ACC hears about residential schools

Published November 1, 1999


The Anglican Church of Canada’s troubles dealing with the residential school legacy were aired at the Anglican Consultative Council meeting in Dundee.

Primate Michael Peers spoke to a report written for the Mission Commission of the Anglican Communion by Ellie Johnson, director of Partnerships.

“In our church we are facing great difficulties but they are not insurmountable,” Archbishop Peers said. “We must ensure that the immediate does not so engage our minds and energies that we lower our eyes from the horizon. And on our future horizon lies a renewed partnership with our indigenous people that we have been working on over the past 30 years.

“By the 1960s in Canada, there was growing unease in all the churches about the residential schools, both their practices, and the basic philosophy underlying their existence,” the report states.

During the 1970s and 1980s, the church worked to improve the position of its indigenous members by hiring a co-ordinator for native ministries in the national office, and creating a council to oversee the work, the report says.

In 1993, the Primate apologized on behalf of the church to Natives for the harm done by the residential schools system. “This apology is a public acknowledgement of the sin of racism and ethnic superiority,” the report says.

In 1994, a group of indigenous Anglicans articulated their vision of a new covenant relationship between indigenous and non-indigenous members of the church.


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