The Circle for Reconciliation and Justice was established at Synod Assembly in June 2018, extending the mission of the Biennium Reconciliation Task Force begun in 2014. Its mandate is to advise and assist ministry areas and congregations who have taken up the challenge of learning about our First Nations, Métis and Inuit neighbours and our collective history, and of walking with them in their ongoing efforts to undo the devastating effects of colonization.
Indigenous Health Determinants
We are pleased to share a recording of our webinar exploring the effects of COVID-19 on the health determinants of Indigenous, Metis and Inuit people. Keynote by Dr. Angela Mashford-Pringle, assistant professor and associate director at the Waakebiness-Bryce Institute for Indigenous Health, Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto.
Also featuring a conversation between Richelle Miller, of Six Nations of the Grand River, and Christine Ramseyer, parish nurse at Mount Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church in Waterloo.
This event was co-sponsored by the Eastern Synod and Martin Luther University College.
CRJ Resource List
1492 Land Back Lane
Many of us are aware of the occupation by Haudenosaunee land defenders at 1492 Land Back Lane at Caledonia, Ontario. People living on or near the Haldimand Tract are encouraged to become informed about the history and the issues. These are complex, but researching this story with care can help us to understand the reasons for the protest and their implications for relationship.
There is a great deal of information online, but a useful beginning is a learning resource with links to some source documents and writings from a variety of views and perspectives, put together in the Fall of 2020 by Steve Heinrichs, Indigenous-Settler Relations director for Mennonite Church Canada. It can be found here.
Letter from the Bishops – Lobster Fishing Crisis in Nova Scotia
International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples
August 9, 2020 is the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, as declared by the United Nations. It also happens to fall on a Sunday this year. For those of you looking for resources to help augment your worship or your online presence in other ways, please see the links below.
Peace and blessings to you as we continue to learn and walk the journey of understanding and reconciliation.
(Further resources can be accessed through the Racial Justice Advisory Committee)
National Indigenous Peoples Day
Dear People of God,
We are all created in the image of God.
When we can recognize our equal humanity and worth our attitudes and behaviours are motivated by compassion and the common good. The disheartening aspect of recent reports of police violence against Indigenous Peoples is that it is neither unusual nor uncommon. We are quick to respond with disgust and anger when we see instances of racial violence and injustices, and yet as the Toronto Star’s editorial board writes, “Let’s save some outrage for treatment of Indigenous people.”¹
In response to the racial violence in Minneapolis, Ontario Regional Chief RoseAnne Archibald writes,
“Indigenous Elders have said, this coronavirus has come for a reason, it has come to teach us something. One thing is obvious; this pandemic has reminded us of our shared humanity. As the world experienced lockdowns, the majority of us stayed home and expressed a collective concern for our fellow humans’ health and well-being. Perhaps for the first time in our modern human experience, we understood we are truly in this together. As such, it was especially shattering to watch a fellow human killed when we were all working toward preserving health and saving lives. George Floyd became ‘everyman,’ who was experiencing real anguish, and when he cried out for his mother, we all understood.”²Read more →