I suspect that most of you, as I am, are preparing for special services on June 21 Aboriginal Day, and attending special events over the weekend. I will be guest worship leader at St. Andrew’s United Church in Spruce Grove, AB in Treaty 6 territory.
There are worship resources for the day at http://www.united-church.ca/files/aboriginal/schools/resources/celebration-and-thanksgiving.pdf
It is encouraging to hear about the number of congregations that are acknowledging traditional territory as they gather, and who are creating medicine gardens, and finding other ways to publicly honour Indigenous presence and remember the children who attended residential schools.
REGISTER FOR WEBINAR ON FREE, PRIOR, AND INFORMED CONSENT (FPIC) on June 17, 7 pm EDST
Don’t miss this informative 90-minute session with John Dillon, KAIROS expert on FPIC, and gkisedtanamoogk, university lecturer from Wabanaki Nation. How the indigenous right to FPIC is being upheld or not will be explored in two case studies: Northern Gateway pipeline and fracking at Elsipogtog. Register here http://edge.united-church.ca/webinars/event-registration/?ee=8. It will be recorded, and I will send the link when it is ready, so you can view at your leisure.
SUPPORT 7 BC FIRST NATIONS IN COURT AGAINST ENBRIDGE
June 17 marks the 1 year anniversary since the federal government gave approval to the Northern Gateway pipeline project. The Pull Together campaign has reached over $400,000 towards a goal of $600,000 to help 7 BC First Nations uphold their right to free, prior, and informed consent in court in October. For more information and to donate, see www.pull-together.ca or https://www.kairoscanada.org/sustainability/resource-extraction/support-bc-first-nations-opposition-to-northern-gateway/
DISMANTLING THE DOCTRINE OF DISCOVERY WORKSHOP
I attended the “Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery” workshop during the TRC activities on June 1 in Ottawa, with panelists Chief Ed John, Stuart Wuttke (AFN), Jennifer Preston (Quaker) and Bishop Mark MacDonald (Anglican). I really appreciated everyone’s insights, and the fact that it was all recorded and now online – 1 hour long.
KAIROS ‘WINDS OF CHANGE’ CAMPAIGN – Reconciliation is in the Wind
View a 3-minute video “Reconciliation is in the Wind” and get a taste of the fall KAIROS campaign to be launched at Thanksgiving, emphasizing teaching residential school history.
KAIROS BLANKET EXERCISE – ONLINE RESOURCE CENTRE
KAIROS gets more requests for this educational tool than it can accommodate. Jointly with other organizations, KAIROS is applying for a large grant from the McConnell Foundation to promote and expand this exercise in five provinces. KAIROS is committed to training more facilitators. KAIROS has recently launched the Blanket Exercise Online Resource Centre which offers video training modules. http://KAIROSblanketexercise.org
FRONTIERS FOUNDATION – OPERATION BEAVER – BUILDING HOMES IN ABORIGINAL COMMUNITIES
Foundation is an Aboriginal non-profit organization that promotes the advancement of economically and socially disadvantaged communities. Through the Operation Beaver Program (since 1964), they focus on providing affordable housing and improvements in education. The founder was a United Church minister, the late Charles Catto. See this story about installing running water in Pikangikum in November 2014 http://www.thestar.com/life/2015/01/01/ontario_professionals_volunteer_time_money_to_help_remote_ontario_first_nation.html
For more information on how to volunteer http://www.frontiersfoundation.ca/volunteer
The Frontiers Foundation Annual Breakfast is coming up on Thursday June 25, 2015 7:30 – 9:30 a.m. at the auditorium of Timothy Eaton Memorial Church, 230 St. Clair Avenue, West, Toronto. Please call Marilyn Gillis at 416.690.3930 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org confirming your presence.
WORLD COUNCIL OF CHURCHES ARTICLE ON TRC
HUMAN RIGHT TRIBUNAL FINDS OTTAWA RETALIATED AGAINST CINDY BLACKSTOCK
TALK BY BOB RAE AT MAY 31 JOINT UCC SERVICE
FILM ABOUT REGINA INDIAN INDUSTRIAL SCHOOL (RIIS) HAVING AN IMPACT
“RIIS from Amnesia”, a film capturing the history of the Regina Indian Industrial School, closed in 1910, and the recovery of the cemetery, with interviews of descendants is receiving much acclaim. This project was funded by the United Church in-kind fund established through the Settlement Agreement (this was the final project to be supported by this fund).
MARDI TINDAL UC OBSERVER BLOG “QUOTE..UNQUOTE”
A beautiful reflection on ‘As we begin to listen to each other’s stories, things begin to change . . .’ http://www.ucobserver.org/opinion/2015/06/quote_unquote/
WRITERS UNION OF CANADA ENDORSES MORE ABORIGINAL AUTHORED SCHOOL CURRICULA RESOURCES
It is great to see all walks of occupations and professions taking up the TRC Calls to Action. The writers of Canada have a huge influence.
May June 21 be a wonderful day of thanksgiving and celebration of indigenous gifts, culture, and spirit; and of hope for reconciliation.
Reconciliation and Indigenous Justice Animator
General Council Office: Committee on Indigenous Justice and Residential Schools
780-676-0562 (office cell)
780-675-7753 (Athabasca, AB home office)