I have been very busy the last two weeks, preparing for and attending the fall meeting of the UCC Committee on Indigenous Justice and Residential Schools. On our Facebook page, www.facebook.ca/indigenousjustice you can catch a photo of the hardworking group that participated in the Blanket Exercise along with some General Council Office staff, and grappled with the 94 TRC Calls to Action, among many other agenda items. We focused on the TRC Call (#48) to adopt and comply with the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as a framework for reconciliation, and to issue a statement by March 31, 2016 as to how we were doing that as a church.
Blessings on all of you who took part in “Sisters in Spirit” vigils on October 4 or thereabouts. See below for the call to the public from the RCMP to review outstanding MMIWG cases and provide any possible information that might lead to solving them.
VIEW RECORDING OF WEBINAR “WE ARE ALL TREATY PEOPLE”
Commissioner Wilton Littlechild and past moderator Bill Phipps, along with moderator Sara Stratton did a great job of helping us to understand how we are all treaty people, and in nation-to-nation relationships in this 90-minute webinar presented on Sept. 29. Much like we had a lot to learn about the Indian residential school system, we have much to learn about treaty relationships and how promises have been broken.
You can see and hear it all at http://edgenetwork.adobeconnect.com/p4wky5x4h4s/.
KAIROS THANKSGIVING MESSAGE
KAIROS Executive Director Jennifer Henry delivers a strong challenge to follow the roadmap towards reconciliation laid out in the 94 TRC Calls to Action. The back drop to this 2:45 minute message is the mass Blanket Exercise done on Parliament Hill on June 1 – can you spot Janet Gray (BC KAIROS Regional Coordinator), Amy Crawford (UC Children and Youth Ministry Program Coordinator), Barbara Lloyd (Public Witness Program Coordinator)?
RCMP CALL ON PUBLIC TO HELP IN UNSOLVED CASES OF MMIWG
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) is looking for your help in solving outstanding cases of missing Aboriginal women. From Oct. 5-14, they will highlight specific cases of missing Aboriginal women and girls across Canada, via social media, who are featured on the Canada’s Missing website.
See for RCMP news release http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/en/rcmp-seeks-your-help-bring-our-aboriginal-women-and-girls-home
IRS STUDENTS IN SCHOOLS IN NFLD& LABRADOR NOW IN COURT
Because Newfoundland and Labrador was not a province within Canada until 1949, residential schools in that province were not covered under the Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement of 2007. So now, those former residential school students are in court seeking similar compensation.
CHURCH LEADERS CALL FOR CLIMATE JUSTICE AND ENDING POVERTY
The Canadian Council of Churches statement notes that “Indigenous Peoples in Canada have long experienced the effects of poverty, and are commonly among the first to experience the effects of climate change. As the first human inhabitants and caretakers of the land First Nations, Métis and Inuit Peoples offer important insights from which we all need to learn.
Walking together we can face the challenges of creating new covenants and improved relationships to promote climate justice and end poverty.” https://www.councilofchurches.ca/faith-climate-justice/
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)