LIRR Digest: Focus on Reconciliation at GC42

Hello travellers on the journey of reconciliation,

It has been an inspiring week at General Council 42, and I strongly suggest that you set aside an hour or more to watch the following:

GC42 –  REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE OF INDIGENOUS JUSTICE AND RESIDENTIAL SCHOOLS
You can watch the report of the Committee of Indigenous Justice and Residential Schools to GC42, which included a new video and eminent guests.   It begins about 1 hour and 28 minutes into the “Thursday morning: Worship, Commons 7” you tube webcast https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WdVz9Ih2620

The report includes a video of the reconciliation journey the church has been on, beginning with the 1986 Apology up to the closing of the TRC in Ottawa in June.  Former Moderator Bob Smith narrates this powerful 5-minute video, that illustrates the words of the apology, offered in August 1986.

Commissioner Marie Wilson addressed 5 questions that she has been personally asked most often:
What has moved you the most? What do you hope will come from the TRC’s work? What gives you hope? What has kept you going? What are you going to do next?
There was also a news release regarding her participation at GC42: http://www.gc42.ca/news/marie-wilson-addresses-council

AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde thanked the UC for its 1998 apology and ensuing actions,  gave a ringing cry to ‘close the gap’, and asked us to influence the election platforms of all parties, mobilize the vote, and integrate the indigenous perspective of Creator’s law to deal with climate change.  John Ralston Saul said that churches will be judged by what they do from now on, not on the past steps which were largely legally obligated.

GC42 PROPOSAL RE RECONCILIATION
If you keep watching Thursday morning at GC42, you will see the plenary adopt a 5-point proposal to respond to the TRC ‘Calls to Action”.
It can be found on pages 361-362 (Plenary 39-40) of the workbook.
http://252171b255e88fd7c65a-dec189f157202212a76b23fc4d185c40.r92.cf2.rackcdn.com/workbook_complete_rev2.pdf
Also see the news release http://www.gc42.ca/news/church-recommits-itself-work-reconciliation

HEALING FAMILIES
Cynthia Wesley-Esquimalt, Vice-Provost (Aboriginal Iniatives) for Lakehead University, in an interview, challenges the church to work with youth in healing intergenerational impacts.  http://www.gc42.ca/news/healing-families.  Cynthia will be one of 4 facilitators working with a group of 30 UCC members in a workshop Aug. 27-30 to develop resources to help the church repudiate the Doctrine of Discovery and ‘decolonize’

 ABORIGINAL MINISTRIES COUNCIL of the UCC
A 5-minute interview with Maggie McLeod, Executive Minister for Aboriginal Ministries about the future course of this vital work.
http://www.gc42.ca/news/aboriginal-ministries

WALK to HONOR MMIWG REACHING EDMONTON
See the story of walkers honoring all missing and murdered indigenous women, who started out from Norway House, MB and are now reaching Edmonton http://www.edmontonjournal.com/Activists+walking+kilometres+honour+murdered+missing/11288638/story.html?fb_ref=Default&fb_source=message

As the walk proceeds west along the Highway of Tears to Prince Rupert, if you can join them in the walk, listen to their stories, and help out with food, gas, supplies, camping fees or accommodations, please go to their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/114014765605546/
or phone Brenda Osborne…1-204-963-9017

WEBSITE RESOURCE: GROUNDWORK FOR CHANGE
Monique Woroniak and Liz Carlson are two participants in a small group of women from Winnipeg who have taken seriously the admonition that white settler folks must work with other white settler folks in pushing anti-racist and decolonizing politics. To that end they have, in tight consultation with diversely located Indigenous people in Winnipeg, produced a website to allow settlers who are questioning the received wisdom about Canada to educate ourselves with respect to the country’s colonial present and past. While based out of Treaty 1 Territory and the traditional lands of the Red River Métis, there is some very good basic material.  E,g, I found the section on “What is an ‘ally’? led to many helpful resources, including ones related to ‘settlers of colour’.
http://www.groundworkforchange.org/

VISUAL ESSAY “IF THESE WALLS COULD TALK”
There is a moving visual essay published in the September issue of the Walrus Magazine:  If These walls Could Talk: The physical traces of residential schools  by photographer Lana Slezic. Sorry, there is no free access to this.  Thanks to retired Manitoba archivist Diane Haglund for pointing us to this issue.  GC42 commissioners offered a round of applause for the extensive work of UCC archivists in fulfilling our obligations under the Settlement Agreement, and going far beyond.

LIBERALS ANNOUNCE FN EDUCATION COMMITMENTS
http://globalnews.ca/news/2164143/trudeau-pledges-millions-for-first-nations-education-during-saskatoon-stop/

May there be summer peace in your soul,
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)

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