"The Anglican Church of Canada's General Synod has requested bishops and deans to focus, for 22 days, from May 31 to June 21 , on renewing the church's commitment to support the work of the Anglican Fund for Healing and Reconciliation through prayers, participation in awareness-raising campaigns and donations. Early this year , Council of General Synod (CoGS) agreed to dedicate the undesignated proceeds of Giving with Grace, General Synod's annual fundraising campaign, to replenish the fund. For the next five years, the fund -- created in 1992 as part of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement -- will focus on language recovery". General Secretary, Archdeacon Michael Thompson, "stressed that while the Anglican Church of Canada has met its legal obligations under the settlement agreement, 'we're far from finished with our spiritual and moral obligation to continue to support the healing work that is underway among those survivors and in those communities'."
"The Anglican Fund for Healing and Reconciliation has been given a new lease on life in its 25th year, following a decision by Council of General Synod (CoGS) to dedicate the undesignated proceeds of General Synod's annual fundraising campaign to replenish it. In 2015, the campain Giving with Grace raised $15,000 according to audited figures from General Synod. But the hope is that with a dedicated purpose, the campaign will be able to raise $1 million, enough to replenish the fund for five years. In line with the stipulations of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, the fund was to spend the last of its money by 2019. Once the money it had been granted through the settlement fund has run out, the future of the fund was uncertain. The last of the fund's money was budgeted for 2017" (p. 1). Esther "Wesley, who has served as co-ordinator since 2001, said the Canadian Anglican church could not 'afford not to go on [supporting]' the Healing Fund's work. 'Some form of [funding] has to fo on if we are serious about reconciliation', she said. 'Not just words but action -- that's what people are looking for'. The decision allows the fund's work to continue, but it will be in a reduced capacity. For the past 10 years, the fund has been disbursing between $300,000 and $600,000 a year, and Wesley said the new budget of $200,000 will require the fund to be more focused in what it supports. Wesley believes the area where the fund can effect the most change is through language preservation" (p. 14).
"Two Canadian Indigenous Anglican theological students have received a financial boost as a result of a recent decision by the diocese of Western Newfoundland. In December 2016, the two students, Sharon Campbell and Aaron Sault, were each awarded $20,000 to fund their studies. The one-time bursaries were created mostly from money returned to the diocese of Western Newfoundland from Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement funds". "The diocese forwarded the funds to the Anglican Church of Canada's national office with the idea that they go toward bursaries for Indigenous theology students". "Many other dioceses across Canada have been putting the funds returned to them under the settlement agreement into reconciliation projects".
"David Jones, chancellor of the Council of General Synod (CoGS), informed council members of a strong possibility that as much as $2.7 million paid to the Residential Schools Settlement will be returned to the 32 Anglican entities involved -- General Synod, the Missionary Corporation and the 30 dioceses. He explained why and led a discussion about what might be done with General Synod's share once the final financial information is confirmed". In 2007, the "Roman Catholic settlement was for $79 million, and 'there had been an agreement that our proportionate share was 19.8572 per cent of theirs. That caused our $25 million number to be reduced to $15,687,188', he said. As a result, each of the Anglican entities' contributions were recalculated, and some refunds were paid". "He noted that the 30 diocese would make their own decisions about the appropriate use of their shares, but CoGS could consider what it might want to do with General Synod's share of $322,348".
"The Anglican Church of Canada will release an additional $125,000 to help defray the costs of providing Indian residential schools-related documents to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of Canada". "Up to $30,000 of the amount will support dioceses in their legal obligations to provide archival documents as part of the revised Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement (IRSSA). The remaining $95,000 will fund a digital version of documents that will be accessible to the public through the National Research Centre. The funds are over and above the $50,000 that General Synod Archives estimates it will need to provide the documents". "Archdeacon Michael Thompson, the national church's general secretary, told CoGS the additional contribution goes beyond what the church is required to do under the IRSSA". "The church has decided to respond positively to the request not only because it seeks to honour its legal obligation but also because it acknowledges its 'solemn moral obligation' to former residential school students and their families, as well as their communities, said Thompson. The Anglican Church of Canada operated over 30 residential schools across Canada over a 150-year period".
