Residential School Statement

The Presbyterian Church of Canada has released a joint statement from the Current and Former Moderators regarding Residential Schools

The following is only an excerpt:

“The Presbyterian Church in Canada operated eleven residential schools for Indigenous children, with the first opening in the mid 1880s. The names of those schools are: Ahousaht Residential School in British Columbia, Alberni Residential School in British Columbia, Birtle Residential School in Manitoba, Cecilia Jeffrey Residential School in Kenora Ontario, Crowstand Residential School in Saskatchewan, File Hills Residential School in Saskatchewan, Muscowpetung (later known as “Lakesend”) Residential School in Saskatchewan, Portage la Prairie Residential School in Manitoba, Regina Industrial School in Saskatchewan, Round Lake Residential School in Saskatchewan, and Stoney Plain Residential School in Alberta. In 1925 all but two of the schools that were still open were transferred to the United Church of Canada which was established as a result of the Church Union Movement. The two schools the PCC continued to operate after 1925 were Birtle Residential School and Cecilia Jeffrey Residential School. Though the church first offered formal apology and confession to God and to Indigenous peoples in 1994 for our role in running these schools—places from which many students never returned and which caused emotional scars and trauma on generations of Indigenous communities—the harm from these schools and other colonial practices continues today and so too does our need for confessing.”

“Because the residential schools operated for almost nine decades, harming generations of communities, true healing and reconciliation will require a lengthy journey over generations and a great deal of work to heal that harm. The discoveries of unmarked graves continues to lead to unspeakable grief and ongoing harm in communities across our country. Reconciliation is a long road that requires acknowledgement of harm, apology for taking part in that harm, concrete steps to redress the harm, and the rebuilding of broken relationships. We are called as disciples of Christ to reconciliation and to justice; this is work the church must do and commits to doing. “

—The Rev. Dr. Daniel Scott
Moderator of the 2021 General Assembly

—The Rev. Amanda Currie
Moderator of the 2019 General Assembly

Read the full statement here