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Canadian Catholic Initiatives 2001 - 2010

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March 19, 2003
Ecumenical Statement of Church Leaders on Aboriginal Rights following a roundtable discussion with Church leaders, representatives of the Assembly of First Nations and the Department of Indian Affairs, to discuss the proposed federal First Nations legislation that was before the House of Common, including Bill C-7: the First Nations Governance Act.

May 8, 2006
The Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement is signed by the Government of Canada, the Assembly of First Nations and Inuit Representatives, the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada, the Presbyterian Church of Canada, the United Church of Canada, and eventually 54 Catholic entities representing 17 dioceses and 37 religious institutes that were involved in managing and helping to operate the residential schools which were under the jurisdiction of the Government of Canada.

Creation of the Canadian Catholic Entities Party to the Indian Residential School Settlement (CCEPIRSS), composed of the 54 Catholic dioceses and religious congregations involved in the former Indian Residential Schools.  As part of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement, CCEPIRSS agreed to raise and provide funds for healing and reconciliation.

The Council for Reconciliation, Solidarity and Communion becomes the Canadian Catholic Aboriginal Council and embarks on a new mission to advise and assist the CCCB on issues regarding Aboriginal Peoples in Canada. 

Incorporation of Returning to Spirit.  

Opening day of the annual CCCB Plenary Assembly focuses on Aboriginal questions.  The National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, Mr. Phil Fontaine, addresses the Plenary, and insists on the need to rebuild the relationship between the Catholic Church in Canada with Native Peoples.  The Apostolic Nuncio to Canada, Archbishop Luigi Ventura, awards the Benemerenti Pontifical Medals to three Aboriginal Canadians, Mrs Nicole O’Bomsawin from Quebec, Mrs Shirley Leon from British Columbia, and Judge Graydon Nicholas from New Brunswick, in acknowledgement of their work on the Canadian Catholic Aboriginal Council.

May 1, 2008
CCCB statement supporting the launch of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, established by the Government of Canada, following the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, and welcoming this as “an opportunity for healing and hope”.

June 11, 2009
Participation of the Most Reverend Paul-André Durocher, Bishop of Alexandria-Cornwall, as the CCCB delegate to the firstNational Day of Reconciliation, commemorating the first anniversary of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s apology to Aboriginal Peoples on behalf of the Government of Canada for Indian Residential Schools.  There he takes part in a traditional sunrise ceremony and exchanged gifts with Aboriginal elders and leaders.

July 15, 2009
The CCCB President writes to Mr. Justice Murray Sinclair, congratulating the members of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for their appointments and assuring them of the prayers and collaboration of the Catholic Bishops of Canada.

Invitation by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI to Indigenous and Church representatives from Canada for a private meeting in Rome to discuss the Indian Residential Schools.  The Holy Father expresses his sorrow at the anguish caused by the deplorable conduct of some members of the Church in these institutions.

Launch of the Moving Forward Together Campaign by the 54 Catholic Entities to support healing and educational programs for Canadian Aboriginal communities, including former residential school students and their families.

Creation of a contractual CCCB position for an Indigenous Relations Advisor in order to work more closely with the dioceses and Catholic organizations to ensure a Catholic presence in the hearings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and related events.

June 9, 2010
CCCB joint letter with other members of the ecumenical social justice coalition Kairos, to the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Canadian Heritage, and Indian Affairs and Northern Development welcoming the announcement in the March 3, 2010 Throne Speech that the Government of Canada was moving to endorse the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of the Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and encouraging the Government to work in partnership with Indigenous Peoples toward its full endorsement and implementation.

June 15-19, 2010
The Most Reverend Gerard Pettipas, C.Ss.R., Archbishop of Grouard-McLennan and Chair of CCEPIRSS addresses the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s first national event in Winnipeg.  The event is also attended by the Most Reverends James Weisgerber, Archbishop of Winnipeg, Sylvain Lavoie, Archbishop of Keewatin-Le Pas, and Albert LeGatt, Archbishop of Saint-Boniface.  

June – August 2010
Participation of the Canadian Catholic Aboriginal Council, and the Most Reverend Martin Currie, Anthony Mancini and Brian Dunn in a number of events commemorating the 400th anniversary of the Baptism of Chief Membertou, in Port Royal, Halifax and Cape Breton.  Pope Benedict XVI appoints His Eminence Marc Cardinal Ouellet as his Special Envoy to the ChapelIsland celebrations.

Last Updated on Tuesday, May 13 2014  
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