Living Hope Native Ministries has an historical relationship to the era known as the Indian Residential School era—specifically in a connection to the Poplar Hill Development School. It is our intent to honestly and humbly consider that story, to recognize the serious effects upon families, individuals, and culture, and to do what we can to encourage healing and reconciliation.
We acknowledge the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, and encourage actions based on their final report “Honouring the Truth, Reconciling for the Future.”
With this, we share this statement of apology, and open the doors for further conversation.
An Apology Statement
To: the former Students of Poplar Hill Development School
From: the current representatives of the Administration and Staff members of the agencies that operated these schools (Northern Light Gospel Missions and Impact North Ministries)
We have heard the expressions of genuine pain in what you have said about the schools and your experiences there. We are doing our best to understand you and to empathize with you in your journey to healing and resolution.
We sincerely acknowledge and validate your perspective on your school experiences.
Our apology today includes the following specifics:
For the times when we physically inflicted pain, or added to the pain of your soul by our actions, we are sorry.
For the times when we underestimated or ignored the impact on you of your separation from your family, we are sorry.
For the times when our ignorance or negligence caused you to suffer additional emotional and physical pain at the hands of other students, we are sorry.
For the times when school personnel were not properly screened, and when personnel were not adequately trained to relate to you in culturally appropriate ways, we are sorry.
For the times that we acted as though we were culturally superior to you, we are sorry.
For the ways in which we cooperated with the national plan to force your assimilation into Canadian society, we are sorry.
We pledge ourselves to the ongoing healing process by offering ourselves to you for private conversations, or with a third party present, as you wish. Please consider our apology, and our sincere desire for truth and reconciliation.