The Christian Reformed Church recognizes that reconciliation, justice, and a new relationship with Indigenous peoples are part of our responsibility as a church. The call for healing and reconciliation between Aboriginal peoples and non-Aboriginal peoples is rooted in a recognition of our Creator’s love for all creation and in the understanding that we all have gifts to offer one another. Will you join us? Below are ways to get involved in this reconciliation journey.
Host a Blanket Exercise workshop in your church
The Blanket Exercise, developed by KAIROS and then adapted to a CRC context, is an excellent tool that literally walks participants through the history of relationships between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples in Canada. Much of the content is written by Aboriginal people. It helps participants understand why reconciliation is needed and how to take steps toward reconciliation and new relationships. Both American and Canadian versions are available.
Host a Living the 8th Fire workshop in your church (Canada)
When we sit in a healing circle after a Blanket Exercise, one of the most common questions is “So now what?” We usually respond with encouragement to learn more and build relationships. In a sense, Wab Kinew’s invitation to ‘get to know the neighbours’ in this excellent video series, titled Living the 8th Fire, is a way to begin some of that learning and living in relationship with Indigenous neighbors. We know that the journey of reconciliation is a challenge, a blessing, and a deeply spiritual exercise. The 8th Fire videos and study materials draw participants into this journey in a friendly and moving way. May we be blessed and stretched on this path of Living the 8th Fire of reconciliation together.
Advocate for Indigenous Education Reform (Canada)
Indigenous communities and leaders have said that improvements in education are critical for the well-being of their communities. Research shows that Indigenous students have great success and prospects when their education includes language, culture, and the participation of parents, elders, and community in Indigenous-led systems. Indigenous educators explain that they know what changes are needed; the problem is public indifference and a lack of political will. The Trudeau government has made good promises about Indigenous education reform; now it’s time keep them accountable to their words. Click here for more information about Indigenous Education Reform and for talking points in discussing this matter with your MPs.
Sign the Truth and Reconciliation Pledge (Canada)
Pledge to honour God’s call to reconciliation and to encourage your community and government in their commitments to implement the 94 calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Click here to sign the pledge.
Have a conversation about reconciliation with those around you
This Reconciliation Canada Toolkit is a constructive educational resource about how to have conversations about reconciliation with family, friends, neighbours, and colleagues. The material is concise and includes materials for young adult leaders. The toolkit was put together by a respected Indigenous-led organization called Reconciliation Canada, headed by Chief Robert Joseph.
[Header image photo credit: Melissa Blunden]