Roughly $700,000 has been raised so far in 2017 for the Anglican Fund for Healing and Reconciliation, Council of General Synod (CoGS) heard November 10.
Voting electronically in December 2016, CoGS resolved that in 2017 the undesignated proceeds of Giving with Grace, General Synod’s annual fundraising campaign, would go to the Healing Fund, which provides money to Indigenous healing projects across Canada.
These undesignated proceeds, plus donations earmarked specifically for the fund and other gifts from individuals and dioceses, now total about $700,000, Archdeacon Michael Thompson, general secretary of General Synod, told CoGS. This means fundraisers are well on their way to reaching the target of $1 million this year for the fund, he said.
If $1 million is raised for the fund, Thompson said, it should be able to support projects to the tune of about $200,000 per year over the next five years. This amount is less than the fund has spent annually in the past, he said, but it would allow continued support especially for Indigenous language recovery programs, which is now the fund’s main focus.
The fund, created in 1992 when the harmful legacy of the Indian residential schools came to light, was originally intended to disburse the last of its money in 2019. However, by June it was almost entirely depleted, Healing Fund co-ordinator Esther Wesley told CoGS when it met last summer. Also by June of 2017, she said, roughly $275,000 had been raised for the fund by Giving with Grace.
Since the Healing Fund began in 1992, it has funded more than 705 projects totalling just over $8 million.
According to financial statements presented to CoGS last June, Giving with Grace raised $515,000 in 2015 and $434,000 in 2016.
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story said that the Healing Fund began as a result of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement in 2006. The fund was, in fact, established in 1992, when the harmful legacy of the Indian residential schools came to light.