What is the Indigenous Reconciliation Fund?
In the fall of 2021, the Canadian Bishops announced a $30 million national financial pledge to support healing and reconciliation initiatives for residential school survivors, their families and their communities. The purpose of the Indigenous Reconciliation Fund is to independently manage the receipt of funds from Dioceses as well as grant requests from Dioceses and to send monies directly to support approved reconciliation projects and initiatives.
What is A Christ-Centred Co- Journey Towards Healing?
As our share of the $30 million pledge, the Archdiocese of Ottawa-Cornwall has agreed to raise $1.2 million over the next two years. “A Christ-Centred Co-Journey Towards Healing: The Fundraising Campaign in Support of Reconciliation” is what we are calling our initiative to raise funds and to better the relationship between the Archdiocese and Indigenous people living in the Archdiocese.
Aren’t Residential Schools a thing of the past? Why are you asking Catholics today to donate?
Although the last of the Residential Schools closed in 1996, their impact continues to reverberate throughout Canada, especially within the Indigenous Community. We cannot change or erase history, but we can look forward to – and help create – a better future. By launching a grassroots-led campaign where local dioceses and their faithful can raise funds and provide meaningful input on disbursement plans, we believe that we can engage Catholics in a new way around this critically important priority. Your participation represents a tangible expression of the commitment of our local Church to unite and walk together with the Indigenous Peoples on the long road toward healing and reconciliation.
Will the money that is raised by the people of the Archdiocese stay in the Archdiocese?
Yes. For purposes of transparency and accounting, all monies raised in the Archdiocese will be paid into the Indigenous Reconciliation Fund. However, 100 percent of the monies raised in the Archdiocese will be used to fund healing and reconciliation projects and initiatives undertaken by local Indigenous groups and organizations that operate in the Archdiocese.
How many Indigenous people live in the Archdiocese?
According to the 2021 Canadian census, there are more than 40,000 Indigenous people living in Ottawa. Approximately 49% are First Nations, 47% are Métis and 4% are Inuit. In addition, there are roughly 1,500 Indigenous people living on the Cornwall Island portion of the Akwesasne Reserve, which is located across from Cornwall.
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