For discussion: August 23, 2010 issue

August 26, 2010 | Feature | Volume 14 Issue 16
Canadian Mennonite |

Following are questions for reflecting on and discussing the Canadian Mennonite stories on the first Truth and Reconciliation Commission events in 2010:

“How complicit are Mennonites in Residential School Abuse?” Evelyn Rempel Petkau attended the first TRC hearings and spoke with Mennonites about whether the church might be complicit in the system. 

“With God, all things are possible”- A residential school survivor recalls childhood abuse and his quest to forgive his tormentors. 

​“MC Canada shares the pain of Indian Residential School legacy”- A report on discussions at Mennonite Church Canada Assembly 2010

“A first step toward healing”- A personal reflection on the first TRC events, held in June 2010

“Poplar Hill’s closure remembered”- Some history on the only Mennonite-affiliated school

"Mennonite treaty rights"- The implications of Treaty 1

Forgiveness to what end? An editorial on accepting and offering forgiveness 


1. What have been your experiences or what stories have you heard about Indian residential schools in Canada? Are there also some positive stories? What do you think was the intended purpose of these schools? What role have they played in damaging the family systems, culture and peoplehood of First Nations?

2. Do you think Canadians are ready to hear the stories from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission? Are Mennonites open to improving relationships with Aboriginal Peoples? How do you respond to the MC Canada resolution of July, 2010 (see above)?

3. Janet Plenert quotes Murray Sinclair as saying, “It was through the educational system that we got into this, and it is through education that we will get out of this.” Do you agree? How can education work at healing the deep wounds? How important is Menno Wiebe’s vision of having Mennonite schools teach a deeper understanding of aboriginal culture?

4. One of the questions being addressed by MCC Saskatchewan is “Where do we go from here?” How would you respond? What would a “just and restorative relationship” with Aboriginal Peoples look like?

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