My heart is distressed this morning as I keep hearing more about the pressure being applied to the Unist’ot’en Camp that has been protesting against the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline and Pacific Trails Pipeline in northwestern BC (Chevron) http://thinkpol.ca/2015/08/28/rcmp-planning-mass-arrest-of-indigenous-activists-under-bill-c-51-supporters-warn/ Let us keep the Wet’suwet’en Nation in our prayers, and write letters to the RCMP, federal government, and BC provincial government expressing our desire that indigenous rights be respected.
MARK THE DATE – SEPT. 29 at 7 PM – WEBINAR ON “WE ARE ALL TREATY PEOPLE”
Our guest panelists, Truth and Reconciliation Commissioner Wilton Littlechild, and past UCC Moderator Bill Phipps, along with conversation facilitator Sara Stratton, will explore the understanding of “We are All Treaty People” in a 90-minute webinar on the EDGE network on Tuesday, Sept. 29 at Eastern time (Toronto), so please note the time zone adjustments for your area. I hope to have the link ready for registration by early next week, so stay posted.
RAISING THE PROFILE OF ABORIGINAL ISSUES IN THE FEDERAL ELECTION
As someone concerned about Aboriginal justice, I encourage you to witness to our faith in a just and life-giving God by advocating for justice and peace with candidates in your riding. With colleagues in Church in Mission unit, we urge you to read the non-partisan UCC 2015 Election Kit to gain more information about key issues and share it with other congregational members and neighbours.
The kit includes:
- Background information on 16 election issues as they relate to United Church policy – p.11 Aboriginal Justice
- Questions you can ask candidates in your riding
- Election connections to worship, study groups, children and youth
- Instructions for planning and participating in an all-candidates meeting
- Tips for using the media (including social media)
What about hosting a coffee party to inform voters about Aboriginal justice issues, upholding treaty relationships, and responding to the TRC Calls to Action; and to discuss why and how to make these concerns central to party platforms.
There is another election kit on the Canadian Council of Churches website:
See pages 6 and 7 related to Duty to Consult and Public Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women and Girls.
SPECIAL GEEZ ISSUE ON DECOLONIZATION
Check out the latest issue of Geez Magazine, focusing on decolonization. Lots of great material, including an article by former Moderator Stan McKay, and one by Sara Stratton, my new colleague and Reconciliation and Indigenous Justice Animator (formerly with KAIROS).
ALL NATIVE CIRCLE CONFERENCE
At long last, the native UCC ministries in Alberta, SK, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec which belong to All Native Circle Conference, have a website http://allnativecircleconference.com/
You can also see what’s happening at Sandy Saulteaux Spiritual Centre http://sandysaulteaux.ca/
DOCTRINE OF DISCOVERY – 6 PART SERIES IN NATIONAL CATHOLIC REPORTER, USA
The USA National Catholic Reporter issued part 1 of a 6 part series on Aug. 31 on the legacy of the Doctrine of Discovery. It gives a concise history of the impact on the Lakota people in Cheyenne River.
Part 2 was issued on Sept. 1 and focuses on “Boarding schools: A Black Hole of Native American History”.
Part 3 “Limited House, Poor Economy Plagues Reservation” http://ncronline.org/news/peace-justice/limited-housing-poor-economy-plagues-reservation
Part 4 “Reeling from the Impact of Historical Trauma” http://ncronline.org/news/peace-justice/reeling-impact-historical-trauma
MANDATORY TEACHER EDUCATION ON ABORIGINAL TOPICS
Starting next summer at Queen’s U, all B. Ed candidates will take a 12-week course on Aboriginal education. The new course will focus on training B.Ed candidates to teach Aboriginal topics and create an inclusive environment for Aboriginal students. In response to TRC Calls to Action 62 and 63, all Faculties of Education need to equip teachers this way. http://www.queensjournal.ca/story/2015-07-28/news/aboriginal-classes-mandatory-for-education-students/
I understand that University of Calgary already has this in place.
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)