Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples
The United Church of Canada Foundation is committed to continuing the journey towards mutuality, respect and equity. Towards reconciliation. Towards justice.
So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift.
– Matthew 5: 23-24
Our Foundational Priorities
In 2022, the Foundation is establishing four priorities: Ideals we will use to guide our organization forward. Learn more about our other priorities by clicking the button below:
The United Church of Canada is committed wholeheartedly to Reconciliation with Canada’s Indigenous Peoples.
We now stand at a crucial time in the life of the church, and the history of Canada, when we can see the journey through. For more than thirty years, the United Church and Indigenous Peoples have been on a journey towards mutuality, respect and equity. Towards reconciliation. Towards justice.
Through powerful testimonies shared by Residential School Survivors and their families, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission unveiled a history that is not simply about misguided and profoundly abusive attempts to assimilate Indigenous Peoples.
It’s a colonial legacy that continues to this day, making itself known in inequities and injustices in areas as far-ranging as education and child welfare, violence against women, and violation of treaty and nation-to-nation rights in the face of resource extraction on Indigenous lands.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission confirmed for Canada that the path towards reconciliation is also unquestionably the path towards justice. In recognition of the prevailing need for justice, The United Church of Canada Foundation has chosen to engage Reconciliation as one of our Foundation Pillars.
Residential Schools caused irreparable damage to Indigenous communities and culture, and the United Church has apologized for its role in operating the Schools. Being aware of apologies and the need to dismantle the systems that continue to harm Indigenous Peoples, the Foundation must act. In seeking reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples for these actions, the Foundation will:
Work with the church to support reconciliation and Indigenous justice initiatives
Reflect on and respond to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action
Contemplate and discern on the Calls to the church from the Indigenous Caretakers
Towards Reconciliation: Works in Action
Searching for answers in Residential Schools
In response to some of what we have heard, we provided $100,000 to support archival research to find documents about residential schools. We have also added $100,000 to the Justice & Reconciliation Fund to support reconciliation efforts.
Helping Indigenous Students pursue Post-Secondary Education
In 2019, we awarded the first scholarship from the Endowment Fund for Indigenous Post-Secondary Education. The Foundation is dedicated to helping break down the financial barriers many Indigenous Peoples face when pursuing post-secondary education.
I am writing this letter to show my utmost appreciation for receiving this scholarship. It was a complete surprise to me getting the email that you were going to continue the support as I am going into the first semester of my 4th year of my degree program. This news was a nice incentive to study hard and grind out this final upcoming year. Just knowing an organization like yours believes in me and my goals as a student fills me with pride.
– One multi-year recipient of the Indigenous Post-Secondary Endowment Fund
Remembering and Honouring Survivors
In 2015, we worked with the Executive of the General Council to establish the Alvin Dixon Memorial Bursary. This annual award offers support Indigenous students pursuing post-secondary education or study at religious or spiritual centres. A survivor of the Residential School System, Alvin Dixon worked tirelessly as an advocate and counsellor for other survivors. Alvin’s contributions to the church were immense and we honour his memory through this award.
United, we: can begin to address the wrongs of both the past and present
Seeking Reconciliation with Indigenous communities will involve action, humility, and a dedication to addressing our past actions as a church.
Join us on this journey.
If you would like to walk with us in this journey toward Reconciliation, please contact us.