For the first time in its history, the diocese of Toronto will hire an aboriginal priest. Archdeacon Colin Johnson, executive assistant to Archbishop Terence Finlay, said Toronto has the largest aboriginal population of any diocese in Canada.
“This is part of our participation in the Anglican Church of Canada’s mission to work toward healing and reconciliation with our aboriginal brothers and sisters,” he said. He added that there is a large group of aboriginal people in the diocese with a history with the Anglican church.
The priest, who will be hired within a few months, will help the diocese in ongoing discussions over residential schools and with healing and reconciliation between aboriginals and non-aboriginals. The new priest will not be in a charge of a church, but will work with Rev. Grafton Anton, a United Church minister who serves the aboriginal community, and with a Roman Catholic priest.