Here’s a great reflection with pics from the blog of the Archbishop of the Ottawa region – Terrence PrendergastGathering Nations International
Kenny Blacksmith is an evangelical leader among the First Nations of Canada and has convoked an assembly this weekend at the Civic Centre (Lansdowne Park) to invite the Native Elders of Canada to reflect upon the Government of Canada’s apology by Prime Minister Harper for the harm that resulted from the policy of the residential schools and to respond to it by offering forgiveness for the harm done so that, ultimately, repentance, reconciliation, restoration and healing may issue from the process.
Many religious leaders were invited to witness to the Christian Church’s role in collaborating in the harm effected by the residential schools and to ask for forgivness. It was a very powerful experience: praise and worship music of high quality, beautiful skits to illustrate the challenges being faced, vivid testimonies by leaders such as Chiefs Elijah Harper and Billy Diamond and an emotional mutual act of asking for and granting forgiveness.
The televangelist David Mainse of 100 Huntley Street (above right), several others and I spoke the apology on our own behalf as leaders in the religious community in the hope that this would, in God’s time, further the process of forgiveness and love.