Received from John Bird...
Sent to all on the Living Into Right Relations email list. Please share
It seems to have come to this, I am sending
digests now. My apologies for the volume of information of late. There is an
embarrassment of riches out there these days, and I feel/hope that each piece I
forward is another important shard contributing to the larger mosaic picture. I
try to make sure the Indigenous voice is prominent among the pieces I share,
although not exclusive.
There is also an embarrassment of poor and
misleading coverage out there in the mainstream media, so we are doing our best
to counterbalance that by sharing what we feel are the best. I'm hoping to slow
it down a bit as we go forward, as I feel anyone who has managed to read even
most of what I've been forwarding should now have a good understanding and
background to interpret developments as they occur. Any comments you wish to
make about these thoughts will be appreciated.
The members of this email
list are primarily, although no longer entirely, Christians (most, but not all,
being members of The United Church of Canada). Certainly the impetus for setting
up this list, and for continuing it, comes out of a faith tradition that calls
us to love because God first loved us, to love kindness, do justice and walk
humbly with our Creator, and to love our neighbours as ourselves. It also comes
out of a recognition that we need to redeem our history as a church that has
erred in linking its identity with imperialist and colonizing powers, and has
done some terribly wrong-headed and harmful things as a result.
faith and understanding underlies our work and commitment, but we don't often
make it explicit. Perhaps not often enough.
So today, I share with you
two articles, by two Sarahs, that do explicitly enunciate their own Christian
responses to this current situation, plus another prepared by Indigenous leaders
with the North American Institute for Indigenous Theological Studies.
first is by Sarah Shepherd, who toiled amongst us for a number of years in
Partners in Mission, in the United Church's national offices, and is currently
communications coordinator for Citizens for Public Justice in Ottawa;
second comes from the magazine Christian Week, and was prepared by: Terry
LeBlanc (Mi'kmaq/Acadian), Adrian Jacobs (Cayuga), Wendy Peterson (Metis) Shari
Russell (Saulteaux), Ray Aldred (Cree), Richard Twiss (Lakota), Randy Woodley
(Keetoowah) and Andrea Smith (Cherokee), all with the North American Institute
for Indigenous Theological Studies. Adrian Jacobs, it should be noted, now
serves as Keeper of the Circle (principal) of the United Church's
Sandy-Saulteaux Spiritual Centre:
third is by a lower-mainland British Columbia blogger named Sarah Bessey (you
can read more about her on her website):
finally, this link will take you to a summary of key points raised by the
National Chief and the Prime Minister at their meeting on January 11, 2013, and
commitments made by both sides. It comes courtesy of BC-based Ha-Shilth-Sa,
Canada's oldest First Nations newspaper:
Bird, Program Coordinator
Aboriginal Justice and Right Relations
Church of Canada