After listening to indigenous people describe the abuse they suffered while attending residential schools in Canada, one nurse realized that she won’t be providing health care in the same way she has done in the past.
She learned by attending Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) September gathering in Vancouver, British Columbia, that those who survived the residential schools bring with them a range of special medical care needs.
The nurse was among those who attended and spoke at a TRC debriefing held at First Christian Reformed Church in Vancouver.
The TRC has been holding events all over Canada to compile the history of abuse indigenous people underwent in residential schools and to create a process of reconciliation between aboriginals and non-aboriginals.
A contingent of CRC staff attended the event. Trevor Vanderveen, pastor of First Vancouver CRC, took part in the TRC debriefing program. Time was set aside for him to present a formal Expression of Reconciliation to the indigenous people of Canada, stating that placing young men and women from native groups in residential schools was contrary to the gospel of Christ.
“Our denomination does not have a history of operating residential schools in Canada,” said Vanderveen. “However, as a member of the church of Christ, we are sorry for those sins committed in the name of Jesus.”
The debriefing at First CRC drew more than 40 people.