On Saturday, October 23rd, Ottawa’s Church of the Epiphany (Anglican) hosted members of the diocese’s Primates World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF), who gathered to learn about the Indian Residential Schools. Participants engaged in a hands-on workshop to learn how their respective congregations in the diocese could engage in gestures of reconciliation through doing Project of Heart. The Indigenous children who died as a result of forced attendance at Stringer Hall Indian Residential School in Inuvik, North West Territories, were commemorated through the tiles decorated on their behalf.
Participants also engaged in a question/answer session that culminated in a smudging ceremony, led by Cree Grandmother and IRS survivor Greta Neepin. Learners also put their faith into action by signing petitions urging our government to be responsible in protecting Indigenous rights by signing the UN Declaration to Defend Indigenous Peoples, as well as signing the petition for concrete government action to address the violence against Indigenous women. Participants were also made aware of ongoing attacks against First Nations children through learning about the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society’s discrimination complaint against the Federal Government for unfair funding of First Nations Children in the child welfare system.