By David Kim-Cragg | August 3, 2022

"The churches were addicted to the funding and prestige of government support"

Content warning: This article discusses people’s experiences with residential schools, which may be triggering to some readers.

The date is July 17, 1849. The place is a field 30 kilometres southwest of London, Ont. The weather is warm and sunny. Anishinaabe and Oneida nations are present in significant numbers. The Province of Canada and the British Crown are represented. Kahkewaquonaby, an Anishinaabe chief and Wesleyan minister, assists the president of the Conference of the Wesleyan Methodist Church in Canada. Rev. Egerton Ryerson, superintendent of education for Canada West, looks on approvingly. 

Together, they are laying the cornerstone of the Mount Elgin Industrial Institute. Unbeknownst to them, they are also laying the foundation for the legacy of residential schools in the future United Church of Canada.  

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