Media Release: United Church Commitment to Work on Unmarked Graves
TORONTO- The United Church of Canada is making funds available to support the work of Indigenous communities in the identification of unmarked graves, knowledge gathering, and ceremony to honour the children who died in its care at 15 residential schools.
It is also providing those communities with full electronic copies of all documents in its possession related to these institutions. These records were submitted to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and are currently archived at both the United Church of Canada Archives and the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.
This initiative, called Bringing the Children Home, is an act of reparation and responds to Calls to Action 73–76 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. It also reflects the theological imperative that we are called to love one another, to share our gifts and resources, and to build a community of mutuality and respect. The funding was approved by the United Church’s General Council Executive in the summer of 2021. The United Church Foundation has also provided funding.
“The United Church of Canada was an active participant in a system that ripped Indigenous families apart by forcibly removing the children from their homes,” says the church’s Moderator, the Right Rev. Dr. Richard Bott. “We played a critical role in this and we as a church need to be more action-focused in our commitment to reconciliation.”
The General Secretary, Rev. Michael Blair, notes, “Our history as settlers is a ‘we can fix this’ attitude. Clearly, we have been very wrong. We need to listen before we act, and support communities as they define their needs.”
For more information on Bringing the Children Home, visit the United Church website: https://united-church.ca/social-action/justice-initiatives/reconciliation-and-indigenous-justice/bringing-children-home or email [email protected]
For further information: For media inquiries, please contact Aaron Gallegos, [email protected], 416-605-8579