Sunday, May 24 is Healing and Reconciliation Sunday. In its 1994 Confession, The Presbyterian Church in Canada acknowledged its complicity in a system that was formed to erase Indigenous identity. May 24 is an opportunity for the church to collectively hold up in prayer the children who attended residential schools and their families. Recalling the legacy honours the resilience and courage of Survivors who fought, and continue to fight, for justice and their rights. Recalling the legacy honours the memory of children who didn’t make it home from residential schools and the families who mourn them. Recalling the legacy draws attention to the intergenerational harm still affecting Survivors, their families and communities. It acknowledges the responsibility that our church, Canadians and governments have to continue the relationship building work for justice with and for Indigenous peoples.
Living Faith says, “God’s justice is seen when we deal fairly with each other and strive to change customs and practices that oppress and enslave others.” A vision of justice for Indigenous people is articulated in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and while there are many paths to justice, important steps are revealed in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action and the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girl’s 231 Calls for Justice.
On May 24, recall and respond to Healing and Reconciliation:
- A new study guide on the church’s Confession is available for individuals and small groups to learn about why our Confession is necessary, and what it means today
- Focus on the TRC Calls to Action and United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in worship
- Learn about the Doctrine of Discovery, and why the church repudiated the doctrine
Indigenous communities are especially vulnerable to COVID-19 because of insufficient community health funding and facilities, high rates of poverty and inadequate housing and sanitation infrastructure. This is part of the legacy of harm caused by colonialism, and which must be addressed as all parts of Canadian society’s work for reconciliation. Learn about how Indigenous communities are affected by and responding to COVID-19: