Thursday, October 28, 2021
Home New Release Truth and reconciliation gathering held at Grace Presbyterian Church in Calgary

Truth and reconciliation gathering held at Grace Presbyterian Church in Calgary

With his time in public office nearing its end, Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi says the significance of attending meaningful events, like the one Sunday afternoon at Grace Presbyterian Church, is not lost on him.

“It was a beautiful day,” says Nenshi. “I was very emotional.”

Read more:
Alberta leaves National Day for Truth and Reconciliation stat holiday up to employers

The mayor joined representatives of the church and members of the Indigenous community to discuss the upcoming National Day of Truth and Reconciliation.

“Reconcili-action,”  what needs to be done moving forward, was spoken of often.

“While a lot of people’s hearts are broken, broken hearts are also open hearts,” says Nenshi. “This is our chance to be able to work together to figure out what to do.”

Story continues below advertisement

Read more:
Top Catholic bishop hopes residential school apology will improve Indigenous relations

The church was an important setting for Sunday’s gathering.

On July 1, Grace Presbyterian was one of nearly a dozen churches in Calgary that were vandalized with red or orange paint following the horrific revelations about unmarked Indigenous graves in Canada.


A Calgary church is considering leaving up vandalism as an acknowledgment of its past. July 2, 2021.


Global News

At the time, many of the churches chose to remove the paint, but not Grace Presbyterian. They elected to keep the paint as a way to remember the generational trauma caused by residential schools.

“When we had the red paint splattered on our door, we realized that we didn’t have great relationships with Indigenous people,” says Rev. Jake Van Pernis.

Story continues below advertisement

“We had to start to form them.”

Read more:
Charges laid in vandalism of 2 Calgary churches, investigation continues

In the following months, Van Pernis says that land acknowledgements are read and the church is now a space for residential school survivors to share their stories.

On Sunday, Shirley Shingoose Dufour spoke about her experience and stressed the importance of finding forgiveness.

“There was a lot of damage done. I still had to heal. I still had to forgive,” she said.

Van Pernis is encouraging people to wear orange shirts on Thursday and seek out ways that they can be part of the solution.

“This was just one event, but we need to be involved.”

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

Canada Post won’t cover destroyed glass artwork for B.C. artist — despite having insurance

A B.C. artist is out hundreds of dollars after a sandblast carving shipped via Canada Post arrived at its destination shattered in pieces. Brett Robinson...

Calgary election: Groups campaign on both sides of fluoride debate

The debate to add fluoride to the city’s drinking water isn’t new for Calgarians but has remained contentious since it was first voted on...

Raptors cruise to easy pre-season win over Houston

TORONTO – Newcomer Precious Achiuwa continues to make the most of his pre-season opportunity with the Raptors. The 22-year-old Nigerian centre scored 17 points and...

Alberta businesses need more help despite new COVID-19 restrictions exemption program grant

Late last week, the Alberta government announced a one time payment of $2000 for small and medium sized businesses who choose to implement the...