the legacy of residential schools and advance reconciliation, in its final report the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada called on governments, educational and religious institutions, civil society groups, and all Canadians to act on the 94 Calls to Action it identified.
Our diocese seeks to live into the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action and confront how the Anglican Church of Canada has embodied colonial attitudes.
In our diocese, we are grateful for The Venerable Valerie Kerr, Archdeacon for Truth, Reconciliation, and Indigenous Ministry. Archdeacon Val is charged with supporting the bishop to implement the Anglican Church of Canada’s commitment to truth and reconciliation. The ministry of Archdeacon Val includes teaching, building relationships, and fostering healing and reconciliation between indigenous and non-indigenous peoples.
Hear from Archdeacon Val in this JUSTfriday conversation with Deirdre Pike, Program Consultant for Justice & Outreach. This conversation includes a reminder of why generosity needs engagement. As Archdeacon Val shares, “Prayer is well and good, but it is time for action.”
Please give of your time to learn and engage. Here are some places you can start:
- The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Report – Read it, especially if you are descended from settlers.
- The 94 Calls to Action Please pay special attention to the calls that fall under Church Apologies and Reconciliation, which are Items 58-61.
- The CBC is tracking the progress on the 94 Calls to Action with Beyond 94 Project.
- Participate in a Blanket Exercise Workshop through Kairos Canada.
- Read through An Overview of the Indian Residential School System from the Anishinabek Educational Institute. This short booklet provides a very general overview on the purpose, establishment, and history of the Indian residential school system in Canada.
- Learn whose land you live, work, and travel on through the Native-Land project. Commit to learning about that nation.
The Recent Past
In 2008, the Anglican Church of Canada joined the federal government and four other denominations to establish the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) under court order through the Residential Schools Settlement Agreement.
In 1993, then Primate, Archbishop Michael Peers, offered an official apology to residential school survivors and their families for the Anglican Church’s involvement in running 36 residential schools.
In a first-of-its kind appointment, our former Bishop, Michael Bird, named Valerie Kerr as Archdeacon for Truth, Reconciliation, and Indigenous ministry. Archdeacon Val is charged with supporting the Bishop to implement the Anglican Church of Canada’s commitment to truth and reconciliation in the Diocese of Niagara.
For more information contact The Venerable Valerie Kerr, Archdeacon for Truth, Reconciliation and Indigenous Ministry by email.
June 21 is National Indigenous Peoples Day, a day for all Canadians to recognize and celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding contributions of First
A young participant in the TRC’s Walk for Reconciliation in Ottawa, May 31, 2015. Photo: Andre Forget ‘Every step … uncovers something else to do’
“Doctrine of Discovery: Stolen lands, Strong Hearts” is a film about a devastating decision, made over 500 years ago, which continues to profoundly impact Indigenous