Jesuit college responds to TRC report

Fr. John Meehan

Fr. John Meehan

December 21, 2015
FRANK FLEGEL
PRAIRIE MESSENGER

REGINA - Campion College, a federated college with the University of Regina, outlined initiatives it intends to take in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).

The TRC released a report in June with recommendations intended to reconcile differences between Canada's Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal populations. Most have to do with the impact residential schools had on First Nations society.

Campion's Nov. 18 announcement included remarks from Jesuit provincial for English Canada Father Peter Bisson, Campion College president Jesuit Father John Meehan and Cree elder Noel Starblanket.

"As a Jesuit college, Campion plays an important role in promoting reconciliation with indigenous peoples in Canada," Meehan said in a prepared statement.

A 10-person advisory circle has been created to advise on practical steps to build bridges between communities. It contains representatives from the college, the Aboriginal and the non-Aboriginal community. It will develop a Campion-specific response to the TRC recommendations.

JESUITS IN TRAINING

Jesuits in training will take a summer course at First Nations University, another federated college of the University of Regina, in an indigenous immersion experience. They will learn indigenous culture and wisdom from elders at "culture camps," ceremonies and other events.

Jesuits in training will also work with First Nations at the Mother Teresa Middle School here; serve with organizations that work with First Nations people and get to know them first hand to learn about their experience.

This initiative is in direct response to the TRC recommendation on training of clergy, said Meehan.

A scholarship fund has been created for students at the Mother Teresa Middle School, a partner institution, to enable students to attend Campion and the University of Regina.

Meehan said Campion can do much through its academic mission, its care of the person and its relationship with indigenous and non-indigenous partners.

Meehan suggested inequalities between indigenous and non-indigenous people in Canada remains one of the most pressing social issues Canada faces, and it's one of the top priorities of the Jesuits in English Canada.