Ottawa Owned St. George's but Church Ran It, Judge Concludes

Article excerpt

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Janice Dillon delved into the history of Anglican missions in exploring the church's argument that the federal government should bear the lion's share of the responsibility for Floyd Mowatt's abuse.

The New England Company is the oldest missionary society of the Church of England, and was legally separate and apart from the Anglican Church in Canada. However, Justice Dillon noted that the church and local diocese always worked co-operatively with the missionary work of the church without apparent distinction. The NEC founded two residential schools for Indian children: St. George's in Lytton and the Mohawk Institute in Brantford, Ont., against which there are also a number of lawsuits pending.

The Missionary Society of the Church in Canada was later founded by the Anglican Church in Canada to assume the missionary work of the church in Canada, including administering Indian residential schools. St. George's was not brought within its web of schools.

By 1921 the NEC faced financial difficulty in operating the school and entered into an agreement with the government of Canada in 1922 for the lease of the buildings and lands. They agreed that the pupils would continue to be trained in the teachings of the church and that the principal would continue to be an Anglican clergyman.

In 1927, the government bought the lands in return for promising to continue the school for Indian children and to train them in the Anglican church. …

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