Building on National Indigenous Peoples Day: Seven Commitments, and more

The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada opened its weekly newsletter with these words June 21:

Today is National Indigenous Peoples Day, a special occasion to learn more about the rich and diverse cultures, voices, experiences and histories of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.

The EFC invites affiliates to journey toward right relationship with Indigenous peoples by making an ongoing commitment to listening, learning and relationship-building.

They urged readers to “visit our webpage to learn more and take action.

Here is the content they linked to:

A journey toward right relationship 

In June 2020 an EFC working group presented seven commitments for conversation and action among EFC affiliates (click the Seven Commitments tab below). For the story of how they emerged, see the Overview below.

Take action by learning

Journeying to right relationships with Indigenous Peoples requires an ongoing commitment to listening, learning and relationship-building. Here are some resources to provide a starting point to learning about bridging relationships between Indigenous Peoples and non-Indigenous Canadians.

Reports and documents

Introductory books 

  • Indigenous Writes by Chelsea Vowell
  • The Inconvenient Indian by Thomas King
  • 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act by Bob Joseph
  • Working Effectively with Indigenous Peoples by Bob Joseph

Other books 

  • A Quality of Light by Richard Wagamese
  • Unsettling the Settler Within by Paulette Regan
  • Unsettling the Word: Biblical Experiments in Decolonization edited by Steve Heinrichs
  • Native: Identity, Belonging and Rediscovering God by Kaitlin B. Curtice
  • Buffalo Shout, Salmon Cry: Creation, Land Justice and Life Together edited by Steve Heinrichs

Treaties 

EFC resources

Reading list on racism

  • White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo
  • Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death and Hard Truths in a Northern City by Tanya Talaga
  • Canada at a Crossroads: Boundaries, Bridges, and Laissez-Faire Racism in Indigenous-Settler Relations by Jeffrey S. Denis
  • Canada’s anti-racism strategy
  • EFC Statement on Racism

Blogs 

Resources from EFC affiliates

Take action by listening and reflecting

  • Read and reflect on content provided in the ‘learn more’ section
  • Listen to Indigenous perspectives with respect and love
  • Reflect on your own personal biases, attitudes or stereotypes that might hinder loving relationships with Indigenous neighbours

Take action by praying

  • For openness across congregations in Canada to explore God’s heart for restored relationships among all people, and with all of creation
  • For healing and renewed hope for those who have been impacted by systemic barriers and injustice
  • For a posture of humility and learning for all Christians in Canada as evangelicals journey towards right relationship with Indigenous peoples
  • For wisdom, discernment, courage and God’s leading as evangelical leaders respond and engage in this work
  • For commitment from all levels of government to prevent and combat racism and injustice

Take action by building relationships

Take action by responding

  • By speaking the truth in love when you hear discriminatory comments about Indigenous peoples
  • By sparking discussions and sharing resources with others
  • By learning how denominations are responding to the TRC, to issues of Indigenous justice, or are prioritizing Indigenous relations
  • By finding ways to increase awareness about Indigenous issues within your congregation

“I would simply say to every single local church, ‘Where are your Indigenous friends? Who are your Indigenous neighbours? Introduce them to me. Tell me what you know of their story. What is the story of the land that you’re living on?’ And if churches know that, there would be actual gatherings where people would appreciate each other and show up, respect and stand up and help each other in a good way.”

Adrian Jacobs (Stewarding Sacred Seeds, p. 18)

Go here for the Indigenous Relations page of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada. This resource page is re-posted by permission.

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