"When it comes to tracking the process of healing, spreadsheets and metrics aren't all that useful. It takes someone like Esther Wesley, the Anglican Fund for Healing and Reconciliation ("AHF") co-ordinator, to sense when healing starts to happen. Wesley's face lights up when she talks about Aboriginal Neighbours, a group of volunteers on Vancouver Island with a practical, authentic approach to bringing together indigenous and non-indigenous peoples. Aboriginal Neighbours is one of 494 projects that have received AHF grants. Founded in 1991, the AHF now uses funds raised by dioceses in order to comply with the Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement of 2006. So far, the fund has distributed more than $5 million to projects addressing the legacy of residential schools". "Wesley says AHF's work is fundamentally the same as that of Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission: to educate people about residential schools and bring people together. It's hard and painful work sometimes, but for her, Aboriginal Neighbours stands as a slow and steady example of how healing can happen. 'We need more of that people-to-people contact', Wesley says. 'It's about recognizing each other, sharing culture and stories and being people of God'."
Eight page insert (1-8) with May 2013 issue of Anglican Journal. Anglican Church of Canada Ministry Report. Insert produced by Resources for Mission Dept.
"A former student of the Elkhorn Indian Residential School, set up by an Anglican missionary in 1888, has donated $50,000 -- $40,000 of which was his entire settlement from the revised residential schools agreement -- to an inner city homeless shelter in Winnipeg. 'I'm hoping for the best for the people', William Woodford, 85, told reporters who heard of his generous act and showed up at Siloam Mission when he delivered the bank draft on March 2 ". "In a related development, the Anglican Church of Canada, along with other churches, is urging the government to declare the month between May 26 and June 21 (National Aboriginal Day), as a month of healing and reconciliation to help Canadians focus on the 150-year legacy of forced assimilation through the Indian residential schools". "Meanwhile, former students and representatives of the churches that are signatory to the revised Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement (IRSSA) gathered for a round table meeting in Ottawa March 23  and agreed to the importance of having a ceremony for the new Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) members who will be appointed. Esther Wesley, indigenous healing co-ordinator of the Anglican church's partnerships department who attended the meeting, said the view was expressed that the IRSSA is 'more than an agreement; it is a spiritual covenant' that involved aboriginal communities across Canada'."
"The national office of the Anglican Church of Canada has reported a deficit for the fifth straight year in 2007, with a shortfall of $777,195; the amount is $290,768 more than the loss recorded in 2006 of $486,427. The deficit would have been $1.97 million had General Synod not received a refund last year of $1.17 million from the federal government as part of the revised Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, the financial statements showed. The statements reported revenue of $13.68 million, and expenses of $14.46 million. General Synod treasurer Peter Blachford said there were a number of reasons for the deficit, but that the biggest cost was related to the transfer of Anglican Book Centre (ABC) , the church's Toronto-based bookstore, to the Lutheran bookseller, Augsburg Fortress Canada". "Although donations to the Anglican Appeal, the church's flagship appeal, went up by 1.6 per cent ($438,344 compared to $425,881 in 2006) in 2007, it still fell short of its budgeted revenue target of $550,000, added Mr. Blachford. Proportional giving by some dioceses was also down".
An Ontario Court of Appeal decision to certify a class of plaintiffs in a lawsuit for abuse at a native residential school "does not change or threaten in any way" the agreement between the Anglican church and the federal government that caps the church's liability at $25 million, says Archdeacon Jim Boyles, General Secretary of the national church.
The decision by the Ontario Court of Appeal allowed lawsuits by former students at the Mohawk School in Brantford, Ont., to proceed as a class action. The former students are suing the Anglican diocese of Huron and the federal government.
In a letter sent to all Anglican bishops earlier this week, Mr. Boyles said that any future findings of liability against the church for the sexual or physical abuse of students at the schools would be shared between the church and the government under the terms of the 2003 agreement.
