Thousands upon Thousands: Indigenous Residential Schools

In the words of Marcia Brown Martel (60’s Scoop Survivor and lead plaintiff in Ontario case), “People didn’t know how bad it could get. So, there’s almost an incredulity to it. Canada doesn’t do this to its children…but the reality is that this happened in Canada to thousands upon thousands upon thousands. Our communities never forgot those children. 

This is a chapter in Canada’s history that has never closed. We see evidence of this as recent discoveries expose, countless Indigenous children that never made it home from Residential Schools to see their own life stories written to its fullest.  

As the Church, we grieve and lament this reality. We acknowledge the pain that our Indigenous sisters and brothers feel so deeply as a result of actions deemed as righteous in the name of God, but completely missed the mark. We humbly repent and look to the love of Jesus as our guide. 

We recognize the hard and necessary work that needs to be done to pave the way towards true healing. We must listen diligently to the Indigenous voices that have struggled and fought endlessly for the dignity of their people. We must walk with care and grace alongside them on this road towards reconciliation. 

As one family under God, let us cling to Christ as we acknowledge this hurtful and sinful past; listen, learn, love, and understand each other in the present; and look towards a hopeful future together with our Indigenous neighbours.  

There are many places to start today, including: 

2 thoughts on “Thousands upon Thousands: Indigenous Residential Schools”

  1. Why is the church in general not acknowledging it’s silent role in sitting back while these abuses took place ? The truth is that this country was taken from the native peoples and they were not considered equal because “ they had no soul” and their religion was not Christianity. This mentality allowed the ignoring of what happened to them .
    Repentance and reconciliation is needed .

  2. A friend & her two children are Indigenous and descendants of residential school survivors. They’ve been attending a local church in this denomination. The church’s lack of acknowledgment of the recent week of Truth & Reconciliation & Orange shirt day- of any Indigenous peoples’ suffering- was enough to make her feel excluded, and that her family & her people were uncared for. This lack of acknowledgment is a stumbling block, in my opinion. This post & the resources included are a useful place for congregations to start; also the experience & presence of Indigenous people in the church needs more care. Thank you for your prayerful consideration.

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