On June 11, representatives of the Anglican Church of Canada travelled to Parliament Hill in Ottawa to watch Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s apology to former residential school students. Anglican Video compiled the highlights of the day into a short online video. A photo slideshow is also available.
In a later interview, the Primate, Archbishop Fred Hiltz, said he saw his role on June 11 as a “ministry of presence and prayer.” He attended a June 10 reception hosted by the Assembly of First Nations, and on the morning of June 11, he participated in a sunrise service to remember those who died in residential schools. Later in the day the Primate joined others in watching the Prime Minister’s apology in a screening room.
“It was an incredibly sacred moment in the history of Canada, that the Prime Minister would make this apology,” said the Primate. He said he was pleased that other party leaders offered apologies of their own, and that Aboriginals responded in the House of Commons. He and National Indigenous Anglican Bishop Mark MacDonald had discussed the possibility of Aboriginal responses with Chuck Strahl, minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, in a conference call a week earlier.
“My hope and prayer all along is that the apology would be prepared and delivered in such a way that just as in the cases of our own apology, 15 years later, it’s still a point of reference,” said Archbishop Hiltz.
In 1993, Primate Michael Peers apologized on behalf of the Anglican Church of Canada for its role in administering Anglican residential schools, which ran from 1820 to 1969 in various places across Canada.
The video includes reactions from other Anglican representatives: the Rev. Gloria Moses and the Ven. Sidney Black, co-chairs of the Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples; and National Indigenous Anglican Bishop Mark MacDonald.
Interested in keeping up-to-date on news, opinion, events and resources from the Anglican Church of Canada? Sign up for our email alerts .