Twenty-two days of remembrance, reconciliation, and prayer started this Sunday at Renison as part of the #22days campaign by the Anglican Church of Canada.
As Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) wraps up its work around the legacy of the residential schools, the Anglican Church has been called to 22 days of prayer and renewal to demonstrate its ongoing commitment to healing and reconciliation for Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples of Canada. The Anglican Church was involved in the running of many residential schools, and has been engaged in the work of repentance and examination since the apology given by Primate Michael Peers on behalf of the wider church in 1993.
On Wednesday, June 17, Renison will host a talk by Lila Bruyere, a residential school survivor who attended St. Margaret Residential School in Fort Frances, ON, from 1959-1967. Bruyere, originally from Couchiching First Nation, graduated with her master’s degree in the Aboriginal Field of Study program at Wilfrid Laurier University. Last year she took part in WLU’s “Living Library, Indigenous Stories” event, where participants could spend one-on-one time with Bruyere to hear her story first hand.
Sharing oral accounts from darker parts of Canadian history is imperative to the development of empathy and social conscientiousness in future generations, according to research by Professor Kristina Llewellyn, Associate Professor in Social Development Studies at Renison.
“If you believe that we are historically improving naturally, then no-one is making a stand. You need to understand the injustices and trauma that occurred in the past; this is critical to ensuring that it doesn’t happen again,” says Llewellyn.
The Rev. Canon Megan Collings-Moore, Anglican Chaplain for Renison and the University of Waterloo, says that Renison’s Chapel of St. Bede will observe the 22 days in a number of other ways as well. “On Sundays, at the chapel worship service, we will be remembering the legacy of the residential schools, remembering the murdered and missing aboriginal women across Canada, and praying for healing & reconciliation. Each day throughout this time period, the chapel bells will toll at 12 noon, to remember murdered and missing aboriginal women.”
The #22days campaign began on Sunday, May 31, at the start of the TRC closing event in Ottawa, and will lead up to the National Aboriginal Day of Prayer on Sunday, June 21. To find out more about Lily Bruyere or the #22days campaign at Renison, please visit our website or come to our chapel, where there will be a small display set up.
You can find out more about the #22days project on their website.