Recognizing the 25th Anniversary of the Confession
The 2019 General Assembly acknowledged the 25th anniversary of the 1994 Confession to God and Indigenous peoples. Members of the National Indigenous Ministry Council and five Residential School Survivors were in attendance. The Rev. Stephen Kendall, Principal Clerk, addressed the history and legacy of The Presbyterian Church in Canada’s involvement with Indigenous peoples. The assembly heard from guest speaker Terri Brown, Chief of the Tahltan Band in Northern British Columbia, who is a Residential School Survivor. She spoke of the impact Residential School had on her life and the lives of Indigenous peoples. She lit a candle in memory of the children who died in Residential Schools as well as the missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.
The Rev. Ian Ross-McDonald, General Secretary of the Life and Mission Agency, and some of the Young Adult Representatives presented a slide-show of archival images of the Residential Schools operated by The Presbyterian Church in Canada. The Rev. Ian Ross-McDonald also spoke about the devastating effects of Residential Schools on Indigenous children. Members of the National Indigenous Ministry Council gathered on stage while the Rev. Dr. Stewart Folster, from Saskatoon Native Circle Ministry, sang of the tragedy and long-term consequences of Residential Schools. The Rev. Amanda Currie, Moderator of the 145th General Assembly, then led the assembly in prayer. The Rev. Margaret Mullin, Thundering Eagle Woman, introduced a time of sharing circles for commissioners, in which commissioners were encouraged to discuss the meaning of the Confession, thoughts and feelings about the Confession, and acts of reconciliation. The Presbyterian Church in Canada continues its commitment to reconciliation and responding to the TRC’s Calls to Action.