reForming Relationships: Kisemanito Pakitinasuwin — The Creator’s Sacrifice

Date(s) - September 18, 2013
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Vancouver First Christian Reformed Church

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About the Tour

“All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation…” 
(2 Cor. 5:18)

The reForming Relationships art tour is a catalyst for building and re-building (forming and re-forming) relationships between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in Canada. It provides opportunities to learn about Aboriginal history and culture, about the history of relationships between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in Canada, and about the current lived experience of Aboriginal peoples in Canada. It creates space for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people to meet and get to know each other, to engage in constructive dialogue, and to build bridges of understanding. In short, reForming Relationships is a place for fostering relationships of peace and friendship.

The way it works

The reForming Relationships art tour is a series of community-based tour stops. It began in October 2011 in Saskatoon, SK and will travel to locations across Canada over the next two years. (For a full listing of confirmed locations, see the Schedule). A small group of organizers at each tour location plans all the details of the local tour stop, with the shared goals of creating opportunities for learning and building relationships between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples. This art tour is part of the Christian Reformed Church’s Aboriginal Ministry in Canada.

Why is this necessary? Re-forming relationships

Our Creator made us, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples, to live in peace and friendship. For many years after we first met on the shores of Turtle Island/North America, we did just that. But along the winding paths of history, relationships of peace and friendship have broken down and the covenant of treaties have not been kept. Attempts to systematically eliminate Indigenous culture and identity, to assimilate Indigenous peoples into dominant Canadian culture, guided policy formation and practice, leading to all manner of harm and injustice.

We desire to live as our Creator intended – in reconciled relationships of peace and friendship. Yet there are powerful forces that would keep us stuck in cycles of broken relationships. Some of these—entrenched stereotypes, prejudices, racism—live in our own hearts. Others, such as inequitable funding for education and child services, inadequate funding for housing and community infrastructure, lack of proper consultation for land development and failure to equitably share resource wealth, are systemic injustices that remain part of the way Canadian society is structured. Broken relationships today follow the paths of brokenness in the past, and continue to cause brokenness in the future; we reap what we sow.

The situation in which we find ourselves is indeed complex, but not impossible to overcome.

As Christians, we know that we are not limited by these powers inside of ourselves, in our communities and in our societies. Our Creator sent his son, Jesus, to make possible a new way of living in relationship with each other—a way of peace and friendship. Jesus’ death and resurrection set us free to rid ourselves and our communities of unfair prejudice and racism, and to challenge unjust policies, practices and structures that allow poverty and exclusion to continue. Indeed, Jesus’ death and resurrection enables us to form and re-form relationships of peace and friendship.

Kisemanito Pakitinasuwin – The Creator’s Sacrifice tells this foundational Christian story of Jesus’ death and resurrection – the story that makes all things new. Its vibrant imagery, familiar to some and unfamiliar to others – both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal—invites us to re-imagine how we think about and live out the relationships between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples in Canada. Through these works of art, the Spirit of our Creator invites us to live in new ways – in re-formed relationships of peace and friendship.

Finding the paths of reconciliation begins with relationships of peace and friendship. reForming Relationships provides space for these relationships to begin and to grow.

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