Dear friends on the journey of reconciliation,
As we head into the National Aboriginal History month of June (one site of resources: https://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1100100013778/1100100013779 ) , there are many dates that call us to learn the truth, reflect on where things have gone wrong in our relationships, and how we can set them aright, and to celebrate Indigenous contributions past and present:
- One year after the delivery of the TRC Calls to Action – read the Calls, and participate in a Mass Blanket Exercise near you May 28 – June 5 http://www.kairoscanada.org/media-advisory-3
- 30th anniversary of the UC apology to First Nations Peoples – use the worship resources on June 5 or 12, or August 20 http://www.united-church.ca/social-action/justice-initiatives/apologies
- June 11: in 2008, the federal government offered an apology to former residential school students – take note of how the government is implementing UNDRIP. See Lorraine Land’s article below.
- June 19 Aboriginal Sunday
- June 21 National Aboriginal Day
In case you missed it in the May 18 LIRR digest, from May 30 to August 18, I will be enjoying a sabbatical time, during which I intend to reflect on the journey of healing and reconciliation that I have been a part of for the past 11 years in my ministry employment at General Council.
During that time, we are preparing to send out the LIRR Digest via Mail Chimp, and Debbie Siertsema and Sara Stratton will be managing that transition. Any questions or comments about the LIRR digest can be directed to LIRR@united-church.ca Depending on how things go, there may be a monthly digest in June, July, and August. You are always welcome to view much of the same material at www.facebook.com/indigenousjustice.
MODERATOR’S PASTORAL LETTER ON CRISES FACING INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES
“THOSE WHO WALK”
Carolyn Pogue shares stories of walking pilgrimages:
- Anglican Bishop Logan McMenamie and Wayne Stewart recently walked the length of Vancouver Island on a sacred journey of reconciliation, this time ‘re-entering the land according to protocol’. http://www.ucobserver.org/pogue_blog/
- Gladys Radek drew attention to Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women in two treks across Canada; and Josephine Mandemin walked around the Great Lakes to pray for water. http://www.ucobserver.org/pogue_blog/2016/05/walkking/
The United Church at the invitation of the World Council of Churches has joined the Pilgrimage for Peace and Justice between the general assemblies, taking up a different theme each year, the current one being ‘reconciliation.’
Is there a walk you will take this summer to reconnect with the land and all our relations?
KAIROS “EDUCATION FOR RECONCILIATION” CAMPAIGN
For updates on how the campaign is unfolding see the latest KAIROS Times e-newsletter:
Mass Blanket Exercises – invite your MLA or MPP
Charlottetown Coles Building May 28 12:30 pm
Toronto’s Queens Park May 30 2:00 pm
Ottawa Parliament Hill May 31 5:30 pm
Regina Christ Lutheran Church June 1 2:30 pm
Victoria Legislature June 2 11:30 am
Edmonton City Hall June 2 6:00 pm
Winnipeg Legislature June 4 10:00 am
Whitehorse June 5 3:00 pm
Kingston Douglas Fluhrer Park July 7 5:30 pm
- Plan to present your petition to your MLA or MPP
- Plant a permanent Heart Garden https://fncaringsociety.com/honouring-memories-planting-dreams
INDIGENOUS YOUTH ADVISORY CIRCLE IDEA BOOK
This Idea book is about strengthening circles of relationship among Indigenous youth, and inspiring meaningful change across Canada. http://www.epageflip.net/i/668266-indigenous-youth-advisory-circle-ideabook
TRC CALLS TO ACTION 93 AND 94 AND NEW CANADIANS
Senwung Luk, speaking from his own perspective as an immigrant, says the TRC’s Calls to Action as they relate to New Canadians would be a welcome change. He is grateful for the invitation to treaty relationship.
PRACTICAL SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPLEMENTING UNDRIP
Lorraine Land with OTK Law asks “So what does it look like to put land on the table for serious discussion as part of the reconciliation project and as a concrete aspect of implementing UNDRIP?” She goes on to make four suggestions for practical measures that would demonstrate that the flowery words of UNDRIP support mean something practical for Indigenous communities’ wellbeing:
1) Improve environmental reviews
2) Require Impact and Benefit Agreements
3) Implement resource revenue and tax sharing requirements
4) Renew the treaties
TORONTO FORUM ON ISSUES CONFRONTING FIRST NATIONS YOUTH – Friday, June 17, 2016 – 7 pm
The Church of the Redeemer in Toronto is hosting the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth, Irwin Elman, and Laura Arndt, founder of Feathers of Hope; and youth from Thunder Bay in a conversation about the issues confronting First Nations young people. From the Feathers of Hope youth forum in 2013 an action plan to change their future and the future of their communities in partnership with government and other groups was created by the gathered young people. How can we support First Nations youth use the power of their voices and the sound of their feet to bring about the hope and change they see for their future?
To Register: www.TheRedeemer.ca or 416.922.4948
Cheryl Mckenzie interviews guests Tony Belcourt, Pam Palmater, Erica Violet Lee and Will Goodon on the topics of Metis rights, who will lead the MMIWG inquiry, and will Canada live up to UNDRIP.
SASKATOON WICIHITOWIN SPEAKER SERIES
Eugene Arcand, who served on the TRC Survivors Advisory Committee will be inspiring people to take up the TRC Calls to Action at the Saskatoon Public Library on June 13, 10:30 – noon.
To Register Please Contact: Laura Marshall from the United Way of Saskatoon and Area
Phone:306-975-0901 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a great Aboriginal History Month,
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)