From Melanie Delva - Truth and Reconciliation Animator, Anglican Church of Canada
Dear friends, Seemingly out of nowhere, Advent is upon us. How time flies! I hope that in the midst of the busy-ness of your day to day lives, you can still hear the whispers of hope that this season brings.
What I’ve been up to:
I had a fantastic visit to the Nass Valley to meet with the Nisga’a elders, Chiefs and Matriarchs. I let them know what the Anglican Church of Canada is up to in terms of reconciliation and right relationship work. We also had a great discussion about what reconciliation looks like in their context. One of the Chiefs asked me: “how far is the Anglican Church willing to go to support our inherent rights?.” This question weighed heavily on me, and I still carry it in my mind and heart. We could all ask ourselves the same question – what are we willing to do, to give up, and to take on, in order to support Indigenous rights?
I also had the honour of being invited by Bishop Isaiah Larry Beardy to Tataskweyak Cree Nation for the first Sacred Circle of the newly formed Northern Manitoba Area Mission of Mishamikoweesh. It was a great opportunity to share the work I am doing, and again, listen to what is being considered and needed in reconciliation and right relationship work. It is very exciting to see what is happening there. They will need your prayers and support. Please let me know if you want to learn of the ways in which you could partner with this new manifestation of Indigenous Anglican self-determination. Finally, I am on the “home stretch” of writing the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement Lessons Learned report. I would like to thank all those who let me interview them for this report. It will be incredibly important as we gain a better understanding of where we have come from, and look at best ways to move forward.
Thank you to all those who have written to our Senators regarding the passing of Bill C-262 of bringing Canadian legislation in line with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples! My colleague from the Mennonite Central Committee reported that to date, 1,175 electronic letters have been sent through their online form! If you have not done so, you still have time by going to the MCC website. Senator Murray Sinclair gave a very powerful speech on the importance of the Bill. He also pointed to the Anglican Church of Canada as one of its supporters. I would encourage you to listen to his address. The ACC is mentioned around the 14 minute mark.
Need inspiration? A reconciliation activity highlight
A group of 20 readers reading 997 names of murdered or missing Indigenous women and girls at the memorial service at St. James’ Anglican Church, Stratford, Ontario Many thanks to Stephanie Donaldson of St. James, Stratford for letting me know about their recent memorial service for missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. By all accounts, it was an incredibly moving service of mourning and hope. Personal stories were told, and the names of nearly 1,000 missing and murdered women and girls were read aloud. A special liturgy was also written for the occasion. Please have a look at the full story shared by the Diocese of Huron and be inspired!
As we move towards the stable to welcome the source of our Hope and strength, I continue to pray for our network of people committed to right relationship. Thank you for all you do. As always, please let me know what you are up to, and feel free to reach out if you need some help in getting started!
Our mailing address is: Anglican Church of Canada 80 Hayden Street Toronto, Ontario M4Y 3G2 Canada