Listening and Healing Pilgrimage 2024

Listening and Healing Pilgrimage 2024

Date: 2024 Location: Various Contact: The Rev. Canon Debbie Royals at

2024 Pilgrimage Schedule

Saturday, January 27, 2024
10 am to 2 pm
St George Episcopal Church, 168 W Arizona Street
Holbrook, AZ 86025
Saturday, April 27, 2024
10 am to 2 pm
Environment & Natural Resources 2 Building, University of
Arizona, 1064 E Lowell Street, Tucson, AZ 85719
Friday, August 16, &
Saturday, August 17, 2024
Phoenix Indian School/Heard Museum
Franciscan Center, 5802 E Lincoln Drive, Scottsdale, AZ 85253
Saturday, September 7, 2024
10 am to 2 pm
Grace Episcopal Church 111 Bunker Dr
Lake Havasu City, AZ 86403
Saturday, November 23, 2024
11 am to 1 pm
Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, 100 W Roosevelt St, Phoenix, AZ 85003
Healing service closing the Pilgrimage 

The Agenda for each site will begin at 10 am, including opening blessing, prayers and welcome.
Following the opening a panel of 5-6 Survivors, family members or tribal representatives will
share their stories. We will break for a meal – traditional food, and resume our Listening Panel.
The day will end with a summary of what has been heard, gifts and a closing blessing at 2 pm.
We will continue to build a prayer list of all the presenters/speakers who share their stories and
their names will be included in our Healing service on November 23, 2024.

Pilgrimage Background Information

In May of 2022, Secretary of Interior Deb Haaland and Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Bryan Newland published an investigative report outlining the next steps in the Federal Indian Boarding School initiative. The report ( documented Arizona as the state with the second largest number of boarding schools in the US and the Phoenix Indian School as the second largest boarding school in the US. 

The Council for Native American Ministry responded immediately by reading the report and seeking our own path forward in this diocese. In preparation for the 2022 Diocesan Convention, we undertook to present a resolution to the convention recognizing this information and the need for the Diocese to listen and learn about our history and the ongoing historical trauma that remains. We recognized right away that the Boarding School history in Arizona is current and not older than 150 years (or about two generations. We say currently because many schools remain open under the Bureau of Indian Education. 

Last summer’s General Convention reaffirmed our need to move forward when it passed Resolution A127 (“Telling the Truth about The Episcopal Church’s History with Indigenous Boarding Schools”)  which asks us to acknowledge, engage, and support a complete and comprehensive investigation of the church’s complicity in the egregious history of Episcopal-run Indigenous boarding schools.  

By Spring of 2023, the Council for Native American Ministry having coordinated this effort with Bishop Reddall, began to set in motion the study of the boarding schools located in Arizona. But even more importantly, to establish a Pilgrimage system where we would invite the diocese to listen to the stories and experiences of survivors and their families. The schedule above affords you this opportunity. 

In August, the Council for Native American Ministry spent its two-day retreat hearing about each of the boarding schools identified as being geographically within the diocesan borders. Of the 47 Arizona boarding schools twenty were researched by members of the council. Several of the boarding schools identified in the official Federal Indian Boarding School report are geographically in Arizona but fall within the borders of the Navajo Area Mission. 

Several important observations were made over the two days. Six to eight survivors/family members/tribal representatives will be invited to share at each site. A local spiritual leader will be invited to open our gathering in prayer followed by introductions. We will spend as much time as needed for the guests to speak and share while we listen. A meal will be shared and the day will close with prayer and the gifting of Prayer Quilts (see information about Prayer Quilts). 

Special attention will be given to the ongoing spiritual and pastoral needs of the guests who share and who may experience renewed spiritual, emotional, and mental trauma. 

You are invited to consider attending all or some of these gatherings. Accommodations are being arranged for those who travel and may need overnight accommodation. It would be helpful in planning the space and food if you would let us know your intention to attend. Please email The Rev Canon Debbie Royals, Canon for Native American Ministry, Episcopal Diocese of Arizona. A Primer on the US Federal Boarding Schools and the church’s response is available online below along with information and instructions on Prayer Quilts.

Listening and Healing Pilgrimage Primer

Prayer Quilts Information