A statement from the ecumenical negotiators on Indian residential schools

At a meeting last week in Vancouver, representatives from the Anglican, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic and United Church organizations, concluded that there is no longer a basis for ecumenical negotiations with the federal government to resolve the legacy of Indian Residential Schools.

In December, at the invitation of the Government of Canada, the Anglican Church of Canada entered into conversations, which more recently have evolved into bilateral negotiations. While the church representatives agree that ecumenical negotiations would have been preferable, they believe these negotiations would now be inconsistent with a simultaneous bilateral negotiation in process.

The representatives of the church organizations reconfirmed the urgent necessity of reaching a satisfactory conclusion to the legacy of residential schools with the government at the earliest possible moment. They remain committed to a comprehensive resolution. Such a solution must meet the legitimate claims of those who have been hurt as a result of their experience in residential schools. It also must support healing and remain open to the possibility of reconciliation.

The church representatives have written and welcomed the recently appointed Deputy Prime Minister, the Honourable John Manley, who has assumed responsibility for resolution of residential schools issues. The church organizations look forward to an opportunity for an early meeting to encourage his leadership in addressing this important challenge in Canadian public policy.

Archdeacon Jim Boyles
Anglican Church of Canada
Tony Whittingham
(416) 924-9199 (ext 324)
(416) 738-8909 (cell)

Rev. David Iverson
The United Church of Canada
Mary-Frances Denis
(416) 231-7680 (ext 2016)
(416) 766-0057 (home)

Sister Marie Zarowny, SSA
Catholic Organizations’ Task Group on Indian Residential Schools
Gerry Kelly
(613) 241-9461
(613) 297-1344 (cell)
Brian Greene
(613) 569-9098

Rev. Ian Morrison
The Presbyterian Church in Canada
Keith Knight
(416) 441-1111 (ext 257) </np>

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