On Oct. 28, Jane Brewin Morley, a commissioner with Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) on residential schools, visited the Anglican Church of Canada’s national office in Toronto, Ont.
For the next five years, the federal TRC will listen to those affected by Indian residential schools, including the over 30 schools run by the Anglican Church of Canada at various times between 1820 and 1969.
At the meeting with Ms. Morley, several staff gave brief presentations on how the Anglican Church of Canada has been dealing with the legacy of residential schools. Nancy Hurn, General Synod archivist, described the church’s research into school records. Donna Bomberry, Indigenous Ministries coordinator, spoke about the work of the Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples (ACIP) and also about the role and ministry of National Indigenous Anglican Bishop Mark MacDonald.
“I think there’s a number of ways that the church can be very central to our process of truth and reconciliation,” said Ms. Morley after the presentations. The church’s archives will be helpful in the commission’s own research, she said, and the commission could also benefit from the church’s involvement with grassroots communities.
“I heard a lot about the work that you’re doing in terms of Indigenous ministry, and I think that connection with communities will be an important one for us to build on and work with,” she said. “Also I think the connection with the non-Aboriginal community and Anglican people who go to church every Sunday…the church is an important connector there as well.”
Ms. Morley, a lawyer, and Claudette Dumont-Smith, a health care worker, are the two remaining commissioners on the $60-million commission, launched in June 2008. The commission chair, Justice Harry LaForme, resigned on Oct. 20, citing a disagreement with Ms. Morley and Ms. Dumont-Smith about the vision of the commission.
On Oct. 24, the Anglican Church of Canada issued a joint ecumenical statement that stated their confidence in the remaining commissioners and their desire to see the work of the TRC begin soon.
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