Truth, Healing, and Reconciliation
Canadian Unitarians and Universalists are honoured to be walking with all who are on the journey towards truth, justice, healing and reconciliation between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous peoples. We welcome the opportunity to learn from those who have been on this path a long time, as well as others who have joined it more recently. We believe we are part of a wider learning community.
The Truth, Healing, and Reconciliation Task Force emerged following the 2014 Canadian Unitarian Council and Unitarian Universalist Ministers of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Statement. In the Statement, we committed to assemble and promote educational materials for our congregations regarding the history and impact of the Indian Residential School system. The Truth, Healing, and Reconciliation Reflection Guides (THRR Guides) are a result of that commitment.
The Truth, Healing and Reconciliation Reflection Guides (THRR Guides)
The THRR Guides are being developed for Unitarians to engage and learn about the true history of Canada: the colonization of Indigenous peoples and, in particular, the history of the Indian Residential Schools. In preparing this material, we recognize that each congregation and facilitator will have their own history and relationship with this work. The THRR Guides are designed to encourage further interaction and cultural awareness.
This overview of the Adult Eight-Session THRR Guides provides a great idea of what to expect. It is our sincere hope and desire that congregations and other UU groups will offer opportunities for new members and others to use these THRR Guides on an ongoing basis.
Read here to understand Our Approach to developing the THRR Guides. We’ve learned so much on the journey already!
These Enduring Understandings (what we hope participants will learn) were developed to provide guidance to facilitators who may wish to adapt or localize some content of the Guides
The first single-session and a four-session Adult THRR Guide pilot began in 2015. The Task Force continues to assemble educational materials for our Canadian congregations to address the needs and interests of various age groups:
- Lower Elementary (ages 6 to 8) – being piloted in the Fall of 2017
- Upper Elementary (ages 9 to 13) – being piloted in the Fall of 2017
- Youth (ages 14 to 18)- being piloted in the Fall of 2017
- Young Adults (ages 19-35) – being piloted in the Winter of 2017
- Adult (19 and up) – piloting 6 and 8 session version in the Winter of 2017
The goal is to have the THRR Adult Guides finalized and available to trained facilitators for the Fall of 2017 and ALL the THRR Guides by the Spring of 2018.
Please take special note: Accessing the whole THRR Guides requires participation in facilitation training. We approach this work knowing that we are all learning how to walk the path of reconciliation – in short, none of us are experts. We know that true reconciliation comes from the creation of safe space in order to engage in authentic dialogue. The materials used in the Reflection Guides are complex and the activities and group facilitation requires skill. This topic is sensitive in nature and facilitators need to be able to respond to sensitive group dynamics and responses to the material being provided. It is for that purpose, we require facilitators to have a basic understanding of our approach to this work and have congregational support. Congregational support means that your minister or religious educator knows that you have signed up for the facilitation training and are in agreement that you’d make a good facilitator in this area.
Go to the Events Calendar to register ($25 fee) for our next facilitator training.
Our THRR Guide Team
The Guides would not have been possible without the ongoing care, patience, inspiration and support of our entire team!
- Rev. Meg Roberts Co-Chair
- Rev. Samaya Oakley Co-Chair
- Amber Dawn Bellemare
- Marlene Blake Seale
- Leslie Kemp
- Casey Stainsby
- April Hope, CUC Staff
If you would like us to be in contact with you about the THRR Guides, whether to hear updates, offer them in your congregation, indicate your interest in a facilitator training, or offer your skills to our team to help us as we develop the Guides, click here to fill in an online form to indicate your area of interest.
It is our sincere hope and desire that congregations and other UU groups will offer opportunities for new members and others to use these Guides on an ongoing basis.
For further information about the THRR Guides or related information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Other Resources on Truth, Healing and Reconciliation
We are on the path of learning together: Indigenous people and non-Indigenous people in our Unitarian and Universalist congregations and in our larger communities. Here are some resources you may find useful:
- The Canadian Unitarian Council’s 2016 Sharing Our Faith packet on Reconciliation (worship resources and other activities)
- Adult Resource list (including books, novels, videos and other teaching tools) link to come.
- Resources for Congregations for Introducing Concepts of Colonialism and Indian Residential Schools to Lower and Upper Elementary Age Groups (including picture books, novels, videos and other teaching tools)
- The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation is the permanent home for all statements, documents, and other materials gathered by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. You can access historical records and other materials to help foster reconciliation and healing.
- Kairos Canada is an ecumenical organization of eleven Christian churches and religious organizations that deliberate on issues of common concern, advocate for social justice, and join with people of faith and goodwill in action for social transformation. Their current areas of priority for their Indigenous Rights work include decolonization and reconciliation education, through KAIROS’s most popular teaching tool the KAIROS Blanket Exercise, implementation of the TRC Calls to Action through the campaign Winds of Change, commitment to free prior and informed consent by companies and governments, exploration of the gendered impacts of resource extraction on Indigenous women, and solidarity with Indigenous-led struggles such as justice for missing and murdered Indigenous women and equity for First Nations’ children.
- Reconciliation Canada is an Indigenous-led organization that catalyzes meaningful relationships through values-based dialogue, leadership and action. Their model for reconciliation engages people in an open and honest conversation to understand our diverse histories and experiences. They offer Community Action Toolkits for youth, young adults and adults.They are also organizing a Walk for Reconciliation that will happen in Toronto, Winnipeg and Vancouver in 2017 so watch for details on how to become involved.