"It has been a long process, but on Jan. 16  the Anglican Church of Canada submitted its digital records relating to Indian Residential Schools -- over 300,000 pages of documents -- to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). For General Synod archivist Nancy Hurn, who do-ordinated the seven-year digitization process, it has been a journey filled with hard work. It has, however, been a rewarding one" (p. 1). "Approximately half of the digitized records came from the General Synod archives in Toronto, which also holds records from the Arctic and Keewatin dioceses. The rest of the records came from the archives of 30 dioceses across Canada, including those that did not have residential schools within their boundaries. The documents Hurn and the other archivists compiled will be held at the National Research Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NRCTC) at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg" (p. 1, 15). "Aside from the digital documents, the church has also submitted almost 12,000 'electronically-created documents' and over 6,000 photographs relating to residential schools" (p. 15). The director of the NRCTR is Ry Moran. "The NRCTR plan on making the records available electronically available online in ways that will allow survivors to access them remotely. It has also promised to 'provide personal assistance with navigating, using, and understanding the records' for those who don't have familiarity with computers" (p. 15).
"On November 4 , a key tool in [the work of reconciliation] will become available when the National Research Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NRCTR) opens it doors. Operating out of the University of Manitoba, in Winnipeg, the research centre holds the millions of records uncovered by the [Truth and Reconciliation] commission that detail the role government and churches played in the 150-year history of the residential school system, as well as the thousands of survivor testimonies shared with the TRC. One of the NRCTR's most powerful resources is a searchable database that will allow survivors, families and researchers access to records relating to individuals and schools. 'Opening of the database marks the first step in the journey to really start to provide meaningful access to the records that so many have worked so hard to collect over the past six years', said NRCTR director Ry Moran". "Although all relevant Anglican records have been handed over, Nancy Hurn, General Synod archivist, said the NRCTR and the Anglican archives continue to work closely".
"During his active years, no Anglican layperson in Canada outshone Samuel Hume Blake (1835-1914) in prominence as a religious leader and controversialist" (p. ). "Considered a century after his death, Blake's lasting achievements are modest. In his most fervent religious goals -- maintaining the pure Protestant identity of Canadian Anglicanism, routing ritualism, restraining Roman Catholicism, resisting liberalism, protecting the Bible from higher criticism -- he failed, and was bound to fail. Several institutions that he helped found, such as Wycliffe College, Havergal College, and Ridley College, do continue to prosper, but they are no longer the instruments of his values and bigotries. But his historical role in his contemporary Canadian Christianity is extremely significant. He wielded clout and shaped discussions, and his ministries, projects, addresses, and writings affected a wide range of people. .... the character and effectiveness of his church work depended to a very large extent on his theologically developed, biblically defended, integrated vision for Christian faith and discipleship. The vision was rooted and steeped in the Church of Ireland style of Anglicanism in which he was raised and to which he remained attached throughout his life" (p. 41). "His most notable disputes in Canadian Anglican thought and practice can be categorized under six themes. One was ritualism (p. 57) .... A second was his opposition to the project, begun by Archbishop [Arthur] Sweatman, to establish a true cathedral for the diocese of Toronto (p. 58) .... A third theme was Anglican hymnody (p. 58) .... A fourth theme was higher [biblical] criticism (p. 59) .... Fifth, Blake was disgusted that church leaders so often poured resources into maintaining unnecessary buildings, ineffective clergy, and declining congregations, instead of funding mission work (p. 60) .... A final theme, the church's treatment of First Nations people, is in retrospect perhaps the most important of all, and here, too, Blake's dissent was unproductive" (p. 61).
Author is a priest of the Anglican Church of Canada, "Director of the Toronto School of Theology and ... Professor of Church History at Wycliffe College, Toronto".
