Be it resolved that:
This Council of General Synod acknowledge receipt of the report “One Step on a Journey: The Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement and the Anglican Church of Canada – Lessons Learned” and its Executive Summary, commend it to General Synod, and encourage the Anglican Church of Canada at all levels to read them and take action on their recommendations for ongoing reconciliation work both within the Anglican Church and more broadly.
ADOPTED #CoGS 037-03-19
Ms. Melanie Delva, Reconciliation Animator, presented the report “One Step on a Journey: The Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement and the Anglican Church of Canada – Lessons Learned”, an exercise to reflect on the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement (IRSSA).
Data was gathered by surveying national staff members and other national church leaders, convening a Survivors’ Circle, and conducting one-on-one interviews. Participation was fairly evenly representative of urban and rural, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, clergy and laity. In total, 42 individuals participated.
Ms. Delva reflected that the process was hard, some of what she learned was hard – it has changed how she views her work and how she views people with whom she works as Reconciliation Animator in the Anglican Church of Canada. Although a lengthy report, she encouraged Council members to read it.
Ms. Delva noted that aside from being presented to CoGS, the report was also submitted to the Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples (ACIP), the Vision Keepers, and the Primate’s Commission on Discovery, Reconciliation, and Justice. The report will be submitted to the House of Bishops (HoB) and presented, with a resolution, to General Synod 2019 in July.
In closing, Ms. Delva remarked that the Settlement Agreement did not necessarily heal the break in the relationship with the indigenous community and the rest of the Anglican Church.
The Rev. Canon Dr. Murray Still, ACIP Co-Chair, spoke to the resolution to memorialize the Apology 1993 and Covenant 1994. He shared that it was 25 years ago that ACIP responded to then Primate the Most Rev. Michael Peers Apology by writing the Covenant. The forthcoming resolution is to ensure that the work of the Elders and the acceptance of the apology is remembered. This is the work of the whole of the church. Dr. Still noted that of those writing the Covenant in 1994, only two are still alive.
THAT COUNCIL OF GENERAL SYNOD COMMEND THE FOLLOWING MOTION TO GENERAL SYNOD 2019:
Be it resolved:
That the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada approve and institute the following memorializations of the Apology of August 6, 1993 and the Covenant of April 5, 1994, to be observed on separate days.
ADOPTED #CoGS 004-03-19
1. Affirm the following goals of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada:
- Prepare a comprehensive historical record on the policies and operations of Indian Residential Schools;
- Complete a publicly accessible report that will include recommendations to the Government of Canada concerning the Indian Residential School system and its legacy;
- Establish a research centre by the end of its mandate that will be a permanent resource for all Canadians;
- Host seven national events in different regions across Canada to promote awareness and public education about the Indian Residential School system and its impact;
- Support events designed by individual communities to meet their unique needs;
- Support a Commemoration Initiative that will provide funding for activities that honour and pay tribute in a permanent and lasting manner to former Indian Residential School students.
2. Request the General Secretary and the Council of General Synod to ensure adequate resources for the Anglican Church of Canada to support and participate fully in the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada over the next five years (2010-2015).
3. Reaffirm the 3 goals for equipping leaders, taken from the 'Equipping Ambassadors of Reconciliation' conference hosted by the Anglican, United and Presbyterian Churches in Orillia, Ontario in November 2009:
- To provide training and resources to ensure that every church member has knowledge of the history of the Indian Residential Schools system, the mandate and purpose of the official Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC), and the possible roles of ordinary citizens in the official processes of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
- To provide training and resources to ensure that former students of Indian Residential School are given the opportunity to tell the story of his or her experience in a safe and respectful manner. These may be former students of Indian Residential Schools who are or were church members or who reside in the same communities or urban friendship or ministry centres.
- To provide training and resources to encourage all Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal church members to work actively together to build right relationships with each other.
4. Recommend that the Anglican Church of Canada co-host at least two and up to three more events modeled after the first 'Equipping Ambassadors of Reconciliation' conference during the 2010-2013 triennium, if possible in Western, Eastern, and Northern Canada.
The Ven. Michael Thompson, General Secretary presented a motion on the redistribution of funds related to the Amended Residential Schools Settlement Agreement regarding the return of funds not required under the Agreement:
Be it resolved that:
1. The General Secretary is authorized to return the funds to the Anglican entities which were not required under the Amended Residential Schools Settlement Agreement as set out in the attached schedule.
2. The amount returned to the General Synod will be used for the administrative costs of the Anglican Fund for Healing and Reconciliations, as determined by the General Secretary.
That the Council move into Committee of the Whole.
The Chancellor distributed a briefing note on the history and current status of the Settlement Agreement. He explained that should the Roman Catholic Church not raise their full amount required under the Residential Schools Settlement, further matching would not be required. There is about $2.6 million, currently held in reserve, that could be returned to the General Synod and the dioceses.
He presented three items for discussion noting that a resolution would be brought to COGS at the November 2014 or May 2015 meeting.
That the Council move out of the Committee of the Whole.
Canon Jones said that the Settlement Agreement would not be revisited at this point and that there is ample time for reflection and discussion before a decision is required.