Indigenous Justice & Respectful Relationships
The East Central Ontario Regional Council (ECORC) of the United Church of Canada acknowledges that its buildings and ministries are on traditional territories of Indigenous Peoples.
An Invitation to Listen as We Walk the Path of Reconciliation
Elder Alf Dumont: Starting again at the beginning is a good way to move forward together.
“In the worship I attend, we have acknowledged the land. Now though, we follow that with a prayer for reconciliation,” said Elder Alf Dumont. I had begun my conversation with Alf saying that I wanted to take up the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s challenge to keep telling the story of colonization and residential schools, and the churches’ role in it. I told him that my friend Cheryl and I were thinking about ways to make the church aware of what resources were available, and how they might explore them in a church setting.
Please continue to read the story HERE
Trekking Across Canada Together
June 9, 2021
Dear fellow walkers and movers
I am writing to thank you for your dedication to your own health – please keep moving and for your own sake, recording your achievements and celebrating! Maybe the day is coming soon when we can begin in-person walking groups again.
As you know last week we paused our trek to honour the memory of the 215 children found in Kamloops, and to honour the grief the indigenous communities must be feeling. After much prayer and discussion, we have decided it is appropriate to end the walk for this year, and maybe do a special trek up north another time!
We accomplished so much in our walk – coast to coast, we met with elders, activists and other community leaders across the country! Because of the wisdom they shared, it has enabled me to feel an urgency as news unfolds. Let’s stay educated, stay connected, and advocate wherever we can for changes to federal laws so that we can begin a respectful walk into the future.
In the meantime, we as a church grieve, and we wonder what new discoveries will be made. It is a difficult history to accept, but I pray it will fuel and drive us to be better for our children’s futures.
Yours in Christ
on behalf of Helmut Enns and Rodney Smith-Merkley
Sign up for the Respectful Relations info list
Respectful RelationsAnyone in the Regional Council with a particular interest in respectful relations can give their contact info to staff member Reverend Rodney Smith-Merkley. He will keep in touch and also direct you to events and articles that come up too quickly for the regular regional council e-news.
E-News June 18, 2021 – Click HERE for our latest newsletter!
E-News June 11, 2021
A message from Rev. Rodney Smith-Merkley:
Myself, along with the help of many friends, have prepared a 7 minute children’s story, which is posted HERE and a 20 minute sermon, which is posted HERE, in response to Kamloops and is based on lectionary readings for Sunday June 20th. Other worship resources are available at Indigenous | The United Church of Canada (united-church.ca)
Please click HERE to view the full newsletter
The Senate finally passed C-15 – the UNDRIP Implementation Act!
June 17, 2021 will be remembered as an historic day for indigenous rights and reconciliation in Canada. Today the Senate finally passed C-15 – the UNDRIP Implementation Act! Attached is the joint statement of the Coalition of indigenous organizations and prominent individuals and allies who organized so tirelessly over the last several weeks for this victory. Chi miigwech to all of you who signed letters and spoke out to help make this possible. Still much hard work ahead to make implementation a reality but this was the necessary first step down this path.
Indigenous Justice and Respectful Relationship Stories
Walking the Path of Peace Together * – March 2021 Update: Over the winter, plans for the use of the land the spring, summer and fall of 2021 have been developing in exciting ways, led this year primarily by an Indigenous member of the Walking the Path of Peace Together’s Land Council, Maureen Buchanan. Over the past year including through the winter, there has been an increased use of the land by Indigenous people and groups such as the Kingston Indigenous Language Nest (KILN) for ceremony, teachings and renewal. Read the full article HERE  For further information on the Language Nest, see: https://kingstonindigenouslanguage.ca
The Beginnings of a Wonderful Partnership: Two grannies, Irene Clarke and Doris Thomas from the Region had just retired. With lots of energy and enthusiasm they volunteered in Missions in Peru, India and Cuba. Someone asked why don’t you do something in your own country? Why not? But, how do you get started? View the complete article here.
Indigenous Learning Resources
Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada
In this atlas, you will find outstanding reference maps of Indigenous Canada, as well as a section devoted to Truth and Reconciliation, including detailed pages on many aspects of the topic with contemporary and historical photography, maps and more. There’s also a glossary of common Indigenous terms. This atlas was created by The Royal Canadian Geographical Society in conjunction with the Assembly of First Nations, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, the Métis Nation, the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation and Indspire.
For more info, visit: Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada
21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act
…the essential guide to understanding the [Indian Act] and its repercussions on generations of Indigenous Peoples, written by a leading cultural sensitivity trainer.
For more info, visit: 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act
Indigenous Relations – Insights, Tips & Suggestions to Make Reconciliation a Reality
Practical tools that will help you respectfully avoid missteps in your business interactions and personal relationships with Indigenous Peoples.
For more info, visit: Indigenous Relations – Insights, Tips & Suggestions to Make Reconciliation a Reality
Calls to the Church
Calls to the Church articulates the Indigenous Church’s vision for the ongoing development of Indigenous Peoples’ mission and ministry and communities of faith within The United Church of Canada.
It outlines pathways for the whole church to continue to walk in the Spirit of Christ toward justice, healing, and reconciliation.
For more info, visit: United Church of Canada – Calls to the Church