For the first time on Sept. 30th, people across the country are recognizing the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation. It has been established as a federal holiday to “recognize the colonial legacy of residential schools, honour Indigenous survivors, and is vital to the ongoing reconciliation process.” The intent is to bring awareness to the history of Residential schools in Canada as well as the significance of treaty promises in the work toward justice and healing.
At Trinity, we wore orange and spent time unpacking what “truth” and “reconciliation” mean along with what the Bible says about those themes. In 2 Corinthians 5:18-20, Paul writes that God gave us the ministry of reconciliation, as ones who have been reconciled by Christ. We also know that truth is equally important. It is captured so well in 1 John 3:18, where we are challenged to, “not love with words or speech, but with actions and truth.”
Truth means recognizing and acknowledging that residential schools are a dark part of Canada’s story. Sadly, there were many terrible things that took place under the name of “God and Country”. They were neither a good representation of our country and much less of God, who we know cares deeply for each child that He has created and loves them infinitely. Philosopher George Santayana penned the phrase “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” We want to make sure that our students learn from the mistakes of the past, so that they can apply Biblical truths of empathy and care to their lives to ensure a better future.
The other emerging theme of this day is reconciliation. We know that God invites us all to work toward reconciliation and restoration. There are many ways that we can do that tangibly. For example, we can take steps towards building relationships with some of our Indigenous neighbours; support those who are partnering with Indigenous communities to bring the gospel message of hope and love that Jesus provides; and join in taking care of Creation which our God has so beautifully created. Each class has undertaken to do at least one small step towards living out reconciliation, which they will complete in the upcoming weeks.
Please continue to have conversations with your children about this important topic, as they learn about our Indigenous nations in Canada and what it means to be God’s ambassadors who bring reconciliation through Christ.
J-D Lussier, Principal