The agreement says that the church and the government would share in the payment of any awards on a 30/70 per cent basis.
It also requires the church to contribute $25 million over five years to a Settlement Fund out of which the church's share of court-ordered awards would be paid. Once the Settlement Fund is expended, the government will pay all awards.
Mr. Boyles also said that issues of liability for the loss of language and culture by residential schools students would be decided at a future date.
The full text of the General Secretary's letter to Canadian bishops follows:
"You will have read in the media that the Ontario Court of Appeal ruled last week on the Cloud case, which is an application for certification as a class under class action legislation in Ontario. Cloud and others attended the Mohawk School in Brantford, Ontario, in the Diocese of Huron. The court overruled the lower courts and certified the class, which, subject to further appeals, allows the case to proceed as a class action. In allowing the appeal the court redefined the common issues, with the result that the class action is now focused primarily on issues of physical and mental harm, with issues of loss of language and culture claims being much less significant.
The government may decide to seek leave to appeal this decision to the Supreme Court of Canada, which would delay the action for a further period.
Questions have been raised about the possible impact of this decision on the Settlement Agreement between the Federal Government and ourselves. I have consulted with our legal counsel for the General Synod and the Diocese of Huron. This court decision does not change or threaten in any way the March 2003 Settlement Agreement. Since the focus has shifted to claims of physical and sexual abuse, any court awards would be shared on a 70/30 basis between the government and the church, with the church portion being paid from the Settlement Fund. The maximum amount of payment remains at $25M. Once that amount has been paid out, the government is responsible for 100 % of all payments for physical and sexual abuse claims.
The issue of liability for loss of language and culture will be decided at a future date. Although some resolution of these claims may occur in the Cloud case, the issue exists in many other cases too. For example, it is an issue in another class proceeding filed in Ontario, called the Baxter case, where it is sought to certify a national class action on behalf of all students who attended all residential schools throughout Canada, and it is an issue in the test cases which are proceeding though [sic i.e. through] the process established in Alberta. The Settlement Fund does not cover such claims if liability is found. There are however, provisions in Section 6 of the Agreement that provide some protection for the church if liability for language and culture claims is imposed against the church. We continue to believe that such claims are not compensible, and that if they are found to be so, the government bears full responsibility.
We continue to believe that the ADR process as established by the government is an effective way to resolve claims. There are aspects of the process that could be improved, and we have joined with others in pointing these out to the government and in seeking changes.
Through these evolving legal developments we continue to hold high our primary goal as a church, to seek healing for those who have been harmed by their experience in the residential schools. Church representatives have attended a few ADR hearings, as requested by the claimants, not to defend but to offer support and express the church's profound regret that the residential schools system in which it was involved has caused so much damage in the aboriginal communities in Canada.
Archdeacon Jim Boyles
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Eighteen months after committing itself to raising $25 million over five years to compensate former residential schools students, the Anglican Church of Canada, including the General Synod and its 30 dioceses, is more than half-way there.
"We are now past the $13 million mark," said Archdeacon Jim Boyles, General Secretary of the General Synod. "The dioceses have responded creatively, imaginatively and very effectively. They are to be commended."
Mr. Boyles stressed that every penny that Anglicans contribute to the Settlement Fund goes exactly where the money is intended to go -- as compensation to former students of the church-run schools whose claims of physical or sexual abuse are validated.
"Our fund is administered by General Synod staff," Mr. Boyles said. "That means that the total of the $25 million fund will be available to victims of abuse whose claims have been validated."
To date, the Anglican church has paid about $3.5 million to 130 claimiants. The federal government has been criticized in recent weeks for the amount it spends on administration as compared to the money it pays to former students. Last year, the federal government spent about $61 million on administration, four times the $16.5 million paid to former students.
The Anglican Church of Canada and the federal government signed an agreement in March, 2003, under which the church's liabilities in lawsuits by former residential schools students would be limited to $25 million. The Anglican General Synod and all 30 dioceses agreed to raise the $25 million within five years.
For more information on the Settlement Fund and how Anglican dioceses met their commitment, see