Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, will lead a delegation of Anglicans expected to participate in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) Quebec National Event, scheduled April 24 to 27, in Montreal.
The event, to be held at Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth Hotel, will be an occasion for former students to share their stories about their experiences in Indian residential schools, and for churches, including the Anglican Church of Canada, to listen and offer their apologies and gestures of reconciliation.
For more than 150 years, about 180,000 First Nations, Inuit and Métis children were removed from their homes and sent to federally funded schools managed by Anglican, Catholic, Presbyterian and United churches. There were students who suffered physical, emotional and sexual abuse in these schools.
As part of the 2007 Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, the TRC was created to document the history of residential schools and to make sure every Canadian is educated about it.
The Anglican Church of Canada operated over 30 residential schools across Canada. Seven of these schools are represented in the Quebec event: Shingwauk Indian Residential School, Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., and St. John’s Indian Residential School, Chapleau, Ont. (Diocese of Algoma); Mohawk Institute Residential School, Brantford, Ont. (Diocese of Huron); Pelican Lake Indian Residential School, Sioux Lookout, Ont. (Diocese of Keewatin); Bishop Horden Memorial School, Moose Factory, Ont.; St. Philip’s Indian Residential School, Fort George, Que. (Diocese of Moosonee); and La Tuque Indian Residential School, La Tuque, Que. (Diocese of Quebec). (Click here for more information about these schools)
As in previous TRC national events, the church’s General Synod Archives will have a booth to share its collection of Indian residential schools records, including photographs, with former students and the general public.
The Quebec event will kick off with “Education Day,” which offers elementary and high school students in Montreal a chance to learn about the history of the schools through various activities. Former governor general Michaëlle Jean, a TRC honorary witness, is expected to interact with students at this gathering.
Other activities include the Survivors’ Walk and procession, a town hall meeting on reconciliation, sharing circles, survivor birthday celebrations, knowledge sessions, churches’ listening area and private statement gathering, among others.
Click here for more information about the Quebec National Event.
Watch for Anglican Journal coverage of the event on our website.