Indigenous-Anglican Engagement in the Diocese
In modest ways all over the diocese communities are doing the work of reconciliation in ways that correspond to the Primate’s Commission’s call to pray, learn, build relationships and take action.
- Urban Aboriginal Ministry, St. Mary Magdalene. Lead by postulant Vivian Seegers (Cree), Urban Aboriginal Ministry is a welcoming, low barrier community that supports urban aboriginal people, their friends and families with the challenges of city life. Community, cultural activities, prayer, and gathering for celebratory meals.
- Walk in the Spirit of Reconciliation— Ecumenical partners, members of St. George’s Fort Langley under the leadership of Rev. Paul Guiton, and Katsie and Kwantlen First Nations are planning the second annual 35 km walk from Fort Langley to the grounds of St. Mary’s residential school in Mission for June 2-4, 2017.
- The Bird’s Nest—The parish is St. George’s Maple Ridge is growing a relationship with a neighbor down the street. The Bird’s Nest Society, a home for First Nations young adults from rural Saskatchewan transitioning to college and work life in the city.
- Reconciliation Feast--St. James’ parish, has a long relationship with indigenous communities particularly Nisga’a and urban indigenous people in the Downtown Eastside. Organized by Pat McSherry, Kelvin Bee (Kwakwaka'wakw, Residential School Survivor) and Rev. Matthew Johnson the parish is planning a feast to honour residential school survivors and celebrating the next generation of leaders, Sept 23, 2017. Anglican Indigenous Bishop Mark McDonald will attend, Anglican Video is producing a celebratory documentary and a "how to" resource is planned.
- Archives--The diocesan and provincial archives with their comprehensive records of diocesan initiated and run residential schools have played a key role in the TRC process. Archivist Melanie Delva has a tireless commitment to justice for survivors and their families, she is a sought-after speaker in parishes, Anglican/Episcopalian Indigenous gatherings and professional Archival associations on racial justice and the role of archivists.
- All Saints Mission, TRC Committee—With Métis, First Nations and settler membership this group has a supportive mutual relationship with the Mission Indian Friendship Centre. They are reading the TRC calls to action and the United Nations Declarations on the Rights of Indigenous People and brainstorming together about how they will respond.
- Native Drumming Circle--Meeting monthly on the 4th Sunday at 4pm at St. Hilda's Sechelt, the circle is facilitated by Terry Aleck and CHristine McLellan. Terry, a Pipe Carrier from Lytton First Nation, was raised Anglican and is a survivor of St. Geroge's Indian Residential School in Lutton, BC. Participants drum and sing while learning native culture through Terry's storytelling.
- Sunshine Coast Healing and Reconciliation Dialogue Circles—An ecumenical and inter-religious gathering started by Anglican, Lutheran (ELCIC) and United churches on Sunshine Coast committed to inviting the settler community to learn and live out the TRC's Calls to Action. Past and future events include dialogue circle/workshops on Cultural Competency, the Doctrine of Discovery, UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, KAIROS' Blanket Exercise, TRC's Calls to Action.
- The Coming Home Society—Begun out of St. James and operating for nearly twenty years the Coming Home Society, in partnership with Urban Native Youth serves vulnerable Indigenous young people. Initially providing residential addictions treatment for young women, CHS’s most recent program helps youth learn cultural skills from elders. The society is supported by many people in the diocese and has been a labour of love and dedication of Jerry (Nisga’a) and Linda Adams and their family.
- Study Group, All Saints Agassiz—Since 2015, All Saints Agassiz has made reconciliation a priority: inviting Indigenous speakers, acknowledging Sto:lo traditional territory, praying for Indigenous leaders, celebrating Aboriginal Day. Since September 2016 a large and diverse study group has met to discuss the book Wrongs to Rights and engage in cultural sharing and relationship building.
- Salal + Cedar—the diocesan environmental justice ministry draws connections between environmental justice and indigenous land rights. They participate as guests in cultural activities like the Women’s Water Walk, Hobiyee and seek to follow the leadership of First Nations regarding their right to Free Prior and Informed consent on the issue of pipelines. Through Sacred Earth Camp, Indigenous practitioners share cultural skills like plant medicine, cedar bark weaving to Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth.
- Point Grey Deanery Reconciliation Group--A small group of clergy and lay people from St. Mary’s Kerrisdale, St. Phillips, Dunbar and St. Anselm have met twice discussing how they might work together towards reconciliation. Some members participated in a visit to Musqueam.