Edmonton, March 25, 2014 ‒ The missionary order of Catholic priests and brothers who administered many of the Catholic Indian Residential Schools in Canada will be renewing a public apology for their participation in the schools this week at the Edmonton National Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) event.
Rev. Ken Forster OMI, leader of the Lacombe Province of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, will offer the apology at Hall A of the Shaw Conference Centre on Saturday, March 29, between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. Father Forster’s presentation will be among several public Gestures of Reconciliation at the event. On behalf of the Oblates of Lacombe Province, he will renew the apology the Oblates first made in 1991 and pledge once more their desire to journey in solidarity and mutual respect with all the First Peoples of Canada.
The text of the 1991 Oblate Apology is available at http://www.cccb.ca/site/images/stories/pdf/oblate_apology_english.pdf.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission is working to document the history and the continuing legacy of the Indian Residential Schools in Canada. The schools, which operated for over 120 years, were instituted and funded by the Federal Government, and administered by Canadian church organizations. The majority were administered by Roman Catholic dioceses and religious congregations. Fifteen of the 25 schools in Alberta were under Roman Catholic administration.
Father Forster will be participating in the Edmonton Truth and Reconciliation event over the four days (March 27-30).