Please note: Funds for 2013 have now been allocated. The committee will not be accepting further applications this year.
The Justice and Reconciliation Fund was established in 2000 by the Residential Schools Steering Committee of The United Church of Canada to assist the church to understand and respond to the legacy of harm and broken relationships that have resulted from the Indian Residential School system. The fund supports projects, initiated by Conferences, presbyteries, congregations, outreach/community ministries and education centres, that foster dialogue, reconciliation, and relationship-building between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples. Projects initiated outside the church but that meet the goals of the fund and involve church members as participants are also considered.
The fund considers projects or events that are educational and relationship-building initiatives created specifically to facilitate dialogue, understanding, and right relations between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples within the context of Indian Residential Schools and related Aboriginal justice and rights issues. Since its creation, the fund has supported nearly 50 projects across the country and disbursed over $200,000.
The Justice and Reconciliation Fund is distinct from the Healing Fund, which provides financial support to healing projects initiated in Aboriginal communities by and for former students and their families. Projects supported by the Justice and Reconciliation Fund usually do not qualify for Healing Fund support.
The journey to the “Restoring Right Relationships” event of the Toronto Pine Tree Healing Circle began when the minister of Trinity-St Paul's United Church approached the staff of the Toronto Urban Native Ministry to speak at the church. The theme centred on the "healing" needed for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples of Canada to walk together. This was especially relevant for the congregation of Trinity-St. Paul’s because it is situated in a large concentration of Native people in the surrounding neighbourhood.
The dialogue that ensued from that invitation culminated in a two-day healing circle (funded by the Justice and Reconciliation Fund) at the Six Nations reserve in Brantford. Aboriginal participants shared stories of the pain of attending and living the legacy of the residential schools, while non-Aboriginals experienced the shock and pain of learning that their country and their church had participated in such an abusive system. The circle created a space where many shared their commitment to exploring the tools of reconciliation and right relationships through continuing dialogue.
The Justice and Reconciliation Fund supports projects by United Church groups that foster dialogue, reconciliation, and relationship-building between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples. Wherever possible, the planning and application process should also be a joint Aboriginal/non-Aboriginal endeavour.
Specifically, the Justice and Reconciliation Fund will support projects or events with one or more of the following goals:
The fund has an annual budget of $50,000 and usually does not grant more than $15,000 to any project. Applicants must make efforts to secure partnership funding, as the Justice and Reconciliation Fund is intended to support and match other sources of funding.
The Review Committee is made up of one representative of the Residential Schools Steering Committee and one representative of Aboriginal Ministries. Proposals are reviewed as they are received throughout the year and funded as funds permit.
Applications may be submitted year-round. Please apply at least two months before your project begins. Your application must be accompanied by a budget statement showing expenses and other sources of revenue. Proposals that do not meet the criteria or applications that are not complete will not be approved. A final project report upon the completion of the project is required.
An application form to assist you in providing the information for your funding request is available.
For additional information, or to apply, contact:James Scott