The October meetings of the Committee of Indigenous Justice and Residential Schools, the Aboriginal Ministries Council, the KAIROS Indigenous Rights Circle, and the Ecumenical Working Group on Residential Schools are keeping me hopping across the country from Cape Mudge, BC to Mistissini, Quebec.
There is much discernment going on as to the next steps on the Reconciliation Journey and what post-TRC life might look like. It is very likely that the activities to bring the TRC to a close, and the release of its final report will be occurring around May 28- June 3 in Ottawa, with hopes that parallel gatherings might be held across the country on one or more of those days. KAIROS is preparing worship resources for use on Sunday, May 31, when another Reconciliation Walk is being planned by Reconciliation Canada in Ottawa.
Early in September, Debbie Siertsema with the Aboriginal Ministries Circle asked me to circulate the Aboriginal Ministries Newsletter to the Right Relations network. Sorry for my delay. Please click on the following link to catch a glimpse of what is happening across Canada as the National Aboriginal Spiritual Gathering gathered at Oneida First Nation, near London, ON in July.http://www.united-church.ca/files/communications/newsletters/circle-news_jul2014.pdf.
Introductory Promotional Video for the KAIROS Blanket Exercise:
Please see http://vimeo.com/107962612
The KAIROS Blanket Exercise is a very popular workshop that explores the nation-to-nation relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada. Blankets arranged on the floor represent land and participants are invited to step into the roles of First Nations, Inuit and later Métis peoples. The workshop helps people to understand how the colonization of this land impacts those who were here long before settlers arrived. It engages people’s minds and hearts in understanding why the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples is often broken and how we can take action together. In the new year, KAIROS will also be launching ‘how to’ videos, so you can feel more comfortable facilitating the exercise without a face-to-face training session.
The Hope Collection is a new United Church blog sharing stories of hope and inspiration from across the United Church – from global partners to Canadian partners and ministries, to congregations and new and emerging ministries. The Church in Mission Unit has partnered with the Edge Network. As part of the launch last week, one of the videos posted was shot in Edmonton at the TRC. It’s of Lorna Standingready, ANCC Leading Elder, discovering a photo of herself in the Presbyterian Archives. http://blogs.united-church.ca/hope/2014/10/162/ Lorna said that viewing church IRS archival photos and other documents is “a gift”. Consider providing displays from the national archives (photos and histories all downloadable from www.thechildrenremembered.ca ) and your Conference archives at gatherings with First Nations people in your area.
Touring BC’s ‘Hidden’ History Shared by Chinese and Indigenous People
This is not any ordinary bus tour. Read what happens when a busload of Christians are shown a province ‘built on free land with half-priced labour’. Thanks to Bill Chu, with Canadians for Reconciliation Society for his persistent endeavours to uncover Canada’s true history and build new just relationships. http://thetyee.ca/News/2014/10/13/Shared-Chinese-Indigenous-History/
I am always happy to hear from anyone in the network, and entertain any questions.
Liaison Minister: Residential Schools
General Council Office: Committee on Indigenous Justice and Residential Schools
780-676-0562 (office cell)
780-675-7753 (Athabasca, AB home office)