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Timeline of aboriginal work in the PCC.

1866-Work begins among aboriginal peoples led by Rev. James Nisbet.

1875-The Presbyterian Church in Canada is formed. In 1876, the Women's Foreign Mission to focus on Aboriginal women and children.

1878--Lucy Baker appointed as first woman missionary to aboriginals.

1883-Birtle School opens in Manitoba.

1888-WFMS is supporting nine schools. Birtle becomes a boarding school.

1902--Cecilia Jeffrey School opens in Kenora, Ont., at the request of the band, and named after the first secretary of aboriginal work for the WFMS.

1908--PCC teaching over 500 students.

1914-The WFMS becomes the Women's Missionary Society. There are 21 centers of native mission work.

1920s--Eighty state-sponsored, church-run schools peak with more than 17,000 children.

1925--Church Union occurs. The PCC now operates only Birtle and Cecilia Jeffrey.

1927--The Mistawasis day school begins.

1957-Staff at Birtle totals 20 and enrollment is at 164. At Cecilia Jeffrey, staff totals 24 and enrollment is 150.

1960-70s-The church advocates for aboriginal rights, including urging the federal government to provide full citizenship for aboriginals. In 1975, assembly expresses the need for the whole church to sensitive its self to the concern of natives.

1964--The Kenora Fellowship Centre and the Prince Albert Fellowship House open.

1968-The Winnipeg Fellowship House (now Anishanabe Fellowship) opens.

1970-Birtle School closes.

1970s-The PCC joins an ecumenical coalition on northern Native concerns.

1976--Cecil Jeffrey School close.

1979--Prince Albert Fellowship House for Boys closes.

1980s-Stories of abuse at residential school begin to percolate.

1986/87-Board of World Mission understakes a study on aboriginal issues.

1987-"A New Covenant: Towards the Constitutional Recognition and Protection of Aboriginal Self-Government in Canada" is signed by leaders of various Canada churches.

1989/90--Former non-PCC residential schools staff are convicted of sexual assault in B.C. and the Yukon.

1989--A report, which includes formation of the National Native Ministries committee, is submitted to assembly.

1990--The PCC joins Project North's successor, the Aboriginal Rights Coalition.

1991--A report to assembly notes that justice, peace and truth are required for aboriginal rights issues.

1992--Chiefs and leaders of B.C.'s First Nations call for churches and government to be held responsible for schools.

1993--The Residential School Working Group is appointed.

1994--The General Assembly adopts The Confession of the Presbyterian Church for its role in residential schools.

1996--The last federally-run residential school in Canada closes.

January 8, 1998--The Canadian government apologizes to the country's 1.5 million Indigenous Peoples for mistreatment and cultural assimilation.

1998--The JoUrney to Wholeness Campaign s launChed. The church raises more than $280,000 and distributes through an application process.

August 1998--The first statement of claim related to residential schools is filed against the PCC.

2002--The Presbyterian Church organizes a reunion for the former staff of its residential schools. Only one third of those invited show up.

November 2002--Assembly Council approves a Residential Schools Resolution Fund worth $500,000.

February 13, 2003--The Presbyterian Church in Canada and the federal government sign a settlement agreement: the church will contribute $2.1-million to a fund, from which compensation for valid claims of abuse will be paid. The church will cover 30 per cent of compensation payments, while the federal government will pay the rest. The church has a total of 246 cases against it.

June 2003--A Residential Schools Healing and Reconciliation Program Fund, also worth $500,000, is approved for education, as well as healing and reconciliation.

June 2004--The Residential Schools Working Group is dissolved. The Healing and Reconciliation Task Force formally takes its place. Its foundational statement is: "Healing between aboriginal people and people of the church can only be achieved through building ongoing relationships based on awareness, understanding and trust."

General Assembly names the Sunday before June 21st each year Aboriginal Day within congregations, beginning in 2005.

June 2005--General Assembly debates the church's native ministries, and directs the church to focus on healing and reconciliation in every department at the national offices.

The Healing and Reconciliation Task Force is formally dissolved. The team had spent the last year working on a national strategy for engaging congregations in the healing process with aboriginals. Continuing where the original team left off, the newly formed Healing and Reconciliation Program Design Team will work on creating a national program.

November 2005--The federal government approves a $1.9-billion settlement package that provides a common experience payment to all former students of Indian residential schools. Each student is to receive $10,000, plus $3,000 for every year of attendance. Advance payment will be given to former students over the age of 65.

November 2005--Assembly Council finds that unless givings to Presbyterians Sharing increase (and Canada Ministries' budget does likewise),the church is unable to devote more funds to native ministries, without jeopardizing existing programs.

March 2006--Assembly Council approves Walking Together--a new healing and reconciliation initiative developed by the

Healing and Reconciliation Program Design Team. The team was guided by the idea that this will be a long-term, ongoing journey, with projects fostered at the local level and ideally involving youth. The new program includes a possible Ten Days Tour across Canada to visit native ministries, a new "animator" position under contract for one year, and a new H&R consultative committee. Its work finished, the design team is disbanded. The program will use the remaining $400,000 (approx.) from the Healing and Reconciliation Fund adopted by the General Assembly in 2003, for this work.

April 2006--Thanks to an agreement between the federal government and Roman Catholic entities regarding residential school settlements that was more favourable than the agreement with the PCC, the church has its cap for compensation dropped from $2.1 million to $1.32 million. Any funds saved will go towards other healing and reconciliation endeavours, such as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

June 2006--General Assembly adopts Walking Together. It also designates the Sunday before May 26 as Healing and Reconciliation Sunday.

September 2006--Lori Ransom, a member of the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation and elder at St. Andrew's, King Street, Toronto, is hired on a one-year contract as the church's new healing and reconciliation animator.

December 15, 2006--Provincial judges approve the overall settlement agreement for former students of residential schools worth more than $4-billion. The agreement provides a common experience payment totaling 51.9-billion for all students, additional compensation for specific acts of abuse, provision for commemorative events that support the healing process and initiates a $60-million Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which is a joint venture of government, churches and First Nations.
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Title Annotation:Presbyterian Church in Canada
Publication:Presbyterian Record
Article Type:Chronology
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Feb 1, 2007
Previous Article:The path to healing: sharing the pain of residential schools.
Next Article:Building relationships: proving it can be done.

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