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Something to ponder

With far-reaching effects on successive generations of Indigenous communities, residential schools represent a tragic chapter in the history of indigenous peoples worldwide. These institutions caused severe harm to people, families, and cultures when they were built with the goal of integrating Indigenous children into Euro-Canadian society. It is essential to comprehend the legacy of residential schools in order to promote reconciliation in modern society and heal the collective trauma.

The Canadian government, working with a number of churches, established a strategy of forced assimilation in the 19th century, which is when residential schools in Canada first appeared. Native American children were taken against their will from their homes and villages and sent to boarding schools, where they suffered from neglect, physical and psychological abuse, and cultural repression. Even now, the terrible effects of these schools may be seen in structural inequalities, socioeconomic inequality, and intergenerational trauma.

All facets of Indigenous life are impacted by the deep and complex legacy of residential schools. Residential school trauma has left survivors with long-lasting psychological and emotional effects, such as elevated rates of addiction, mental health problems, and suicide. In addition, Indigenous peoples’ links to their ancestral heritage have been broken by the loss of their language, culture, and familial relationships, which has led to a sense of identity loss and cultural detachment.

Alongside individual trauma, there is also the wider impact on Indigenous communities, where residential schools have left a lasting legacy of social and economic inequality, gaps in educational attainment, and disproportionately high rates of incarceration and participation with child welfare. These difficulties are made even more difficult by the intergenerational transfer of trauma, which feeds the cycles of marginalization and hardship.

As Canadians face the terrible legacy of residential schools and recognize the lingering effects of colonialism, initiatives towards reconciliation have gathered steam in recent years. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada was set up to allow survivors a forum to tell their stories and to determine the truth about what really happened in residential schools. In order to confront the legacy of residential schools and further reconciliation efforts, the TRC has issued Calls to Action.

The acknowledgment of Indigenous rights, self-determination, and sovereignty is essential to the healing process. Rebuilding broken identities and promoting healing requires giving Indigenous communities the tools they need to reclaim their languages, cultures, and customs. Building a more inclusive and equitable society also requires prioritizing Indigenous viewpoints in government and education, encouraging meaningful discussion, and advancing cultural competency.

Volunteers needed at the Indigenous Health Centre of Tiotià:ke!

You can find the sign-up form here.


On April 19, 1884, the Residential Schools were created.

Save the date

On April 22 is International Mother Earth Day.

Food for thought

How could you and your neighbours come together to enact the international rights of Indigenous Peoples?

Resource: Home on Native Land, a ten-week course from Raven

A reminder

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Resources for dedication of Mohawk Bible Many Mohawk Bibles have already been delivered to individuals and communities of faith, with more on their way. The Living into Right Relations Leadership Circle has developed some ideas to help communities of faith dedicate their copies of the Mohawk Bible with respect and gratitude, including liturgical resources, video clips of Harvey Satewas Gabriel reading from the Mohawk Bible and other resources about the significance of this translation.

Download resources: Ohiatonhseratokénti, The Holy Bible in Mohawk (DOC) or (PDF)