All this from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ,
and has given us the ministry of reconciliation.
Looking for a new book? Consider “The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America” by Thomas King. (Toronto: Doubleday Canada, 2012.) Read the Globe and Mail review here.
Why Truth and Reconciliation Matters to Presbyterians
In 1994, The Presbyterian Church in Canada confessed its role in the tragic legacy of the Indian residential schools. The church is committed to walking with Aboriginal people on a journey toward reconciliation, and living out the spirit of the confession.
This video contains messages from Presbyterians from across Canada about why truth and reconciliation is important to them. A copy was presented as an expression of reconciliation to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission by the Moderator of the 138th General Assembly, the Rev. Dr. John Vissers, at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s national event in Saskatoon (June 21-24, 2012). A shorter version of this video was shown at the 138th General Assembly (June 2012).
If you are a Presbyterian who believes that truth and reconciliation is important and wish to submit a short video clip that will be added to the Healing & Reconciliation webpage, email Katharine Masterton in Justice Ministries or call 1-800-619-7301 ext. 250.
Truth and Reconciliation Commission National Events
The fifth national Truth and Reconciliation Commission event is April 24-27, 2013, in Montreal, QC. The national events are opportunities to celebrate diversity and honour those touched by residential schools. They engage the public and provide education about the history of the residential schools system, the experience of former students and their families, and the ongoing legacies.
The TRC national event in Saskatoon took place June 21-24, 2012. View the photo gallery.
Liturgical resources, including suggested orders of service, sermon illustrations, church school activities, bible study, and prayers are available in two liturgical resources.
- We are One in the Spirit (2010)
- Healing & Reconciliation Liturgical Kit (2007)
- Healing & Reconciliation Sermons for Study and Worship
The next Seed Fund Application deadline is April 30, 2013.
Healing & Reconciliation Seed Fund
The Healing & Reconciliation program offers funding up to $5,000 for Presbyterians wishing to build relationships between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people.
Seed Fund Application
Seed Fund Follow-Up Initiatives
Funding is available to support activities in a number of ways, including but not limited to providing for refreshments or meals; purchasing supplies; and/or paying honoraria to Aboriginal speakers or workshop leaders.
Please remember that funding is available to support a large range of projects:
- Small fellowship gatherings are very powerful means to begin forming relationships, and are therefore highly recommended.
- Groups who already have some connections with Aboriginal people or communities, or groups who are keen to begin with something on larger scale, may be draw to one of the more ambitious ideas listed below.
You may wish to:
- Invite an Aboriginal speaker or Aboriginal Elder to talk to members of your group, including youth groups, on any topic of interest such as Aboriginal history, culture, or modern day concerns. You may wish to have a discussion about the needs of your community with a local Aboriginal leader of a community group or service organization.
- If no potential speakers are known to your group, a local Native Friendship Centre, Native Women’s organization, or post-secondary campus Aboriginal association may be of assistance. If you are near a First Nation community, you may wish to try contacting a First Nation Band Administrator or, if available, a First Nation Education or Cultural Officer for assistance. A teacher from a First Nation school or an Aboriginal university professor or lecturer may work in or near your community and be available to speak or lead a workshop.
- Have an informal social or recreational gathering and invite representatives of a local Native Friendship Centre, Native Women’s organization, local First Nation or Métis community, or other Aboriginal group to join you. This includes sports or cultural activities for adults or youth groups.
- Talk to an Aboriginal service group in your community. Perhaps there is a joint project members of your group and the Aboriginal group can work on together, providing an opportunity for you to get to know each other better in the process. Funds could buy some supplies to assist with completing the project, and/or provide some refreshments while you work together to complete the project.
- Arrange a visit to a local Aboriginal community to learn about your neighbours first hand. This could include talking with leaders in the community (i.e. political, social, cultural, or educational leaders), taking a tour, and/or attending a pow wow or other cultural event or spiritual ceremony accompanied by Aboriginal people. Funds could be used to support modest travel costs. Remember that funding is designed to support relationship building, so it is important that any Aboriginal community visited be close enough geographically that relationships may be maintained and developed in the future between your group and the community.
- Work with a group of local churches to organize a workshop or even a conference.
- Funds could be used to pay a portion of event costs: venue rental (if necessary), food, honoraria for speakers/workshop leaders. Emphasis should be on building bridges at the local level.
Put your imagination to work to come up with something that’s just right for you and your group!
The Healing & Reconciliation program offers funding up to $5,000 for Presbyterians wishing to build relationships between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people. You may wish to invite an Aboriginal Elder to speak with a small group or organize a trip to a local Native Friendship Centre.
Click the links below to read about relationship building initiatives:
- Local Leaders Training – Knox Presbyterian and Curve Lake First Nation Culture Centre
- Camp Christopher and Riverside Community School, Prince Albert, SK
- Healing & Reconciliation story from St. John’s Presbyterian Church, Bradford, ON. Read from “Schools share their cultures.”
- St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church reaches out to Native Canadian Centre (Bramalea, ON)
- Returning to Spirit Workshop (Alberta)
- The Inuit Residential School Experience, St. Andrew’s, Knox and St. Giles Presbyterian Churches (Ottawa, ON)
- Cheryl Bear Tour, Presbytery of Kamloops (British Columbia)
- Founding Stories at Riverside School: Rev. Sandy Scott and St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church (Prince Albert, SK)
- National Aboriginal Day: Our Voice, Our Culture, Our Community, Aboriginal Youth Video Project, Richmond Youth Services Agency, British Columbia
- Rev. Marty Molengraaf, Duff’s Presbyterian Church, Guelph, ON
- The Creation of Friendship, Rev. Jonathan Kwon and Trinity Presbyterian Church (Grenfell, SK)
- National Aboriginal Day Event, Richmond Youth Service Agency (Richmond, BC)
- Rev. Susan Samuel and the Presbytery of Grey-Bruce-Maitland (Ontario)
- The Confession of 1994 (English/French): Presented to First Nations peoples at The Forks National Site in Winnipeg on October 8, 1994.
- One in the Spirit: Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal Peoples Walking Together in Ministry and Toward Reconciliation
- Truth and Reconciliation Commission
- A Brief Administrative History of the Residential Schools and The Presbyterian Church in Canada’s Healing and Reconciliation Efforts
- The Presbyterian Church in Canada Implementing the 2007 Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement