Is your community working at connecting with First Nations communities close-by? Our ELCIC has issued a statement engaging recommendation #48 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which calls on religious groups to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
I wanted to gather a number of links to websites that have helpful resources for us, as Lutherans in Canada, who may be seeking ways of intentionally engaging the TRC recommendations. So, this blog is to do just that!
Can we make a point of acknowledging that we are treaty people and we gather on traditional lands when we meet at our church worship services, council meetings, community celebrations, and so on? How do we do that respectfully? Here are some suggestions:
-from the United Church of Canada
-from a resource for universities
In Winnipeg, there is an initiative to get Indigenous and Non-Indigenous people in conversation and forming friendships. They are called “Circles for Reconciliation” and have a website.
The ELCIC/Anglican Church of Canada National Youth Project has invited young people to learn about struggles in, and to connect with, First Nations communities near their homes. (See more information on the webpage.)
A delegation from the ELCIC, and particularly the MNO Synod, went to Split Lake in late-June/early-July of 2016. There is a 27-minute video of their experience. Also, take a look at “Reserve 107,” documenting the experience of Mennonites and Lutherans, and First Nations, in Laird, Saskatchewan.
We, as Lutherans, need to break out of our comfort-zones. We can be intentional about taking steps towards our neighbour, seeking relationship, and – in this case – mending of relationship since we are descendants of settlers who have had a turbulent past with our First Nations communities.