Jun 28, 2021

United Church and Residential Schools

 

In 1927 the United Church of Canada operated 13 residential schools for Indigenous students in Ontario and Western Canada. By 1966 this was down to four schools and in 1969 the Federal Government took over or closed the remaining ones. About 10% of today's residential school survivors attended United Church-run schools. Since Confederation the government policy had been assimilation of the Indigenous population into Canadian society: the United Church was a willing and complicit partner.

A history of our involvement is available at the website The Children Remembered (opens in a new tab), created by the United Church Archives. For the United Church apologies, go to https://united-church.ca/social-action/justice-initiatives/reconciliation-and-indigenous-justice/apologies. For the United Church response to the Kamloops graves discovery go to https://united-church.ca/news/response-kamloops-residential-school-graves-discovery.  

The United Church also sponsored a 23 minute film on Peter Bryce, the doctor who - a century ago - flagged the terrible conditions in the residential schools (and pioneered public health in Ontario). The video link is here.