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 Board of the IRF approves grant requests submitted through the local diocesan and regional reconciliation committees.

While the Government of Canada released Catholic Entities in 2015 from the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement (IRSSA) based on a determination that all obligations had been met, Canada’s Bishops recognized that a “best efforts” campaign did not yield the results that were hoped for. For this reason, the Catholic Bishops of Canada made a $30 million national pledge to establish and fund the Indigenous Reconciliation Fund, ensuring the fund will:

 

  • Have financial measures in place to ensure transparency and good governance.
  • Be comprised of Indigenous and Catholic members.
  • Fund projects identified by Diocesan/Regional Reconciliation committees comprising of Indigenous and Catholic membership.
  • Ensure any administrative costs are on top of the $30 million being raised.
  • Provide regular public updates.

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 living in the Archdiocese.

This funding process will be open and transparent. The Catholic community will receive regular reports on projects that are being funded as well as on their progress. Your financial contribution is one of many steps on our path to new relationships of truth, reconciliation, love and respect.

Yes. For purposes of transparency and accounting, all monies raised in the Archdiocese will be paid into the Indigenous Reconciliation Fund. However, 100 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. Click here to read more about our local recipients.

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.

The local Diocesan Reconciliation Committee discerns local needs and sources potential projects, initiatives and grantees. In addition, the committee recommends projects to the Directors of the Indigenous Reconciliation Fund who confirm and decide that the recommended projects fulfill the requirements and can be approved.

The members of the Diocesan Reconciliation Committee:

  • Fred Gloade, Sipekne’katik First Nation Services Group for the TRC – retired
  • Rose-Alma J. McDonald, Akwesasronon Mohawk, Akwesasne Mohawk Territory
  • Delores Petier-Corkey, Three Fires Confederacy Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory
  • Sheila Ruttan, Executive Director of Inuit Non-Profit Housing
  • Fr. Gerard Plant, Pastor of St. Leonard, St. Brigid and St. John the Evangelist Parishes
  • Anthony Ritchie, Holy Redeemer Parish’s Indigenous Peoples Committee
  • Kimberly Walsh, Archdiocese of Ottawa-Cornwall

The Board of Directors of the Indigenous Reconciliation Fund:

  • 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.
  • Giselle Marion, a Tłı̨chǫ Citizen and who 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 50 years of nursing experience, mostly working with First Nations communities.

You can donate immediately by going to CanadaHelps.org. All donations are eligible for charitable receipts.