Magazine article Anglican Journal

Razing of Old Mission House a Symbol of Healing

Magazine article Anglican Journal

Razing of Old Mission House a Symbol of Healing

Article excerpt

The demolition on Nov. 9 of a derelict building at the North Caribou Lake First Nation in northern Ontario was a symbol of healing for those who say they were sexually abused by former Anglican priest Ralph Rowe.

"The building has been standing here for years, and once it's gone, our healing journey will begin," Harry Kenequanash, a member of the Ralph Rowe Survivor Network, said in a Canadian Press story. Mr. Rowe is 66 and now lives in Surrey, B.C.

The Old Anglican Mission House, near St. Peter's church at Weagamow Lake, was at least 50 years old and was used for clergy accommodation, said Bishop David Ashdown of the diocese of Keewatin, who gave permission for the demolition.

"(The destruction) enabled people to move on with their healing journey. Some of the people of Canada,

"Those terms are more favourable to that church than the terms of our own agreement," said Archbishop Hutchison.

The compensation package announced by Ms. McLellan offers "every eligible" former Indian residential school student "living on May 30, 2005" up to $30,000 each in a so-called Common Experience Payment. Each former student who applies would receive $10,000 and an additional $3,000 for each year of attendance in excess of the first year.

Former students who are now 65 years of age or older are also eligible to apply for an advance payment of $8,000.

The announcement was celebrated by negotiators from the Anglican Church of Canada.

Ellie Johnson, the church's acting general secretary, said in an interview, "In our case, we've already paid quite a bit to compensation; we don't begrudge that. We actually did that as part of healing as well. What we'd like to say is 'okay, going forward, if government is going to pay 100 per cent of compensation for Catholics, they can do that for us, too, and our money could go perhaps to expand our healing work.'"

Under the agreement, a coalition of 41 Catholic religious orders and dioceses would give a "cash and in-kind contribution" of $54 million to set up programs for healing and reconciliation.

Two other churches--the United and Presbyterian churches were also involved in the residential schools negotiations. …

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