I have been having some troubles with my updated Outlook system and accessing my Outlook contact list, so sorry for the delay.
Many are pointing to the deep systemic roots of the suicide epidemic and suffering in Indigenous communities, and the need for ending colonization. (see below). Many First Nations are in a constant ‘state of emergency’ and grieving. There is no quick fix. Through our Mission and Service dollars we support at least 60 First Nations communities with pastoral care, youth programming, food, and counselling; and advocate to address the structural causes of suicide. Through the Healing Fund, many strong programs involving youth and elders to recover language and culture, and restore familial relationships are held each year. You can find an overview of ways to donate to the Healing Fund here.
TO END INDIGENOUS SUFFERING, END COLONIZATION
Idle No More leader Tanya Kappo, and assistant professor Hayden King at Ryerson University say “communities know the solutions, too: authentic opportunities for the full reclamation of our identities – our languages, our cultures, our traditions and our relationship with the land and waters. This would require restored jurisdiction, honoured treaties, health care and education. This would bring an end to being forced to live in conditions of poverty.”
HOUSE OF COMMONS EMERGENCY DEBATE on SUICIDES, JUSTICE MINISTER WANTS TO MOVE BEYOND INDIAN ACT
MODERATOR LETTER “FROM APOLOGY TOWARDS RECONCILIATION
Read the Moderator’s invitation to mark the 30th anniversary of the 1986 apology to First Nations people: reflect, congregational worship on June 5 or 12, commemoration in Sudbury on August 20.
“NOTE FROM NORA,” APRIL 14, 2016 on Steps towards Right Relations
General Secretary Nora Sanders writes about the Aboriginal Ministries Consultation, and the land transfer from London Conference to the Delaware First Nation.
PLANT A HEART GARDEN THIS YEAR
KAIROS is honoured to once again sponsor the Honouring Memories, Planting Dreams campaign, joining the First Nations Child & Family Caring Society of Canada and the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.
Launched in 2015, Heart Gardens honour residential school survivors and their families, as well as the legacy of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. Each heart represents the memory of a child lost to the residential school system, and the act of planting represents that individual’s commitment to finding their place in reconciliation. You might also remember children and youth lost to suicide.
This year’s initiative promotes the planting of real, permanent, growing gardens as symbols of ongoing efforts towards reconciliation. The campaign includes bookmarks with seeds and instructions to get you started. We invite you and your church to plant a Heart Garden. Learn more and take action. https://fncaringsociety.com/honouring-memories-planting-dreams
BLANKET EXERCISE WORSHIP RESOURCE: ENFOLDED IN THE CREATOR
This service will allow you to participate in an adapted form of the popular education tool: the Blanket Exercise in approximately an hour. KAIROS has been using this tool since 1997 (which has been continually edited and updated) to increase understanding of the history of the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada. It invites a whole group of people to put themselves in the place of Indigenous peoples. While this is an active exercise involving movement, it has been adjusted for the context of a worship service with a seated congregation.
VICTORY FOR RIGHTS OF METIS AND NON-STATUS INDIANS
A unanimous court ruling says Ottawa has jurisdiction over 200,000 Metis and 400,000 non-status Indians, and may serve now as a starting point for those pursuing land claims and additional government services.
KAIROS VIDEO SERIES SPOTLIGHTS THE GENDERED IMPACTS OF RESOURCE EXTRACTION
KAIROS has released a five-part video series called Gendered Impacts of Resource Extraction. These videos feature their partners, Indigenous women and organizations in Canada and the Global South. Please share them with your network. Indigenous women offer perspectives on resource extraction that often are not heard or understood when evaluating a project’s risks and benefits. KAIROS is working with partners to make visible the particular impacts of resource extraction on Indigenous women as well as their unique role in defending community rights and the environment.
For the playlist of all 5 videos: http://www.kairoscanada.org/video-playlists/gendered-impacts
MP SAGANASH TABLES BILL TO RESPECT UN DECLARATION ON RIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES
PRIZE-WINNING UCC FILMS TO WATCH
So proud to announce that United Church’s producers have won 4 Golds at this year’s Worldfest Film Festival in Houston, 2 of which relate to the work of right relations, and involved Aboriginal Ministries and Indigenous Justice staff liaisons. There were over 4500 entries. If you haven’t seen the winners, here are the websites:
Gold: Charitable/Non Profit
Wampum: Jeremy Major, Shooting Eye Productions, Hamilton
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=guFiURJAUCQ (about youth camp at Five Oaks Centre)
Reconciliation: Don Lowe, Fervent Productions, Vancouver
http://www.united-church.ca/social-action/justice-initiatives/reconciliation-and-indigenous-justice (Justice Sinclair on screen)
SPOKEN WORD: THE THINGS WE TAUGHT OUR DAUGHTERS
Listen to Helen Knott’s spoken word poem to acknowledge and encourage breaking free of intergenerational cycles of violence sometimes faced by Indigenous women, men, children, and communities (urban and rural).
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)