Dear ‘climbers’ on the journey of reconciliation,
I have been with members of All Native Circle Conference at their Grand Council held in Walpole Island First Nation from July 1-5, listening first hand to the concerns and joys of Aboriginal communities in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec. They urged the church to take seriously all 94 Calls to Action issued by the TRC, and especially those 14 that call upon the churches directly, and as ‘parties’ to the Settlement Agreement. We celebrated the commissioning of Connie Budd who will be serving in Winnipeg, and the induction of Leading Elders Rev. Dr. Bernice Saulteaux, and Rev. Nelson Hart.
The United Church of Canada is very concerned about the severe wildfire situation in Western Canada, where thousands of people, including residents of First Nations communities, have been evacuated for their own safety. We are currently in discussions with regional and Aboriginal ministries representatives of the United Church to explore what supportive action might be taken. In the meantime, a prayer has been offered for those affected by the fires:
KAIROS CANADA DAY MESSAGE and #94calls2reconcile
KAIROS Executive Director Jennifer Henry begins her Canada Day message this way:
On this day, when Canadians gather to celebrate our country, I will place my pride not in who we are, but in who we can become. With the release of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Call to Action summary report, we have a glimpse into the history many did not want to know, and a vision of a future we must strive to realize.
Beginning July 1, Henry calls us to read one of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action here: bit.ly/1g7gGlq
NEW KAIROS RESOURCE: STRENGTH FOR CLIMBING: STEPS ON THE JOURNEY OF RECONCILIATION
Download KAIROS’ newest resource entitled Strength for Climbing: On the Journey to Reconciliation, part of the upcoming KAIROS Winds of Change campaign, here:
This booklet is designed to help non-Indigenous communities begin on a path of reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. By learning and unlearning. By building relationships. By actively practicing reconciliation. By living out our commitment in worship, in prayer and in just action. KAIROS is with you on this journey, as together we strive to practice reconciliation. There are lots of suggestions here – don’t let it overwhelm you, try picking one from each section. If you do nothing else, I’d suggest these four things:
1) read The Comeback and The Inconvenient Indian 2) listen to survivors’ stories on www.trc.ca 3) acknowledge territory when you gather 4) do the Blanket Exercise.
Please note that in addition to resource and action suggestions in the main text, there is also a substantial list of resources and links at the end.
NEW BOOK: Reconciliation and the Way Forward
Click on the title to download it. Launched on June 1, 2015, by the Legacy of Hope Foundation at the Truth and Reconciliation final event in Ottawa, this collection of 17 essays deliberates the simple but profound question “What does reconciliation look like?” Contributors include Garnet Angeconeb, Katsi’tsákwas Ellen Gabriel, Tony Belcourt, Georges Erasmus, Stephen Lewis, Shelagh Rogers, Justice Harry S. Laforme, and The Right Honourable Paul Martin. It is not available to order at the moment.
INVITATION TO RIDE THE ROLLING JUSTICE BUS IN BC – August 24-31, 2015
KAIROS, in collaboration with the BC/Yukon KAIROS region, invites YOU, and anyone you think may be interested, to ride the “Rolling Justice Bus,”, August 24 -31,2015. Departing from Vancouver with stops in Kamloops, Prince George and Fort St. John, the Rolling Justice Bus will help us connect the dots about our shared history – from Indigenous rights and reconciliation to resource extraction and climate change.
Together we will explore ways of building a better future based on right relations with Indigenous peoples and a new vision of the lands, the water and the peoples of BC.
The tour is also a great way to kick off the KAIROS Winds of Change campaign. We’ll be looking at ways of building on the work and recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). What does reconciliation in these watersheds and traditional territories look like? How do we live into the specific recommendations of the TRC? Join us in bringing in a “New Spirit” and together we will change our direction, our behaviours, our attitudes and our relationships. For more information and/or to register please contact: Susan Draper at: firstname.lastname@example.org
UN HUMAN RIGHTS REVIEW
The UN Human Rights Committee, opened its review of Canada’s compliance to the International Covenant on Political and Civil Rights on July 6. A big shout out to the KAIROS Indigenous Rights Circle members who worked on a KAIROS submission to the UN Human Rights Committee on Canada’s review – Joanne Jefferson, Deborah Tagorak and Warren Almand. The report made it into a Canadian Press article that was picked up by more than 20 news outlets.
You can find the KAIROS Shadow report at http://www.kairoscanada.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/KAIROS-Shadow-Report.pdf?utm_source=Kairos+Times+2014&utm_campaign=261f1cbe84-KAIROS+Times+e-Newsletter+for+June+2015&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_522b217185-261f1cbe84-98815357
FINDING TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION IN THE OIL SANDS
Eriel Deranger writes from Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, who are downstream from the oil sands mining activities, about their ongoing call for a moratorium on oil sands expansion. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jun/23/canadas-tar-sands-oil-fields-sacred-lands
On June 10, a group of 100 Canadian and US scientists issued an urgent call for governments to place a moratorium on new oilsands projects, offering 10 reasons. Their letter was sent to all Members of Parliament. http://globalnews.ca/news/2047208/100-canadian-and-u-s-scientists-call-for-oilsands-moratorium/
BEING ‘UNSETTLED’ AND ACKNOWLEDGING TRADITIONAL TERRITORY
Paula Simons describes being ‘unsettled’ while learning whose territory she shares in Edmonton.
(Rev.) Cecile Fausak
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)