Eparchy of Edmonton Pledges $100 000 to Support Residential School Survivors, their Families, and Communities.
Published on: February 10, 2022

February 10, 2022 – Today, the Eparchy of Edmonton is pleased to announce a pledge of $100 000 to support healing and reconciliation projects in Canada. This commitment will support the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops’ collective pledge to raise $30 million across the country over the next five years.

The funds that will be raised, across the 73 dioceses and 5 eparchies throughout Canada, will support the following priorities:

  • Healing and reconciliation for communities and families;
  • Culture and language revitalization;
  • Education and community building; and
  • Dialogues for promoting indigenous spirituality and culture.
  • Restore the sacred bond between the Indigenous and Ukrainian peoples 

The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops have agreed to establish a new registered charity to manage all  funds collected across the country. The Indigenous Reconciliation Fund which will be managed with financial measures in place to ensure transparency and good governance. Board directors and members of the corporation will collectively bring a strong financial acumen and deep commitment to the healing and reconciliation journey.

The directors of the Board include:

  • Chief Wilton Littlechild, Ph.D, a Cree chief, residential school survivor, and lawyer who served as a Commissioner for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. Chief Littlechild has been a Member of Parliament, Vice-President of the Indigenous Parliament of the Americas, North American Representative to the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, and a Chairperson for the UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Commission on First Nations and Métis Peoples and Justice Reform.
  • Giselle Marion, who holds a law degree from the University of British Columbia and was called to the Bar in the Northwest Territories in 2008. During her articles Ms. Marion worked for the Department of Justice. She is a Tłı̨chǫ Citizen and was born and raised in Behchokǫ̀, NT. She is the Director of Client Services with the Tłı̨chǫ Government out of the Behchokǫ̀  
  • Rosella Kinoshameg, an Odawa/Ojibway woman from the Wikwemikong Unceded First Nation Territory. She is a Registered Nurse with over 50 years of nursing experience, mostly working with First Nations communities doing community health, maternal child health, immunizations, home and community Care. She was one of the original members of the CCCB’s Indigenous Council and continues to serve as a member of the Our Lady of Guadalupe Circle.

The members of the corporation include:

  • Natale Gallo, a former Supreme Director of the Knights of Columbus, where he represented Canada on the International Board of Directors.   
  • Claude Bédard, National President of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul in Canada.
  • Barbara Dowding, former National President of the Catholic Women’s League of Canada.

Our Eparchy’s Next Steps

To show our support for this important step in healing and reconciliation, a special collection will be initiated in the month of June 2022 and, will be followed by a call to our parishes and community for projects supporting the priorities of the Indigenous Reconciliation Fund.

The Eparchy of Edmonton is grateful to work with Indigenous partners, as well as faithful members of the Ukrainian Catholic community to contribute to a more hopeful future based on mutual respect and commitment to moving forward together.

“Dear faithful, but now, above all, it is a time to listen attentively to our Indigenous brothers and sisters, no matter how painful the reality of Residential Schools. They must speak. We must listen. Only then will truth be told, and heard, with the hope of reconciliation and a strengthening of the bond of our two peoples.” ~ Bishop David Motiuk