All this from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ,
and has given us the ministry of reconciliation.
- Visit Ministries with Indigenous Peoples
- Read our statement on Indigenous Spiritual Practices, based on Our Confession (1994) and other material that has been part of our journey of healing and reconciliation.
- Chanie Wenjack was a 12-year-old boy who died trying to escape from Cecilia Jeffrey Residential School in 1966. Read more about his story and legacy. Read more about his story and legacy.
Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action
While all the Calls to Action are significant for all Canadians, there are those that directly name the churches. What do these specific Calls to Action mean and how are Presbyterians responding? Our Church Responds.
Youth Training Event
Date: May 5–6, 2017
Location: Camp Kannawin, Sylvan Lake, AB
Registration deadline: April 21, 2017
Join youth from across Alberta for fellowship, learning and dialogue about how young people can contribute to reconciliation with Indigenous people.
Grand Chief Wilton Littlechild, former Commissioner with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Shirley Dufour, social worker and residential school survivor
To register or for more information, contact Carragh Erhardt at 1-800-619-7301 ext. 278.
Acknowledging Traditional Territory
A guide to assist congregations and courts of the church to incorporate an acknowledgment of traditional Indigenous territory into worship, meetings and other gatherings.
The Blanket Exercise
The KAIROS Blanket Exercise explores the nation-to-nation relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Canada. Blankets arranged on the floor represent the land. Participants begin to see the impact that colonization and loss of land has had on Indigenous people as the blankets are folded up and removed. The activity invites participants to consider how to begin to heal broken relationships and what their next steps toward reconciliation will be.
Healing & Reconciliation E-Newsletter
Ideas for Youth
Here are some ideas for ways to encourage the youth in your congregation to get involved healing and reconciliation:
- Start small. Introduce them to the concept of acknowledging traditional territories at church events.
- Lead them in the Blanket Exercise or—better still—invite them to help you lead the Blanket Exercise in your congregation!
- Share the Healing & Reconciliation e-newsletter with them
- Invite Carragh Erhardt, Healing and Reconciliation Program Assistant, to meet your youth group in person or over Skype.
Liturgical resources, including suggested orders of service, sermon illustrations, church school activities, bible study, and prayers are available in two liturgical resources.
- A Time for Hope (2016) and Accompanying Slides
- We are One in the Spirit (2010)
- Healing & Reconciliation Liturgical Kit (2007)
- Healing & Reconciliation Sermons for Study and Worship
The Healing & Reconciliation program offers funding up to $5,000 for Presbyterians wishing to build relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. You may wish to invite an Indigenous Elder to speak with a small group or organize a trip to a local Native Friendship Centre.
Click the link below to read about relationship building initiatives:
Healing & Reconciliation Seed Fund
The Healing & Reconciliation program offers funding up to $5,000 for Presbyterians wishing to build relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. The Seed Fund Application deadline is Friday, March 17, 2017.
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!
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 Indigenous 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.