TUCC is committed to the path of healing and reconciliation, in partnership, with Indigenous and Settler communities, throughout the four regions that we serve.
We acknowledge that we gather today on the traditional territory of many Nations, including the Huron-Wendat, Petun, Seneca, the Mississaugas of the Credit, and Métis. We live and work on territories covered by many treaties, including the Dish with One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant, an agreement between the Haudenosaunee and the Ojibway and allied nations to peaceably share and care for the lands around the Great Lakes. Today, the regions that TUCC serves, is home to many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island, including survivors and intergenerational family members who have been impacted by the legacy of the residential school system. We honour them as we stand committed to being partners in healing, reconciliation, and justice.
Current and Recent Initiatives:
Gibimishkaadimin is a project of reconciliation engaging Indigenous youth from across Canada and non-Indigenous youth from Shining Waters region. Each year, Gibimishkaadimin’s participants set out on a canoe trip in Northern Ontario. The focus of the trip is on collaborative and experiential learning through an Indigenous perspective and on fostering relationships. Gibimishkaadimin was established by Bloor Street, Fairlawn, and Rosedale United Churches in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. It is directed by a six-person Board, three of whom are Indigenous. TUCC has made a commitment of $36,000 ($12,000/year for three years) to support trips in 2022, 2023, and 2024. One 2023 participant said: “The journey was great. Really fun. The canoeing part was quite a challenge. I felt good about myself that I was able to do the canoeing. The high point was the circles and the teachings. Being with new people.” A video featuring the experiences of some of the 2023 participants can be viewed at right.
Finding Peter Bryce: Story of a National Crime
Finding Peter Bryce is a 22 minute documentary that tells the story of an early critic of the residential school system. Dr. Peter Bryce was Ontario’s first Chief of Public Health. In the early 20th Century, Bryce spoke out about the residential school system’s deeply inadequate response to malnutrition and tuberculosis and in response, was relieved of his duties by senior government officials. In 1922, Bryce published Story of a National Crime, describing the tragic consequences. TUCC provided funds towards the film’s production and is authorized to share it free of charge with United Church communities of faith. Our hope is that it will help facilitate important conversations about the role of individuals and communities of faith in responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 calls to action. The film, along with discussion questions and recommended reading is now available on TUCC’s e-learning platform, CHURCHx.
Islington United Church's Indigenous Mural Project
Islington United Church has commissioned Indigenous artist Philip Cote to create a mural for one of its exterior wall titled “Etobicoke – Place of the Alders, Honouring the Original Story.” The mural represents the community of faith’s response to the TRC call to action #49, which calls upon faith groups “to repudiate concepts used to justify European sovereignty over Indigenous lands and peoples, such as the Doctrine of Discovery and terra nullius.” Islington United’s membership conceived of the mural project as a way to honour Indigenous teachings, while embodying a commitment to reconciliation through art. In November, 2023, TUCC granted $7,000 to the project from its Davenport Interest Fund.
The Heart & Vision Awards
From 2016 to 2018, TUCC used the forum of its annual Heart & Vision Awards concert to highlight the exemplary leadership of individuals committed to the work of reconciliation. Award recipients included:
2016 – Dr. Roberta Jamieson, Ontario Ombudsman and executive director of Indspire, an organization which funds First Nations’ postsecondary students and Dr. Marie Wilson, Commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.
2017 – The Very Reverend Dr. Stan McKay, past moderator of the United Church and Dr. Cindy Blackstock, McGill University professor, judicial activist and executive director of First Nations Child & Family Caring Society.
2018 – The Reverend Dr. Grafton Antone, social activist, Dr. Eileen Antone, educator and Senator Murray Sinclair, Lead Commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.