Local attitudes of the Anglican Church towards its Aboriginal membership in the Yukon/NWT

Regions: Dehcho Region, North Slave Region

Tags: social sciences, history, residential schools, religion

Principal Investigator: Gaver, Cheryl A (2)
Licence Number: 14071
Organization: University of Ottawa
Licenced Year(s): 2007 2006
Issued: Sep 05, 2006
Project Team: Dr. Marie-Francoise Guedon (Research supervisor, University of Ottawa), Ms. Cheryl Gaver (Principal Investigator, University of Ottawa)

Project Description: The objective of this study is to assess whether there is a change in attitude at the congregational level within the Anglican and United Churches following the churches’ apology for their actions in the residential school program. The research will evaluate how Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal church members are dealing with the past, if there is now a better relationship between the churches and their Aboriginal members, how the churches acknowledge and reconcile differences, how effective healing has been, and what the next steps are in the healing and reconciliation process. The purpose of the research is encapsulated in the question: Can Anglican Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people deal with their differences and their shared history in a way that maintains accountability for the past without being imprisoned by it? Of particular research interest are the gaps between planned changes and actual outcomes, and areas of miscommunication related to the residential school experience.

Interviews will be carried out with members of the clergy and laity. Participants will be recruited at church services, one in Yellowknife and one in Hay River. Participants may also be recruited at church functions. The number of people to be interviewed is dependent on the level of willingness and interest to participate in the research, and the timeframe of four to five days in each municipality. Interviews will be tape-recorded with the consent of participants. The identity of participants will be protected by avoiding the use of actual names and other identifying information such as place of residence, etc.

The results of the research will be shared with each participating congregation. Upon request, reports of the research results will also be sent to research participants.
Research activities will be conducted from September 6-19, 2006 in Yellowknife and Hay River.