St. Anne’s Church, Duncan

This historic place is valued for its strong associations with the Francophone Sisters of St. Ann, as well as with founder Father Pierre Rondeault and the nearby Stone Church, which was the predecessor to this current location. The first St Ann’s Church was destroyed by fire in 1902 and the current structure was built in 1903. It continues to serve the Cowichans and more recent settlers in the Duncan area. The Way of the Cross, a pilgrimage from St Ann’s to the White Cross visible on the top of Mt. Tzouhalem remains a Good Friday tradition.

Father Rondeault died in 1900 after 41 years with the Cowichan people. He is buried beneath the small chapel at the back of St Ann’s Church. The Sisters of St. Ann arrived in Victoria from Quebec in 1858, to establish education and health service for new settlers and Indigenous people. While many of their contributions are celebrated, in 2014 the Sisters acknowledged that their involvement in Canada’s Indian Residential Schools contributed to a form of cultural oppression that has had a lasting effect not only on those who attended the schools but also on subsequent generations.