The next national event of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission takes place at Prairielands Park in Saskatoon, June 21-24. Over those four days, survivors of the Indian Residential Schools system run by the Canadian government and four Canadian churches will gather with their families and the wider Canadian community and tell their stories.
KAIROS strongly encourages Canadians of all backgrounds to attend TRC hearings and events whenever possible, or to watch live online streaming of testimony at http://www.livestream.com/trc_cvr. This is a shared history of a broken relationship and the TRC is one step towards a new relationship based on full respect for Indigenous peoples. Some people have been gathering in groups to watch testimony; others are listening individually. Either is an important gesture of respect towards the residential school survivors and the truth they are sharing, as well as a crucial contribution to a new relationship. Whatever your background, please join in prayer or good thoughts for the survivors, their communities and families, the Commissioners, the representatives of the churches, and all who attend the hearings. Take the time individually or in community; consider opening your faith community’s space for TRC viewing and prayers. When the hearings end, survivors are left with the painful memories, and our support and prayers will be needed, as will our commitment to a changed relationship. See the end of this letter for a list of prayer resources. To learn more about the Indian Residential Schools system, its enormous and enduring impact on Indigenous communities, and what reconciliation, truth and equity might look like, see the Truth and Reconciliation Commission site and KAIROS’ page on truth, reconciliation and equity. KAIROS looks forward to continued work on truth, reconciliation, equity and Indigenous rights in 2012-13, and we welcome your participation in the KAIROS “Education for Action” focus. Prayer resources: Anglican Church of Canada,Presbyterian Church in Canada: reconciliation prayers