General Synod 2010

A179-R2: Anglican Participation in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (carried)

Download resolution A179-R2

Subject: Anglican Participation in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada

Moved by The Rt. Rev. Sue Moxley, Diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island

Seconded by The Rev. Travis Enright, Diocese of Edmonton

Be it resolved that this General Synod:

1. Affirm the following goals of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada:

  • Prepare a comprehensive historical record on the policies and operations of Indian Residential Schools;
  • Complete a publicly accessible report that will include recommendations to the Government of Canada concerning the Indian Residential School system and its legacy;
  • Establish a research centre by the end of its mandate that will be a permanent resource for all Canadians;
  • Host seven national events in different regions across Canada to promote awareness and public education about the Indian Residential School system and its impact;
  • Support events designed by individual communities to meet their unique needs;
  • Support a Commemoration Initiative that will provide funding for activities that honour and pay tribute in a permanent and lasting manner to former Indian Residential School students.

2. Request the General Secretary and the Council of General Synod to ensure adequate resources for the Anglican Church of Canada to support and participate fully in the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada over the next five years (2010-2015).

3. Reaffirms the 3 goals for equipping leaders, taken from the Equipping Ambassadors of Reconciliation conference hosted by the Anglican, United and Presbyterian Churches in Orillia, Ontario in November 2009:

  • To provide training and resources to ensure that every church member has knowledge of the history of the Indian Residential Schools system, the mandate and purpose of the official Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC), and the possible roles of ordinary citizens in the official processes of the Truth and Reconciliation.
  • To provide training and resources to ensure that former students of Indian Residential School are given the opportunity to tell the story of his or her experience in a safe and respectful manner.  These may be former students of Indian Residential Schools who are or were church members or who reside in the same communities or urban friendship or ministry centres.
  • To provide training and resources to encourage all Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal church members to work actively together to build right relationships with each other.

4. Recommend that the Anglican Church of Canada co-host at least two and up to three more events modeled after the first Equipping Ambassadors of Reconciliation conference during the 2010-2013 triennium, if possible in Western, Eastern, and Northern Canada.

Source: Partners in Mission and Ecojustice Committee

Submitted by: Ms. Henriette Thompson, Director, Partnerships

Does this motion contain within it any financial implications?    Yes  x No __

Current budget allocations:

  • Equipping Ambassadors ($10,000 per event x 2 or 3 events);
  • General Synod support for the TRC @ $10,000 – $15,000 per TRC national event;
  • Responding to the Legacy of Residential Schools as a Community workshops @ $10,000 for 2 more events (Saskatchewan already held in 2009; Manitoba and Ontario in 2010)

If yes, has the General Synod Expenditures Committee considered the implications?   Yes __ No __


  1. The Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission, now known as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, is part of an overall holistic and comprehensive response to the legacy of Indian Residential Schools as set out in the Residential Schools’ Settlement Agreement reached in May 2006.  The Commission was officially established on June 2, 2008.
  2. The commission is mandated to look at activities perpetrated within residential schools, as well as the negative impacts of the schools’ stated aim, to forcibly assimilate Aboriginal children. The matter of student deaths at these institutions, and their burial in unmarked graves without the notification or consent of the parents, is an additional item on the agenda.
  3. In March 2008, Indigenous leaders and church officials, including Archbishop Fred Hiltz, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, embarked on a multi-city “Remembering the Children” tour to promote the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. On January 21–22, 2009, the King’s University College of Edmonton, Alberta had an Interdisciplinary Studies Conference on the subject of the Truth and Reconciliation Committee.
  4. On June 11, 2008, Prime Minister Stephen Harper apologized for the government’s role in their administration of the residential schools.
  5. The first chair of the commission, Justice Harry S. Laforme of the Ontario Court of Appeal resigned in October 2008, and the other commissioners, Claudette Dumont-Smith and Jane Brewin Morley resigned in January 2009.
  6. In June 2009, Judge Murray Sinclair, a judge in Manitoba who became the province’s first aboriginal associate chief justice in 1988, was appointed to chair the panel. The other members of the commission are Marie Wilson, a senior executive with the N.W.T. workers compensation commission, and Wilton Littlechild, Alberta regional chief for the Assembly of First Nations.
  7. In November 2009, the Anglican, United, and Presbyterian Churches organized “Equipping Ambassadors of Reconciliation”, an ecumenical conference for the region of Ontario and Quebec, designed to equip leaders from churches and Indigenous communities to engage their communities in the Truth and Reconciliation process and support their participation.  Further such conferences are being planned.
  8. The first National Consultation of Truth and Reconciliation Canada will take place in Winnipeg from June 15-19, 2010.  Six other consultations are scheduled to take place during the life of the commission, extending to 2015.
  9. The General Synod has supported healing and reconciliation since 1991 when the Aboriginal Healing Fund was established. This work continues, augmented by a portion of the funds raised by Anglicans ($16,000,000) in response to the Anglican settlement agreement. In addition, the General Synod budget supports the work of the Commission in 2010 through staff involvement and program funds of $125,000.

Adapted from Wikipedia


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