We are almost ready to begin construction on our new Christian seniors’ community in the Inglewood neighbourhood. Although it has taken longer than expected to get to this point, the design and pre-construction work is complete, subdivision approvals and agreements are close to being finalized, and we look forward to officially breaking ground in the next two months. The Lord has provided!
As eager as we are to get started, we also are thankful for the time and opportunity to gain a better understanding of our role in truth and reconciliation with our Indigenous friends. While we are not directly involved with the Charles Camsell building that is adjacent to our site, we have been learning so much about how the land we are developing is still deeply connected to the legacy of trauma that has resulted from the history of the Camsell hospital.
Ground scans of the area last summer did not produce evidence of unmarked burials or other artifacts on the site. However, we recognize and empathize that many people have been impacted and harmed by what happened in the Camsell hospital.
Last fall, along with Keller Construction, we partnered with a group to help us take demonstrated actions towards truth and reconciliation with local Indigenous communities. The goal was to take a supportive role in Indigenous-led acts of reconciliation and establish a healthy foundation for a positive & long-lasting relationship.
Two of the primary contacts that were made are the ladies who led the 70-day vigil last summer at the Camsell site. Lorelei and Andrea are two wonderful ladies who have dedicated a great deal of time and energy to sharing the truth about the Indigenous history at the Camsell, as well as the dark history of residential schools in Canada.
On February 24th, a virtual engagement session was held to hear the personal stories from those who have connection to the Camsell. There was also an opportunity to introduce Emmanuel Home, Keller Construction, and the construction project.
On March 5-6, it was an honour to participate in a 24 hour fire ceremony on the site itself. Before any construction started, it was important to give space and time to anyone who wished to come back to the area and spend time together in ceremony. Being invited to attend and participate was humbling, as we were given the opportunity to hear firsthand stories and share in one small step of the emotional and healing journey of truth and reconciliation.
Understanding our role as a Christian community is paramount to providing the best environment possible for our seniors. We are thankful for the opportunity to also learn how that role extends into being a light in this world! We give thanks to the Lord for His provision and leading throughout the past couple of years and seek to continue honouring Him in our relationships with our community, including our Indigenous friends & neighbours!