About the Fund
Image: Papal Visit 2022
Photo credit: © Vatican Media
Archbishop Marcel Damphousse’s
Statement on Indigenous Reconciliation
Canadian Catholics lament the stories of trauma and loss of Indigenous brothers and sisters in Canada, as well as the tragic legacy of residential schools.
The Church, shaped by Christ’s call to reconciliation and peace, is committed to bringing forth reconciliation and healing with the Inuit, Métis and First Nations Peoples of this land. Our approach to healing is framed in the gospel of Jesus Christ and in the inherent dignity and equality received from God. Our purpose is to foster an encounter with Christ where our lives are transformed and with the aspiration that all people have a good relationship with God, each other, and Creation. In our ongoing efforts to seek right relations with our Indigenous neighbours, we commit ourselves anew to the ministry of reconciliation entrusted to us by Jesus Christ, who is the great reconciler.
We know that words and commitments do not undo the harm, nor do they ensure a path of respect and equality going forward. We still have much to learn and are working with our parishes and Indigenous community members to understand more fully the impacts of the Church on Indigenous Peoples. We are already at work discerning what other words and actions are needed from us. We are thankful for the accompaniment of Indigenous partners and teachers in this learning and discernment. We welcome the accountability of our constituents and Indigenous partners. We intend to herald a more hopeful era in our friendships and partnerships with the Indigenous brothers and sisters of this land.
Our commitments are ones we share with all our Canadian neighbours. We encourage all Canadians to take actions that bear witness to the errors of the past and to join us in a journey for healing. We, the Archdiocese of Ottawa-Cornwall encourage all Canadians to learn more about local land and history, and about the Indigenous Peoples with whom we share this land.
A Christ-Centred, Co-Journey Towards Healing: Ottawa-Cornwall’s Fundraising Campaign in Support of Reconciliation is a concrete step in our commitments.
† Marcel Damphousse
Archbishop of Ottawa-Cornwall
“The Church, shaped by Christ’s call to reconciliation and peace, is committed to bring forth reconciliation and healing with Indigenous Peoples”.
Archbishop Marcel Damphousse
Co-Journey Towards Healing
A Christ-Centred, Co-Journey Towards Healing is a commitment to concrete action. The funds raised will provide opportunities for Indigenous brothers and sisters, youth, and community members within the Archdiocese. The goal of the Indigenous Reconciliation Fund is, in fact, for local dioceses to support meaningful reconciliation work as determined by local Indigenous groups and organizations.
All monies raised will be used in the Archdiocese to fund opportunities for healing broken relationships. The CCCB encourages initiatives that support:
Healing and reconciliation for communities and families.
Dialogues involving Indigenous elders, spiritual leaders and
youth with a focus on Indigenous spirituality and culture.
Culture and language
Image: Indigenous Delegation to Rome, 2022
Photo credit: © Vatican Media
A Christ-Centred, Co-Journey Towards Healing: Ottawa-Cornwall’s Fundraising Campaign in Support of Reconciliation is a tangible expression of the Archdiocese’s commitment to walk together with Indigenous Peoples on the long journey towards healing and reconciliation. While fundraising for opportunities that lead to healing is a primary goal, the campaign is part of a larger reconciliation process that embraces:
Listening and Hearing
Grace and Goodwill
Sharing the Future
Opportunities for healing
The Archdiocese is committed to the example of Christ, specifically giving high regard for the ‘other’ with every engagement and having the attitude of hospitality at its core. The Archdiocese, in a Christ-centred frame, invites Indigenous Peoples, especially Elders and knowledge keepers, to work with it in providing education, for its clergy, consecrated men and women, and lay faithful, on Indigenous cultures and spirituality.
Frequently Asked Questions
In the fall of 2021, the Canadian Bishops announced a $30 million national financial pledge to support healing and reconciliation initiatives for residential school survivors, their families, and their communities. The Indigenous Reconciliation Fund is an arms-length, federally incorporated not-for-profit registered charity. It was set up to independently manage funds received from the dioceses. The Fund receives grant requests submitted through the local diocesan and regional reconciliation committees. The Fund also sends money to the people working for the approved reconciliation projects and initiatives.
As our share of the $30 million pledge, the Archdiocese of Ottawa-Cornwall has agreed to raise $1.2 million. “A Christ-Centred Co-Journey Towards Healing: The Fundraising Campaign in Support of Reconciliation” is what we are calling our initiative to raise funds and to better the relationship between the Archdiocese and Indigenous Peoples it serves.
Yes. For purposes of transparency and accounting, all monies raised in the Archdiocese will be paid into the Indigenous Reconciliation Fund. However, one hundred percent of the monies raised in the Archdiocese will be used to fund healing and reconciliation projects and initiatives undertaken by local Indigenous groups and organizations that operate in the area served by the Archdiocese.
A Christ-Centred Co-Journey Towards Healing is a direct appeal to the people of the Archdiocese, to ask them to make a pledge or a gift as a tangible expression of their commitment to walk with Indigenous Peoples of this land along the pathway of hope. In harmony with Catholic teaching, local Indigenous groups and organizations will be able to apply for grants to fund projects and initiatives for:
- Healing and reconciliation for communities and families.
- Culture and language revitalization.
- Education and community building.
- Dialogues involving Indigenous elders, spiritual leaders, and youth with a focus on Indigenous spirituality and culture.
No. The funds raised through A Christ-Centred Co-Journey Towards Healing will be used exclusively for local Indigenous projects and initiatives.
No. The funds raised through A Christ-Centred Co-Journey Towards Healing will be used exclusively for local Indigenous projects and initiatives. There is a separate fundraising initiative to pay for the papal visit. You can donate to that fund by clicking here Be sure to select the appropriate fund in the dropdown menu.
The Indigenous Reconciliation Fund will be managed with financial measures in place to ensure transparency and good governance. Board directors and members of the corporation will collectively bring a strong financial acumen and deep commitment to the healing and reconciliation journey. The three initial directors of the Board include:
• Chief Wilton Littlechild, Ph.D, a Cree chief, residential school survivor, and lawyer who served as a Commissioner for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. Chief Littlechild has been a Member of Parliament, Vice-President of the Indigenous Parliament of the Americas, North American Representative to the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, and a Chairperson for the UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Commission on First Nations and Métis Peoples and Justice Reform.
• Giselle Marion holds a law degree from the University of British Columbia and was called to the Bar in the Northwest Territories in 2008. During her articles, Ms. Marion worked for the Department of Justice. She is a Tłı̨chǫ Citizen and was born and raised in Behchokǫ̀, NT. She is the Director of Client Services with the Tłı̨chǫ Government out of the Behchokǫ̀ office.
• Rosella Kinoshameg, an Odawa/Ojibway woman from the Wikwemikong Unceded First Nation Territory is a Registered Nurse with over fifty years of nursing experience, mostly working with First Nations communities doing community health, maternal child health, immunizations, and home and community Care. She was one of the original members of the CCCB’s Indigenous Council and continues to serve as a member of the Our Lady of Guadalupe Circle.
The members of the corporation include:
• Natale Gallo, a former Supreme Director of the Knights of Columbus, where he represented Canada on the International Board of Directors.
• Claude Bédard, National President of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul in Canada.
• Barbara Dowding, former National President of the Catholic Women’s League of Canada.
According to the 2016 Canadian census, there are nearly 40,000 Indigenous people living in Ottawa. Approximately 49% are First Nations, 47% are Métis and 4% are Inuit. In addition, there are roughly 1,500 Indigenous people living on the Cornwall Island portion of the Akwesasne Reserve, which is located across from Cornwall.