St. Mary’s Parish, Prince George, BC


St. Mary’s Parish, Prince George, BC

Here is the summary of what we are doing at St. Mary’s, in Prince George BC, for the National Truth & Reconciliation Day. In consultation with Fr. Gilbert Bertrand, OMI and the Pastoral Council, the School Principal, the Parish Assistant Claudia Betz has prepared this presentation.


At St. Mary’s School our Principal, Jenny Schroeder, and several of our teachers have signed up for a one-week course/event from the National Center for Truth and Reconciliation through the University of Manitoba.  There will be sessions all week geared toward K-12 students.  Elders will be speaking on different topics and activities that teachers are able to use in their classrooms and participate in with their students.  The school is having an orange shirt day on the 28th (no school on the 30th) and teachers have many resources that they will use to introduce or explore this topic with students. The principal will be sending out a letter to families encouraging them to participate in any of the events occurring in the city such as UNBC truth and reconciliation circle online Sept. 30th at 10am.  The school is embracing this as a full year project.  They are weaving First Peoples Principles of learning into their teaching. Teachers are all participating in a pro-d on Sept 24th with SD57 that is focused on Indigenous learning.  They are taking a good look at the books in their library to ensure they are inclusive and buying books from local authors that highlight local first nations ways of being.


On the afternoon of the National Day for Truth & Reconciliation on Thursday, September 30th some of our Oblates and Associates at St. Mary’s will also be joining the Zoom gathering at 4pm.


On the evening of the National Day for Truth & Reconciliation on Thursday, September 30th, we will be hosting an information session on Canada’s Indian Act at St. Mary’s Parish. We will begin with an opening prayer in the church at 7:30pm, followed by a video of a 25-minute interview with Chief Dr. Robert Joseph, O.B.C., O.C., a Hereditary Chief of the Gwawaenuk First Nation. (The Gwawaenuk is one of the many Kwakwaka’wakw tribes located between Comox and Port Hardy on Vancouver Island and the adjacent mainland of British Columbia). In the video, produced by TV Ontario’s The Agenda with Steve Paikin, Chief Joseph explains the 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act.  Here is the link to the video:  The Indian Act Explained – Bing video After the video there will be an opportunity for questions and sharing and a discussion of potential next steps for St. Mary’s Parish as we seek ways to further reconciliation efforts in our community. The evening will end with a time for reflection and prayer.