In December 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC), delivered its final report, generating 94 Calls to Action to the Government of Canada and its subjects. The response of Cathedral parishioners led to the creation of the Cathedral’s Truth and Reconciliation Circle (TRCircle).
In consultation with Indigenous leaders at Reconciliation Canada and with Jerry Adams, the Diocesan Indigenous Justice Ministries Coordinator, the TRCircle’s work is predicated on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action #59, which calls on churches to:
develop ongoing education strategies to ensure that congregations learn about their church’s role in colonization, the history and legacy of residential schools, and why apologies to former residential school students, their families, and communities were necessary
To fulfill this Call, the Truth & Reconciliation Circle bases all activities on education: facilitating learning and unlearning, and raising awareness.
In conversation with members of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh nations as well as diverse urban indigenous communities in Vancouver, the Cathedral has hosted forums, lectures, film screenings, land tours, book circles, and has integrated territorial acknowledgments into weekly liturgies.
From time to time, during the 10.30am Choral Eucharist, parishioners share short reflections on why they care about the ongoing work of Truth and Reconciliation.
On June 15, 2019, the Cathedral gathered to celebrate the installation of two Musqueam weavings by Debra Sparrow at Christ Church Cathedral. The blankets will be a visual reminder of the Cathedral’s ongoing commitment to listen, learn and unlearn on the path to form right relations with First Nations neighbours.
The Anglican Church of Canada, along with the Presbyterian Church in Canada, the Roman Catholic Church, and the United Church of Canada were partners with the Government of Canada in running Indian Residential Schools. These schools, in policy and practice, were an assault on Indigenous families, culture, language and spiritual traditions. Great harm was done.
We continue to acknowledge and regret our part in that legacy, and to respond to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 2015 Calls to Action in fostering new and just relations with Indigenous peoples.
The Anglican Church acknowledges the significant responsibilities arising from its role in residential schools, and the need for a continuing and active commitment to reconciliation. (I changed this as not all churches welcomed the calls and thought we should focus more on CCC instead of the churches at large)
As a national body, the Anglican Church of Canada appointed Mark MacDonald as the first National Indigenous Anglican Bishop and Melanie Delva as the Reconciliation Animator to develop reconciliation as a spiritual practice built into who we are.
Through the Anglican Healing Fund, the Church continues to financially support local, community-led healing projects that encourage and initiate programs to help heal, educate, and recover Indigenous language and culture.
Joining with the National Church and parishes throughout the country, Christ Church Cathedral also prioritizes its participation in a continued journey of reconciliation.
Stolen Land, Strong Hearts
This film is one of the responses of the Anglican Church of Canada's Primate’s Commission on Discovery, Reconciliation, and Justice.
The purpose of this film is to respond to the calls to action by helping to provide education and insight into the racist foundations of many of Canada's laws still in existence to this day.