Monday, February 15, 2010

CCEPIRSS Board Meeting February 13, 2010

The acronym CCEPIRSS stands for the Corporation of Catholic Entities Party to the Indian Residential School Settlement agreement. This agreement was signed Sept. 20, 2007 between the federal government, the Assembly of First Nations and the four churches involved with the residential schools in Canada. Through this agreement the federal government accepted to pay compensation to former students especially for forcibly removing them at a young age from their families and also for the flawed colonial policy of assimilation. The Catholic Entities (the now 54 dioceses and religious congregations who ran the schools) agreed to raise and provide funds for healing and reconciliation ( $29 million in cash; $25 million through In-Kind community work and programs, and $25 million best-efforts nation wide campaign).

To oversee these commitments, a CCEPIRSS board was created. Pictured are from left to right, Fr. Al Hubenig OMI of St. Albert (member of the Oblate Mission Team); Rod Donlevy, legal counsel from Saskatoon, + Sylvain Lavoie OMI; archbishop of Keewatin-The Pas, + Gerard Pettipas C.Ss. R., archbishop of Grouard_McLennan and chair of the board; Sr. Shirley Walsh SSA of Ottawa, Pierre Barribeau, legal counsel from Montreal, and Sr. Lea Boutin MO from Winnipeg. Missing are treasurer Fr. Jacques L'Heureux OMI of Ottawa and Sr. Claudette Robert SJSH of Montreal.

We meet on a regular basis to discuss the business of the board, including such items as overseeing the Canada Wide Campaign which is just beginning to unroll across the country; our involvement with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission; managing the cash contributions and overseeing the In-Kind commitments.

At the moment it is our concern and our hope that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission which has finally been re-established and is now beginning its work, will be true to its commitment to hear the stories of all those involved or impacted by the residential school legacy so that the historical record may be accurate, including both the positive as well as the negative realities.

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