No Apology Offered (by United Church of Canada) to Natives (for Its Role in the Operation of Residential Schools)

Article excerpt

Camrose, Alta.

The United Church of Canada wants the federal Income Tax Act changed so that it treats same-sex partners the same as spouses. But it couldn't bring itself to completely respond to another justice issue - an apology to Native people for its role in operating residential schools.

The church passed the income tax motion at its 36th General Council meeting at Camrose, Alta.; it said it wants the federal government to make the required amendments immediately.

Council had received two petitions from Manitoba and North-western Ontario asking for action on the Income Tax Act.

The council passed the motion despite concerns raised by spokes-persons for both a renewal group and a gay and lesbian support group in the church.

The church also received wide criticism for not apologizing to Native people for its role in the residential school system.

Concerned about the legal implications of an apology while it is still fighting lawsuits filed by former students who claim they suffered abuse at the schools, council instead voted to express its "deep regret and sorrow" to the First Nations of Canada for the injustices of the residential school system and its role in that system. …