The inaugural Maple Leaf Lecture will be delivered by the Most Revd Fred Hiltz; Archbishop Hiltz will speak on:
Discovery and Truth, Reconciliation and Justice: Indigenous Peoples and the Anglican Church of Canada
During the last decade the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada has uncovered the full extent and effect of former government policies designed to ‘eliminate Aboriginal people as distinct peoples and to assimilate them into the Canadian mainstream against their will’. Central to these policies was the establishment of residential schools in which the children of indigenous peoples were compulsorily removed from their families in order that they should ‘acquire the habits and modes of thought of white men’. Funded by the Canadian government, the residential schools were managed by Canadian churches, including the Anglican Church of Canada.
Underlying these policies was the so-called ‘Doctrine of Discovery’ which, from the sixteenth to the twentieth century, provided European and North American powers with a ‘legal’ justification for claiming the lands of indigenous peoples. In 2013 Archbishop Hiltz set up the Primate’s Commission on Discovery, Reconciliation and Justice following the 2010 repudiation of the Doctrine of Discovery by the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada. The Commission was tasked with formulating a response to the question ‘What is reconciliation?’ posed by the Chair of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and addressing the Church’s long term commitment to solidarity with Indigenous Peoples in addressing the long-standing injustices they continue to bear in Canada.
Entry to the Maple Leaf Lecture is free of charge. Doors open at 7.00 pm. Light refreshments will be served.