"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'."
"On March 19 , Mildred Richardson of Tavistock, Ont., reached her 100th birthday. She received a congratulatory certificate from Archbishop Fred Hiltz. Richardson has spent a lifetime serving the Anglican church. A former grade school teacher, in the 1940s she spent two summers plying the back roads of northern British Columbia in a two-ton Sunday school van. 'It wasn't for everyone. You were far away from the amenities of home and you had to keep in shape', recalls Richardson. As a 'vanner' she drove one of Eva Hasell's 24 vehicles that brought Anglican teaching to rural Canada from 1920 to the 1970s. 'If your van broke down on an isolated road, you had to wait until help came along', Richardson recalls. Luckily, the big Fords were equipped with beds. 'We had a little camping stove and we ate mostly out of cans', she says. 'Sometimes we got invited to dinner, and sometimes people held canned-goods "showers" for us'. Her 35-year teaching career included two years at Indian residential schools in Alberta. 'What upset me most was that the children were punished for speaking their native language', she says. 'You'd be surprised how quickly I could turn deaf'." [Text of entire article.]
"The Nuu-chah-nulth First Nation currently numbers around 10,000 people -- mostly living on Vancouver Island. What alarms staff at the Nuu-chah-nulth Economic Development Corporation (NEDC), a PWRDF partner, is that only about 2% of the population are fluent in their own language and most of those fluent speakers are over 65 years of age. PWRDF has been working with NEDC to fund a series of projects which aim to preserve the Nuu-chah-nulth language. The methods of preserving and teaching this ancient language are very modern. NEDC is funding groups that are using Facebook to link speakers of Nuu-chah-nulth together, YouTube to share videos of elders speaking the language, DVDs featuring pronunciation guides for the (newly) written language, and more. Nuu-chah-nulth was purely an oral language until recently, so most fluent speakers aren't literate in it".
The Very Rev. Ken Davis, dean of St. Alban's Cathedral in Prince Albert, Sask. wanted to learn Cree when he arrived in Prince Albert in 2010. "Davis discovered he was not alone in wanting to learn Cree. Loss of ancestral language, identified as one of the tragic consequences of residential schools, had affected many third-and-fourth generation natives". After securing a $15,000 grant from the Anglican Healing Fund, the cathedral is now hosting a 39-week Cree language class. The class is taught by the Rev. Samuel Halkett, a diocesan deacon. "Cree was Halkett's first spoken language. He also studied the language formally -- learning its grammar and structure. Cree is 'a beautiful, smooth language', with different dialects, he explained. He's teaching the Y dialect, the easiest and most commonly used. Response has been phenomenal; the program was designed for only 20 people, but 79 signed up. The classes have fostered 'a great spirit of fellowship and good humour', Davis said".
"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).
"On reading this very sad story of how our Indigenous people were treated ('Residential schools a form of 'cultural genocide', says TRC [Truth and Reconciliation Commission] report', anglicanjournal.com, June 2, 2015), I keep thinking how things could have been different. In 1943, my father, Archdeacon Henry Alderwood, was almost coerced by his bishop to accept the position of superintendent of the Anglican schools. He, of course, had to travel across the land to visit the schools, and he soon realized how wrong the whole concept was. When his office moved to Ottawa in 1946, he began to confront the government officials who were really in charge. One thing he found most distressing was forcing the children to speak English only; most knew no English when they arrived but were expected to know it somehow. The officials would not listen to my dad, or agree to any changes. This broke his heart (he compared those children with his own seven happy youngsters). He died of a heart attack at age 58, missing out on 23 grandchildren to come. He tried his best, but all in vain". [Text of entire article.]
"In 2003, Nuu-chah-nulth people feared their language would be lost. Less than 1 % of members could speak their language fluently .... A couple of books and tape cassettes were all that that teachers had as tools to assist them in their lessons. At that time, PWRDF partnered with the Nuu-chah-nulth Economic Development Corporation (NEDC) to establish a program that would result in many thousands of copies of over 150 additional resources from flashcards to on-line tools. The materials developed in the program have been essential to the preservation of the Nuu-chah-nulth language".
"Kahnawa:ke Mohawk Territory is located on the south shore of Montreal, Quebec. We are a community of approximately 8,000 people with a unique culture, history and language". "The mandate of the Kanien'keha:ka Onkwawen:na Raotitiohkwa Language and Cultural Centre (KORLCC) is to promote and preserve our language and culture. There are a variety of ways that we, a committed but small staff, do this with the support of funders like PWRDF".
Full-page advertisement for Giving with Grace, The General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada. "For 25 years, the Anglican Church of Canada has funded healing projects in Indigenous communities. This year, let's renew our commitment through Giving with Grace. One important dimension of any healing journey is having a place to share the truth about what happened. The EagleSpeaker Community Connection Society is developing a powerful new resource that comes out of consultation with more than 200 Residential Schools survivors and their families. This multi-media resource in a graphic novel style focuses on language restoration in response to the impact of the schools. Help raise $1 million in 2017 for healing work ahead."