‘Sign of our commitment to healing, reconciliation’

Esther Wesley, co-ordinator of the Anglican Fund for Healing and Reconciliation. Photo: Marites N. Sison
Esther Wesley, co-ordinator of the Anglican Fund for Healing and Reconciliation. Photo: Marites N. Sison
Published March 25, 2013

Projects funded by the Anglican Fund for Healing and Reconciliation over a20-year period (1992 to 2012) have totalled $5.186-million, according toEsther Wesley, healing fund co-ordinator, in her written report toCouncil of General Synod (CoGs).

Projects have included programs focusing on healing, awareness and education about the legacy of Indian residential schools in Canada, building traditional knowledge, recovery of language, training, reunions of former students and resource development.

Established in 1992, when abuses at the Indian residential schools surfaced, the fund, according to its website, provides grants “to encourage and initiate [residential schools-related] programs, which help educate and heal.”

Wesley said priority is given to projects that are committed to long-term community healing; related to children, youth and elders and revolve around cultural learning activities; encourage language and cultural restoration/maintenance; feature “building a right relationship or partnership between indigenous people and non-aboriginal people.” Fundshave also been provided to former residential schools students to attend events of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, among others.

A summary of projects funded since 1992 shows that the dioceses that received the most applications and grants are:Ontario ($1.84-million), British Columbia ($1.59-million), Keewatin($789,201), Algoma ($563,618) and New Westminster ($453,114).

In his report to CoGS, which met March 14 to 17, Archbishop Fred Hiltz said the level of grants provided by the fund was “worth noting.” He said it was “a sign of our commitment to healing and reconciliation.”

From the late 19th century to the mid-20th century, about 150,000 aboriginal children were removed from their homes and placed in residential schools as part of a federal program of forced assimilation. TheAnglican Church of Canada operated 35 of these schools.





  • Marites N. Sison

    Marites (Tess) Sison was editor of the Anglican Journal from August 2014 to July 2018, and senior staff writer from December 2003 to July 2014. An award-winning journalist, she has more that three decades of professional journalism experience in Canada and overseas. She has contributed to The Toronto Star and CBC Radio, and worked as a stringer for The New York Times.

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