We acknowledge with gratitude and with repentance for our role as a colonizing church and people, that we live and gather on the traditional and unceded territory of Tk’emlúps te Secwémpc. We give thanks for those who have come before us and their stewardship and care for the land, and as a people of faith we pray for and commit ourselves to the cause of reconciliation for all peoples in the love of their Creator. Amen.
The United Church of Canada played a part in the colonization of Indigenous peoples in Canada. After church union in 1925, the United Church inherited residential schools that had been run by the Methodist and Presbyterian churches that joined together. The United Church continued to run these schools, the last of which closed in 1975.
You can read more about the United Church of Canada’s involvement in the Indian Residential School system here.
In 1986, the General Council of the United Church apologized for its role in colonialism and the cultural destruction of the Indigenous peoples of Canada. In 1998, the United Church formally apologized for its administration of Indian Residential Schools across Canada. You can read the text of both apologies here.
In 2012, to recognize that the United Church of Canada, and all its individual congregations, is built on Indigenous land, the four colours of the Indigenous medicine wheel were added to the United Church’s crest, as well as the motto in Mohawk Akew Nia’Tetewá:neren, which means “all my relations,” a recognition of the interconnectedness of all people and peoples regardless of ethnicity or religion.