A church commission is proposing four ways that Anglicans across Canada can take part in the task of reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Canada: praying, learning, building relationships and acting.
"Reconciliation is daily individual spiritual practice and communal conversion, the transformation of the whole church," members of the Primate's Commission on Discovery, Reconciliation and Justice say in an open letter to Canadian Anglicans, released December 9. "We know that many of you are on this path, but we hope to link our efforts to yours, so that we as a whole church might embrace the promise of reconciliation, walking together with other churches, and with others of faith and conscience in persistence and in hope."
The letter asks Anglicans to be mindful of the historic struggles of Indigenous communities in their daily and weekly prayers, and to include territorial acknowledgments and "Indigenous voices, teachings and ceremonies" in their worship services. It also asks Anglicans to reflect on their church's apology for residential schools and repudiation of the Doctrine of Discovery, and on its commitments to the 94 Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), in their services.
It proposes that Anglicans commit to learning about Indigenous experiences through activities such as talking circles, Bible studies and the Blanket Exercise, an interactive way of learning about the history of colonialism in Canada developed by the ecumenical justice group, KAIROS. It asks them to read the 94 Calls to Action, the summary report of the TRC, and The Survivors Speak, in which former residential school students speak of their experiences. It also asks that they learn about the history of their congregation, family or community as it relates to land.
The letter also asks Indigenous and non-Indigenous Anglicans to work on forming better relationships with each...