"'Can you draw me something ?' This was the question Mossie Moorby always asked children sent to the infirmary of Stringer Hall, an Anglican-run hostel in Inuvik for Indian and Inuit children, where she served as nurse in the 1960s. Moorby safeguarded the drawings and string art depicting life in Canada's north -- the budding artists' names all carefully labelled -- in binders. Moorby died in 2000, but her collection lives on. Now, thanks to her daughter, Anne Campbell, it will be shared with former students and their families at the 2nd Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) national event in Inuvik, Jun. 28 to Jul. 1 ". "The collection includes hundreds of photographs and slides -- including portraits of children and staff -- as well as clippings and artifacts assembled during the eight years Moorby spent at Stringer Hall". "Nancy Hurn, General Secretary archivist, calls the Moorby collection, which documents day-to-day life at the hostel and provides a window into life in Inuvik from 1964 to 1972, 'very rare' and 'very valuable'."
Article begins with brief introduction to Samuel Blake on (p. -10). "Blake wished to curtail sharply the expenditure and waste of lives in Canada's system. Cutting back on [Indian] residential and industrial schools he saw as the best means to allocate resources to teachers in local communities and thereby free monies for proper mission work in the far north. From 1904 to 19190 Blake chaired the Special Indian and Eskimo Committee of the Missionary Society of the Church of England in Canada. His role was pivotal. The MSCC controlled though diocesan oversight (loosely) federal funds per student, 'capitation', in nineteen residential and industrial schools. When he took over as chair, Blake canvassed widely for opinions. He compared the responses with the so-call 'Blue Books', annual reports of the Canadian Department of Indian Affairs, with what he received. His forensic, lawyerly brilliance began a calculation that figures were not being reported correctly" (p. 8- 9). "The pan-Anglican 'exertions' that caused Blake to write were the apogee of his research: gained from government officials, blue books, clergy, missionaries, Hudson's Bay Company employees, government contacts as well as bishops, archdeacons and others. His tabulation shows the analytical framework of this piece, published with the massive proceedings of the Pan-Anglican Conference of 1908 ... What is printed here us an edited version -- Blake and his brother Edward, sometime-premier of Ontario, were remarkably for their prolixity. He founded a major, legal firm, today known as Blake, Cassels. He worked tirelessly to achieve what he deemed justice for Indigenous children in Canada" (p. 9-10).
Blake himself writes: "My belief is that the attempt to elevate the Indian by separating the child from his parents and educating him as a white man has turned out to be a deplorable failure. .... The normal love between parent and child is the strongest influence for betterment in the world, and when that influence is absolutely cut apart or is deliberately intended to cut apart as in the education of Indian children inn industrial schools, the means taken defeat itself. Children must love and therefore respect their parents or they cannot or will not love themselves. To teach an Indian child that his parents are degraded beyond measure, and that whatever they did or thought was wrong, could only result in the child becoming, as the ex-pupils of the industrial schools have become, admittedly and unquestionably very much less desirable elements of society than their parents who never saw the schools" (p. 18).
An Environics survey was commissioned by General Synod as part of the "intentional listening" process mandated at its last meeting in 2001, aimed at forming the basis for a new national plan for the church.
Three letters to the Editor from former residential school staff protesting that the vast majority of staff worked unstintingly for the good of their students and have been unfairly criticized and condemned by the Church's recent statements and apologies.
David Ashdown, now an Anglican priest, worked as a dormitory supervisor for four years, in the Anglican residential school in Inuvik in the NWT. He began work in the school inspired by the 1969 Hendry Report "Beyond Traplines". Ashdown understands the pain of many former staff "not the ones who deliberately perpetrated abuse, but the caring ones who were caught up in that system, and who now feel that everything they did, everything they stood for, has all come to naught." "What I've come to understand is that it wasn't a good system, but it had a few bad people in it; it was a bad system, but it had some good people. There was systemic evil present in the residential schools".
This article was also reprinted in `Open' vol. 47 no. 2, Summer 2001, p. 8.
"We hear a lot in the Canadian media presently about the legal cases being brought forward by former Residential School pupils. Whilst there is no doubt that many unacceptable things happened, it is our belief that these were the exception and not the rule in our Anglican establishments in the north. It is unfortunate however that the negative reports we see and hear may make former workers feel that they should feel ashamed and that their ministries were and are not appreciated. This is not the case ! I would like to have the opportunity to record our thanks to them for all they contributed.
We are anxious to learn of the names and addresses of any former Residential School, Hostel or Hospital employee so that we might keep in contact with them and support them in these difficult times as history seems to be judging them so harshly."