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Let the bells ring

Let the bells ring

From 2010, the Canadian Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) has been holding events and gathering the people of Canada around the experience of Canada’s native peoples under European immigrant rule. The TRC was implemented as one of five elements of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement of 2007. That agreement was signed by the government of Canada, the Assembly of First Nations, other aboriginal organizations and four Christian denominations (the Anglican Church of Canada, the United Church of Canada, various entities of the Roman Catholic Church in Canada and the Presbyterian Church in Canada.)

From the late 19th to the mid 20th centuries, about 150,000 native children in Canada were taken from their families and tribes and placed in residential schools across Canada. The Anglican Church of Canada ran 26 out of 80 of these residential schools until the 1970s. Apart from the separation, many of the children in these schools were subjected to physical, emotional and sexual abuse.

The Anglican Primate of Canada, the Most Revd Fred Hiltz states that bells “are rung to call people to worship, to welcome the newly baptized, to announce the newly married and to mark occasions of community celebration or mourning. For those who have died, the bell is tolled,” He has therefore called for a time of special ringing of church bells across Canada from 31 MAY 2015, which begins the final national event of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, until 21 JUN 2015, the National Aboriginal Day of Prayer.

Archbishop Hiltz has called for this period of time as a special commemoration to mourn the more than 1,017 aboriginal women and girls who have been murdered or missing since 1980. He asks folks to ring the bells however they will.

Consider tolling the bell for as many times as there are murdered or missing Aboriginal women to date. Toll them over the course of the “22 Days,” perhaps at a designated time of day with prayers and commitments to help our country address this tragedy. Some may want to ring the bells in concert with the ringing of the bells of the Peace Tower in Ottawa, at noon on May 31, and others may choose to ring them on Sunday, June 21, the National Aboriginal Day of Prayer. Just ring them!

You can read more here.

photo from

posted by David Allen


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Rod Gillis

Sacred Ceremony for missing or murdered aboriginal women in conflict with National Capital Commission. Looks like ringing bells is not the only religious response.

JC Fisher

Brings new meaning to “Bring Back Our Girls”: perhaps we don’t even have to look across an ocean to Demand Justice!

Philip B. Spivey

Amen, amen, and amen. May their souls finally rest in peace.

Rod Gillis

A great number of voices have been calling upon Canada’s Conservative Harper government to hold an inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has added its voice to those calling for a public inquiry; but as with so many other social policies, the Harper government refuses to engage any process where it is not in control.

“The report by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), which is affiliated with the Organization of American States, said it “strongly supports the creation of a national-level action plan or a nationwide inquiry into the issue of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls.”

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