A high-ranking official of the Anglican Church visits Saskatchewan to “repent and make amends so that our deeds do no more harm than good.”
The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Rev. Fr. Justin Welby is scheduled to pay a Saturday afternoon visit to the James Smith Cree Nation southeast of Prince Albert, the church official’s first visit since 2017.
“The visit will be an opportunity to hear, lament and pray for justice, healing and change in the relationship between the Indigenous people of Turtle Island and the Arctic and Canterbury Sea of England and the Church of England,” says Welby. The office released Tuesday.
The tube ceremony will begin at 8 a.m. CST, followed by opening prayers, evangelistic readings, lunch and performances by the Bowwow group and dancers.
Citizen school survivors are set to talk today about a national apology, and a community tour will be offered.
The Anglican Church has apologized for its role in residential schools in 1993 and 2019. And paid $ 15.7 million in damages.
The church was reimbursed $ 2.8 million after negotiating a different compensation formula with the Roman Catholic Church.
Earlier this week, survivors and lawyers questioned the purpose of the visit and whether it would make sense.
The Archbishop is the religious leader of the Anglican Church, though not the head of the church. The title belonged to Queen Elizabeth II, the Supreme Governor of the Church of England, founded in 1534 by Henry VIII, after the then Roman Catholic Pope refused to annul Catherine’s marriage to Henry.
More Canadian visits are planned
Welby is scheduled to travel to Prince Albert on Sunday and to Toronto.
Welby’s visit coincides with the 50th session of the Provincial Episcopal Conference held by the Diocese of Saskatchewan in Prince Albert until Sunday. Delegates from Saskatchewan, Albert and Manitoba and from the Northwest Territories and Nunavut will also attend.
Welby will meet with Anglican and non-Anglican tribal leaders on Sunday at 2 p.m.
Prince Albert’s visit is an opportunity for Welby to meet with survivors of boarding schools, and a report from him will be featured, according to a press release issued to the media on Thursday night.