"As I mused, the fire burned"

Reflection on life as a person of faith.

Truth and Reconciliation Links

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A Cautionary word…

There is one important point to accept before starting on a process of discovery into this chapter of Canadian history. The stories can be very horrific, and the cost to multiple generations of Canadians is immeasurable. Particularly as people of faith, it can be painful to read about other’s suffering, and especially when that suffering was at least partly at the hand of the church. There is the potential that we will be traumatized by reading about the trauma of others.

However, the exercise in learning, in witnessing to the truth of the past, in participating in the present and future reconciliation and journey together, is not supposed to be one of guilt and shame. As one teacher said to me: I don’t want your tears or your guilt, I want our healing, and reconciliation so we can learn how to live together on the land. We both need this healing, as we have both been harmed.

Our reaction to the stories and the pain is to come forward, and to participate in the new relationship that can exist on the other side of reconciliation…and not to stay in our homes wracked with guilt and inactive. As with all calls, it is a call to action.

Truth and Reconciliation Resources

For anyone who wishes to explore the history of aboriginal affairs, residential schools and the TRC process in Canada, what follows is a list of resources.

Internet Resources

A map of all residential schools.

A listing of the particular Anglican-run residential schools in Canada, with a link to the history of each school.

Archbishop Michael Peers’ apology to the residential school survivors on behalf of the Anglican Church.

A site focused on sharing stories.

Aboriginal Healing Foundation, many resources and papers on residential schools. 

UBC has an aboriginal art website that has many good descriptions of history and the legal aspects. A few are referenced below, but this site makes for good reading.

One aboriginal nation’s resources on the residential schools. Many secondary links. Includes a curriculum on the residential schools.

Print Resources

A set of books produced with the stories of survivors, available for order or to read online.  The summary reader will be available in the parish shortly.

A TRC book titled, “They Came for the Children” that explains the history and impact of the residential schools.

Maria Campbell, Halfbreed, 1973. Available in the EPL. Still one of the most disturbing books about the Métis in the ‘in between’ years when many were known as the ‘road allowance people’. A clear study of those without land, and of the racism present in Western Canada.

Mixed Media Resources

A good video about water in Alberta, seeking to find the parallels between science and the traditional First Nations teachings about water. A fascinating comparison.  This includes teaching resources.

A powerful website containing many resources under the title, “Where are the Children?”. This includes access to the online exhibit of history through images. This includes teaching resources.

The Legacy of Hope Foundation was formed to continue to educate and inform around the question of the residential schools. There are a number of print resources that can be ordered or downloaded. There are also resources for educators who wish to add portions of the history to their curriculum. The website offers online tours of a number of travelling historical exhibits.

Volunteer Opportunities

There will be opportunities to volunteer either as a member of the Anglican Church, or to provide direct support, and a large number of helpers are needed. The Anglican volunteer opportunities have not been opened just yet, but you can register through the TRC website.

Important Historical Documents

1. Royal Proclamation of 1763

2. An Act to Encourage the Gradual Civilization of Indian Tribes, 1857

3. Indian Act, 1876

4. Report on Industrial Schools for Indians and Half-Breeds, 1879

5. Dr. P. H. Bryce, The Story of a National Crime, 1922 (big file)

6. White Paper, 1969

7. The Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples [RCAP] Final Report, 1996

Suggested Books

John Ralston Saul, A Fair Country: Telling Truths about Canada, (Penguin Canada, 2009)

Jeremy Bergen, Ecclesial Repentance: The Churches Confront Their Sinful Pasts (T & T Clark, 2011)

Roland Chrisjohn and Sherri Young, with Michael Maraun, The Circle Game: Shadows and Substance in the Indian Residential School Experience in Canada (Theytus Books, 1997)

Tomson Highway, Kiss of the Fur Queen (Doubleday Canada, 1998)

Steve Heinrichs, editor., Buffalo Shout, Salmon Cry: Conversations on Creation, Land Justice, and Life Together (Herald Press, 2013)

Rita Joe, Song of Rita Joe: Autobiography of a Mi’kmaq Poet (University of Nebraska Press, 1996)

Thomas King, The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America (Random House, 2012).

J. S. Miller, Shingwauk’s Vision: A History of Native Residential Schools (University of Toronto Press, 1996)

John Milloy, A National Crime: The Canadian Government and the Residential School System, 1879 to 1986 (University of Manitoba Press, 1999)

Ronald Niezen, Truth & Indignation: Canada’s Truth and Residential Commission on Indian Residential Schools (University of Toronto Press, 2013)

Paulette Regan, Unsettling the Settler Within: Indian Residential Schools, Truth Telling, and Reconciliation in Canada (University of British Columbia Press, 2010)

Shelagh Rogers, Mike DeGagne, Jonathan Dewar, Glen Lowry, eds., Speaking My Truth: Reflections on Reconciliation & Residential Schools (Aboriginal Healing Foundation, 2012)

Rupert Ross, Returning to the Teachings: Exploring Aboriginal Justice (Penguin Canada, 2006 [1996])

Richard Wagamese, Indian Horse (Douglas & Mcintyre, 2012)


Written by sameo416

February 1, 2014 at 7:07 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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