Happy Valentine’s Day everyone,
I’ve been away for 2 weeks, so this is an ‘extra’ full edition of the Living into Right Relations digest! Do not lose heart as you make your way through these many inspiring, inviting, and informative items right down to two UCC congregations making reconciliation news.
On February 14, Have a Heart Day for First Nations Children. See the website of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society for ways to celebrate this
child and youth-led reconciliation campaign that brings together caring Canadians to help ensure First Nations children have the services they need to grow up safely at home, get a good education, be healthy, and be proud of who they are. https://fncaringsociety.com/have-a-heart
WEBINAR SERIES: SPEAKING FROM THE HEART: STORIES OF HEALING
Still time to register for the Lenten series (3 sessions) beginning Tuesday, February 16 – 8-9:30 pm Eastern Time with Indigenous artist, spiritual director, and psychotherapist Dr. Patricia Vickers on “Something Went Wrong”
CANADIAN HUMAN RIGHTS TRIBUNAL DECISION RE: First Nations children on reserve
In February 2007 the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society (Caring Society) and the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) filed a complaint alleging that the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs provision of First Nations child and family services was flawed, inequitable and thus discriminatory under the Canadian Human Rights Act. On January 26, 2016, the Human Rights Tribunal’s found that Canada racially discriminates against First Nations children on reserve and in the Yukon. See the text of the ruling: http://decisions.chrt-tcdp.gc.ca/chrt-tcdp/decisions/en/item/127700/index.do#_Toc441501142
See the responses:
Federal Government response : http://news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do;jsessionid=55e1073aa0e4c8700b91deb6f896294661879f3aae86c7aa0553bf1bd5e5749d.e38RbhaLb3qNe3aPahb0?mthd=index&crtr.page=1&nid=1029679
Assembly of First Nations http://www.afn.ca/en/news-media/latest-news/assembly-of-first-nations-welcomes-historic-decision-by-human-rights-t
First Nations Child and Family Caring Society https://fncaringsociety.com/kids-win-canadian-human-rights-tribunal-ruling
KAIROS has supported the Society in a variety of ways over the years in this complaint. They released a statement (http://www.kairoscanada.org/blog/human-rights-tribunal-ruling-a-win-for-indigenous-children-reconciliation) urging “the government of Canada to adopt the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) calls to action in its efforts to provide equitable services and support for young Indigenous people and their families.” Of the TRC’s 94 Calls to Action, which were released on June 2, 2015, the first 12 are devoted to recommended improvements in Indigenous child welfare and education.
THE UCC JUSTICE AND RECONCILIATION FUND
has given a grant of $10,000 to First Nations Child and Family Caring Society to produce a short documentary film and an accompanying multimedia children’s response campaign to the Truth and Reconciliation Report. The film will inspire mainstream Canadian society to engage in reconciliation while its accompanying children’s social media campaign will specifically focus on children and youth by producing a child-friendly adaption of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Report and the point of view of children and youth for classrooms around the country. The UCC looks forward to being part of this campaign.
This fund has $100,000 available in 2016. The fund supports projects, initiated by Conferences, presbyteries, congregations, outreach/community ministries and education centres, that foster dialogue, reconciliation, and relationship-building between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples. Projects initiated outside the church but that meet the goals of the fund and involve church members as participants are also considered.
See the website for criteria and application: http://www.united-church.ca/social-action/social-justice/reconciliation-and-indigenous-justice
INDIGENOUS REFLECTIONS ON CHRISTIANITY – SACRED LAND FILM PROJECT
This episode focuses on the question “ What are the ecological implications of Christianity?” Onondaga Faithkeeper Oren Lyons, Native Hawaiian historian Davianna McGregor, Australian Aboriginal elder and former Catholic priest Patrick Dodson, and Anishinaabe author and activist Winona LaDuke offer their insights into the history of Christianity in relation to indigenous peoples and ecosystems around the world. 14 minutes
Another episode asks “What good is an Apology if actions do not follow?” Since this is the 30th anniversary of the UCC 1986 apology, this is a timely question to ponder.
CHRIST-SIGHTINGS OF A RECOVERING RACIST
Anglican archivist Melanie Delva speaks very honestly about how her views on Indigenous people changed while collecting records for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Today, she says, the church cannot claim to have pursued reconciliation unless it also addresses current issues of Indigenous justice and self-determination. A powerful 10 minute video testimony.
WINNIPEG DECLARES 2016 YEAR OF RECONCILIATION
Mayor Brian Bowman challenged “all Winnipeggers to find ways in the coming year to respond to the calls to action outlined in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and continue to take tangible steps to do their part to be more inclusive.” He made diversity training mandatory for all city staff.
MONTH OF PRAYER TOOL KIT FOR MMIWG
From the Canadian Aboriginal Ministry of the Christian Reformed Church, a tool kit for a month of prayer surrounding missing and murdered women and girls, framed around the 7 sacred teachings. Our prayers are with those families keeping vigil on Valentine’s Day.
REVIEW OF REJECTED ABUSE CLAIMS
The federal government used a technical argument to disqualify an estimated 1,000 claims for compensation made by Indigenous Canadians who were abused at Indian residential schools listed in the agreement negotiated to award them for their suffering. The Department of Indigenous Affairs will review these cases.
UN CONDEMNS DOCTRINE OF DISCOVERY
January 14, 2016 – the UN Council Committee on the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD) called upon the Pope to engage in meaningful dialogue with designated representatives of Indigenous peoples to address their concerns regarding the Inter Caetara of 1493 and its related papal bulls, known collectively as the “Doctrine of Discovery”. https://romeroinstitute.wordpress.com/2016/01/21/un-condemns-doctrine-of-discovery/
RECONCILIATION ART DISPLAY AT MILLWOODS UNITED CHURCH, Alberta
From January 29th to February 28th, 2016, Mill Woods United Church will host Reconciling Edmonton, a collaborative exhibit featuring:
- Paintings by 2015 Office of the City Clerk Artist-in-Residence Jennie Vegt
- Poetry by 2011-13 Edmonton Poet Laureate Anna Marie Sewell and 2014-15 Edmonton Historian Laureate Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail
- Collage prints featuring 1200 of the hearts created by Edmontonians to honour survivors in June’s Heart Garden
SOUTHAMPTON UC – STEPS TOWARDS RECONCILIATION IN SAUGEEN SHORES REGION, Ontario
In heart-felt peace,
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)