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The Journey of Freedom

The Journey of Freedom

Many of Canada’s First Nations, Métis and Inuit children were sent by the Government alongside four church denominations to Indian Residential Schools as a way to integrate children into ‘the new culture’ that was being formed as many other nationalities began to immigrate to Canada. However, many atrocities took place at these schools including all types of abuse, mostly by clergy men and women, malnutrition and brutal treatment, all because of ethnicity.

Forgiveness is not a typical item on a political or legislative agenda – it is spiritual. However, on June 11, 2008, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, extended an apology on behalf of Canada and asked forgiveness of the First Nations, Inuit and Métis people for historic wrongs, specifically, for the abuses many aboriginal people experienced in residential schools in Canada. To date, a national response to the apology and request for forgiveness had not been coordinated. So, in June of 2010, the First Peoples of Canada, consisting of Christian First Nations, Inuit and Métis believers, under the coordination and leadership of Gathering Nations International (GNI), and in unity with the greater Christian community in Canada, took their place in a national, public response.

In preparation for this spiritual response, GNI sent aboriginal delegates to aboriginal communities throughout Canada from January-June 2010, calling it ‘The Journey of Freedom’ to make ready the hearts of the people to release forgiveness.

At the culmination of the Journey of Freedom, in spring 2010, aboriginal leaders gathered and, building on the principles of The Covenant of the First Peoples of Canada, formed a Charter of Freedom that was formally presented by chief Kenny Blacksmith and received by Indian Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl on behalf of the government of Canada.

 

The Films

This video clip is the beginning of a full length documentary of the stories of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Canadians and their Journey of Freedom.

 

The Website

www.gatheringnations.ca