The United Church of Canada has issued a statement of commitment to help identify the unmarked burial sites of children which may be found on the grounds of the 15 residential schools it operated. This is a response to Calls to Action 73-76 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, and is an act of reparation.
The Moderator and General Secretary have written to the Chiefs of the communities where 13 of schools were located, and in the case of the other two, the communities whose children were taken there, to let them know of this commitment and to be in dialogue about how to move forward.
The United Church’s archival records were released to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and are available at the United Church Archives. We will assist First Nations in accessing the records, and will also be providing summary research for each site.
On July 21, the General Council Executive approved an initial $3 million dollars for this work.
[Photo credit: ©THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Chad Hipolito]