In 2003, the diocese and parishes contributed to the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Fund and the diocese received a rebate in relation to that contribution.
The portion attributable to the diocese could have been used for operational spending, but council chose instead to support ongoing healing programs. The remainder received (approximately $2,500) will be returned to the contributing parishes.
“Funds should be used for the purpose they were intended,” said diocesan treasurer Irene Adams, which elicited comments such as “appropriate” and “wonderful” from council members.
Bishop David Edwards hand delivered the cheque to Primate Fred Hiltz in July while in Toronto for meetings.
“I think it’s important [to offer support] because the Healing Fund does tremendous work in bringing about healing and reconciliation with a part of our population that we, as the Anglican Church, have been a part of causing great pain and suffering [to],” Edwards said in a letter addressed to Hiltz. “So, it’s actually our responsibility as the Anglican Church to do something to put that right.”
Early this year, the Council of General Synod, the church’s governing body in between General Synods, voted to dedicate undesignated proceeds of Giving with Grace, the national church’s annual fundraising campaign, to replenish the fund. The campaign hopes to raise $1 million in 2017, enough to finance the fund for five more years.
The Healing Fund first began disbursing money in 1992, having grown out of the residential schools working group established by then-Primate Michael Peers. But when the Anglican Church of Canada entered into the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, a lump sum of $4,023,675 from its total obligation of $15,687,188 went to the Anglican Fund for Healing and Reconciliation via the settlement fund.