- At the beginning of our worship services, Emmanuel acknowledges that we are meeting on unceded Algonquin territory. We are gradually paying more attention to the reality that, traditionally, Christian churches have much to account for in creating and promoting cultural genocide, and to set things right. Seeking Right Relations must begin with ourselves, and the flawed perspective of the dominant culture that many have taken for granted.
- In the Spring of 2016, the Teleos group invited elder Barbara Dumont-Hill to be the guest presenter at a weekend retreat at Galilee House. Barbara opened many hearts and eyes through the telling of her own story, and by sharing what has been a painful connection to the dominant society. It was a valuable opportunity to peel back some entrenched layers and look at the divide between settlers and indigenous peoples.
- Over the past few years, several Emmanuel pilgrims who went to Haida Gwaii have had the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the culture and issues of indigenous West Coast peoples. Some returned to Vancouver in the Fall of 2016 to witness the raising of the Reconcilitation Pole that was in the process of being carved when the last group of pilgrims were there. They reported that it was an emotional, significant experience.
- Several people from Emmanuel participated in the Kairos Blanket Exercise, as a means to increase awareness of indigenous history in relation to the arrival and dominance of settlers.
- In the Spring of 2017, a small group from Emmanuel attended a dinner and evening event, put on by the Muslim Women's Association, where indigenous activist Cindy Blackstock was the guest speaker. Her message was unmistakable in inviting us to dig deeper in order to be agents of change on behalf of indigenous children.
- Reconciliation must begin with ourselves. We can't wish to be in right relations with indigenous peoples until we educate ourselves and acknowledge where the mote is still in our eye.
- Emmanuel has a bulletin board with content available for perusing. As we proceed in equipping ourselves to reconcile and be in right relations, we hope to engage many more in peeling back the layers until we are truly "walking the talk".
- Stay tuned!
Seeking Right Relations - August, 2017
Truth and Reconciliation
Attached is the Convocation Address given on the occasion of the May 10th 2017 Convocation ceremonies at The United Theological College, Montreal, held at Roxboro United Church in Roxboro, Quebec. The convocation preacher was the Rev. James Scott, who was recognized through the conferring of the degree Doctor of Divinity (honoris causa).
Until his retirement in summer 2015 following the Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Dr. Scott was the longstanding and very distinguished GCE official concerned with residential schools and other aspects of the movement seeking right relations between indigenous and non-indigenous folk. Thus the College recognized in particular his profound commitment to indigenous concerns and his work with the Church in preparation for, and response to, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Jamie Scott remains an active member of First United Church in Ottawa and of Ottawa Presbytery.
Emmanuel Right Relations Group - 2015
"Who is my neighbour?"
During the 6 years that the Truth and Reconciliation Committee (TRC) collected reports of the impact on aboriginal peoples and communities, Emmanuel invited several aboriginal and non-aboriginal people to help deepen our understanding of the impact that Residential Schools had on native communities. The Rev. Dr. Peter Short was particularly involved during the 6 years as the spiritual advisor to one of the three appointed commissioners, Dr. Marie Wilson. Dr. Wilson was one of several individuals who spoke to us last year, along with Rev. Jamie Scott from the UCC National Office in his capacity working on TRC issues as it pertains to the United Church of Canada.
At the wrap-up of the TRC, held in Ottawa, several members of Emmanuel participated in the 7-K walk, the closing speeches and various activities. Since then, they have been exploring ways to move beyond TRC, along with other UCC interested people in the Ottawa Presbytery, to improve Right Relations between non-aboriginal and aboriginal peoples.
In the evening of Wednesday, Sept.16/15, there will be a gathering of interested Emmanuel people for a round table to discuss people's interests and questions, and develop a set of possible activities which can build on the TRC presentations which Emmanuel held during the previous months. For more information, you can contact Phyllis MacRae, Mary Turnbull, Ed Borza, Carol Scott, Peter Lougheed (plus Norman or Christine Williams after sabbatical/November).