Between 1925 and 1969, The United Church of Canada operated a total of 15 schools within the Indian Residential Schools system as part of the federal government's policy of assimilating Indigenous peoples. A history of these United Church Schools can found at The Children Remembered.
Students in those schools suffered physical, sexual, emotional, spiritual, and cultural abuse, for which they sued the government and churches. This resulted in the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, which included the creation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. It's Final Report and Calls to Action make clear that there is still a very long journey ahead of us as we seek reconciliation.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission unveiled a history that is not simply about misguided and profoundly abusive attempts to assimilate Indigenous peoples.
It also revealed a colonial legacy that continues to this day, making itself known in inequities and injustices in areas as far-ranging as education and child welfare, violence against women, and violation of treaty and nation-to-nation rights in the face of resource extraction on Indigenous lands.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission has confirmed for Canada that the path towards reconciliation is also unquestionably the path towards justice.
In receiving the final Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and through resolution at General Council 42, the Church has committed itself to an agenda for reconciliation and justice.