Beginning at 2:00 pm Wednesday June 3 in the Atlantic Time Zone and travelling westward across Canada, bells began to ring, each one resounding 1181 times to commemorate the 1017 indigenous women who have been killed and the 164 who have gone missing in the last three decades. The bells declared to their neighbourhoods and all passersby the loss, memories, anger and heartache of families missing their loved mothers, sisters and daughters. They cried out injustice and a demand for national attention. They steadfastly rang to remind us of our role in the disastrous structures of assimilation in the past, and of ongoing actions of discrimination today. They poured out a prayer for healing, solidarity and kindness.
The Anglican Church of Canada is calling on all parishes to ring their bells between May 31 (the release of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s final report) and June 21 (the National Aboriginal Day of Prayer).
You’re invited to ring the bells in any way that seems right to you, perhaps 1181 times on June 21, or once a week, or every day. Some parishes in the Diocese of Edmonton have already begun. All Saints’ Anglican Cathedral will ring theirs every Wednesday (June 3, 10, 17) at 2:00 pm as well as on Sundays (June 7, 14, 21) at 1:00 pm and you are welcome to join.
Special noon vigils will also be held for the 22 consecutive days at All Saints’ Cathedral. This commitment to healing and reconciliation among indigenous peoples and those with settler backgrounds will include: hearing the stories of Residential School survivors, a time of silence, prayers, and ringing of church bells. Please join us at 12:10 pm, May 31-June 21, 10035 – 103 Street Edmonton. More information about the National Church #22days initiative can be found here.