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The Presbyterian Church in Canada Implementing the 2007 Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement

Truth and Reconciliation Commission
As a party to the Overall Settlement agreement our church will be a participant in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). We maintain close ties with the TRC office in Ottawa and are preparing the resources that will be necessary for our full participation. We will want to be present at national events, and community events, where invited. We will also be providing all our relevant documents to the commission, and encouraging our congregations and members both to be aware of the TRC and to participate in the public events that will form an important part of its work.

Truth and Reconciliation Roundtable
Our church participates with other churches and many Aboriginal organizations on this reference group. Its purpose is to inform the Truth and Reconciliation commission on how its work can be the most effective in aboriginal communities, and how it can best facilitate the goals of reconciliation and honest reflection on the past.

Ecumenical Working Group on Residential Schools
For over ten years, our church has been represented on this ecumenical group. This group has pushed for an overall settlement agreement that would give justice to those who have been wronged and healing to those who have been hurt. This has been the negotiating group that led to the overall settlement agreement, and has an ongoing function of monitoring all aspects of the churches’ shared participation in working on our response to the legacy of residential schools.

Missing children and unmarked burials working group
Some students did not return home from Residential School. Our church feels a moral obligation to help find any information in our possession that might give answers to families who still do not know what really happened. We are part of a working group with Aboriginal groups, led by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission office that is developing a plan to facilitate the necessary research.

Attendance at claimant hearings
The church always offers to be present for hearings at which a claimant tells his or her account of abuse at one of our schools. We do this as a way of witnessing and acknowledging the experience of former students. This also provides an opportunity for a genuine face-to-face and personal apology to be made on behalf of the church in addition to the written apology that accompanies the conclusion of each student’s claim.

Archivists working group
In order to provide all relevant documents in a timely and organized way to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, our archivist has been working with colleagues and the government on ways and means. Our church documents are an important part of the historical record that will be examined by the Commission and will be fully available to them in their work.

General Assembly Office, February 2008

For information on Remembering the Children: an Aboriginal and Church Leaders' Tour to Prepare for Truth and Reconciliation, email

This page was last modified: February 28, 2008
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