“There was nothing good about practices of taking away children, removing their traditional dress, cutting their hair, taking away their name, confiscating their personal effects and giving them a number.”
This is just one of the many points made in a strongly worded letter written by the leaders of the Anglican Church of Canada and published on March 20 as a response to Lynn Beyak’s recent statements in which the Conservative senator criticized the report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) for not focusing “on the good” done by Christian teachers in residential schools.
The letter is signed by Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, National Indigenous Anglican Bishop Mark MacDonald and General Secretary Archdeacon Michael Thompson.
“Senator Beyak, you are quite right in saying that for a small minority of survivors, their personal experiences of Residential School were ‘good’. But in much greater numbers, the personal experiences of children who were housed in those schools were ‘bad’ – very bad in fact”, state the Anglican Church leaders concluding that it was “a denial of their [childrens’] dignity and human rights”, and “state-sanctioned cruelty.”