Make a ribbon, model reconciliation

Every Ribbon of Reconciliation looks different. Some are banners, sewn from fabric. Some are made of welded metal. Others are small, crocheted by careful hands. All represent a step towards reconciliation between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples.

Ribbons of Reconciliation come in all shapes and sizes, and each represents a step towards right relations.  CHRISTY SHEFFIELD ON FLICKR (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Ribbons of Reconciliation come in all shapes and sizes, and each represents a step towards right relations. CHRISTY SHEFFIELD ON FLICKR (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Canadian Anglicans are invited to join this initiative of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). The TRC’s mandate is to learn the truth about what happened in Indian residential schools and guide Canadians towards reconciliation.

“The Ribbons of Reconciliation project is an invitation to Anglican parishes and community groups—non-Aboriginal and Aboriginal—to meet each other and together discover why reconciliation matters.” said Henriette Thompson, General Synod’s public witness coordinator for social justice. “It’s a learning opportunity.”

The Ribbons of Reconciliation project is flexible. People can make and share ribbons in a way that works for them. Churches can exchange ribbons with Native friendship centres. Children on and off reserve can swap ribbons. A non-Aboriginal business leader could give a ribbon to an Aboriginal business leader.

Ribbons can be made of any material, or even take the form of an audio or video recording.

Churches and individuals are encouraged to plan a ribbon presentation or exchange between May 26, the National Day for Healing and Reconciliation, and June 21, National Aboriginal Day.

An online parish action kit is available to support this work. It includesan introduction to Ribbons of Reconciliation and a how-to, both provided by the TRC.

Liturgical materials are also available, including prayers for the TRC, collects, and tips for planning a worship service that incorporates themes of healing and reconciliation. These resources have been compiled over several years as the church has worked towards right relations between Aboriginals and non-Aboriginals.

One step in reconciliation process
The Anglican Church of Canada is a party to the Indian Residential School Settlement and has been supporting the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in a variety of ways.

Anglican leaders, including the Primate, Archbishop Fred Hiltz, have been present at all national TRC events and local organizing committees have engaged Anglicans in TRC programs. Currently such committees are preparing for national events in Vancouver, April 13 to 14, and Saskatchewan, June 21 to 24.

The Anglican Church of Canada administered about three dozen Indian and Eskimo residential schools and hostels at various times between 1820 and 1969.

In its interim report, issued Feb. 24, the TRC encouraged Canadians to work towards reconciliation now.

“There is no reason for anyone who wants to contribute to the reconciliation process to wait until the publication of the Commission’s final reports. There is an opportunity now for Canadians to engage in this work, to make their own contributions to reconciliation, and to create new truths about our country.”

The TRC and the Anglican Church of Canada would like to see your Ribbons of Reconciliation photos and stories. Send emails toinfo@trc.ca and hthompson@national.anglican.ca or send stories by mail to

Truth and Reconciliation Canada
1500-380 Main Street
Winnipeg, Man.
R3C 3Z3

o   Access the parish action kit

o   Learn more about the Anglican Church of Canada’s work towards truth and reconciliation

o   Learn about the National Day for Healing and Reconciliation

o   Learn more about National Aboriginal Day

o   Read the TRC’s interim report and residential school history

o   Email Henriette Thompson for more information

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