Statement from the Primate and the National Indigenous Anglican Bishop

The news of Federal Government tests on the effects of malnutrition on aboriginal children throughout Northern Manitoba in the 1940s is appalling.  To have used the schools as labs and the children as the subjects of experiment is so inhumane.  It is another tragic chapter in the long once-hidden story of the Indian Residential Schools.

First, we are praying for all who have memories of suffering through malnutrition and live with its effects to this day.  Second, we stand with the National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, Shawn A-in-chut Atleo in calling the Federal Government to investigate this matter fully.  Third, we acknowledge that the lack of good fresh nutritional food continues to be a primary cause of significant health issues among many Indigenous peoples.  It is an injustice that cries out for the attention of all Canadians.

It is one of many injustices that will be addressed in a Primate’s Commission that will focus our Church’s attention on actions associated with repudiating the Doctrine of Discovery, principles for a genuine reconciliation with First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples in this country and plans to address numerous longstanding injustices borne by Indigenous peoples including access to good food, clean water and adequate housing.

Fred J. Hiltz
Archbishop & Primate

Mark MacDonald
National Indigenous Anglican Bishop

Copied to:

Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo
National Chief, Assembly of First Nations

The Right Honourable Stephen Harper
Prime Minister

The Honourable Bernard Valcourt
Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

The Honourable Rona Ambrose
Minister of Health

The Honourable Justice Murray Sinclair
Chair, Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Chief Wilton Littlechild
Commissioner, Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Dr. Marie Wilson
Commissioner, Truth and Reconciliation Commission

The Right Reverend Lydia Mamakwa
Area Bishop of the Northern Ontario Region, Diocese of Keewatin

The Right Reverend Adam Halkett
Diocesan Indigenous Bishop, Diocese of Saskatchewan

Download this statement in PDF format

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