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  • Writer's pictureSt Clements Church Toronto

Truth and Reconciliation

Truth and Reconciliation is an ongoing process and involves continued listening, learning and action.

As a community of faith, St. Clement’s continues to take steps in the process of reconciliation. Your clergy speak to the truth of Canada's history and its treatment of the Indigenous people and are committed to sharing opportunities to listen, learn and act in response to Call to Action #59 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission:

      “We call upon church parties to the Settlement Agreement to develop ongoing education strategies to ensure that their respective congregations learn about their church’s role in colonization, the history and legacy of residential schools, and why apologies to former residential school students, their families, and communities were necessary.”

Your Outreach Committee on your behalf makes donations to INDSPIRE, an organization that fosters educational opportunities for Indigenous students, and also have planned to make donations to the Toronto Urban Native Ministry and the Native Family and Child Services this year. You can read the Church of St. Clement report for 2021-2022 here.

Here are just a few of the many opportunities to engage in continued listening, learning and action.

September 30: National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Wear orange and learn about Phyllis Webstad’s story Orange Shirt Day.

If you would like to purchase an orange shirt in honour of Orange Shirt Day, we encourage you to shop from an Indigenous owned and operated business, such as Native Arts Society. Native Arts Society gallery and studio is run by intergenerational Survivors of Residential School, and in addition to hand printing t-shirts and running educational events on the impacts of colonization, they offer free studio space and art supplies to Indigenous artists, especially those who are houseless or incarcerated.

For a solemn observation of Orange Shirt Day and the ongoing impacts of intergenerational trauma in the wake of the devastating loss of life at James Smith Cree Nation, you may join us by praying “Prayer for those Who Did not Return Home from Residential School and for all Missing and Murdered Indigenous People.” English, Mandarin, Japanese, Cantonese, and Tamil translations of this prayer can be found here. These translations were generously created by the Bishop’s Collaborative for Right Relations Translation for Decolonization working group.

October 2nd: Orange Shirt Sunday at St. Clement’s

We invite everyone to wear orange shirts to church, whether joining in via online or in-person. Following our services, we are inviting people to join in an act of solidarity and remembrance. We will be tying strips of orange t-shirts onto the railing of our Duplex entrance to mark our ongoing commitment to remembering and speaking truth and actioning reconciliation.

On Tuesday October 11th at 7pm, Deborah Tagornak, Inuk author, renowned public speaker, long-time Indigenous rights activist and knowledge keeper, will offer teachings on “Inuit Principles and Societal Values: Empowering Capable Human Beings.” Deborah Tagornak coordinates the family wellbeing program at Ottawa-based Inuit organization Inuuqatigiit, and is the Inuit advisor to the Anglican Bishop of Ottawa. Deborah Tagornak is an organizer in Inuit health, wellbeing, and innovation. She utilizes traditional knowledge and language to build healthy families and communities. She is a leader, trailblazer, and inspiration to many. We are blessed to welcome and learn from her virtually.

May we all continue to be reminded that God calls us "to love one another", to pray without ceasing and to live into ongoing truth and reconciliation.

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