This year, Aboriginal Sunday is on June 19th. This day provides an opportunity for everyone in Canada to learn more about Aboriginal peoples, their cultures and to celebrate the gifts and richness that Aboriginal people bring to life in Canada. The CRC dedicates one Sunday both to recognize National Aboriginal Day and to celebrate the Aboriginal Ministry of the CRC. Click here to learn more and to download and order the worship resources.
Native American Heritage Month Resources
Native American Heritage Month is a yearly opportunity to learn about Native peoples and cultures and to celebrate their gifts to our life and society. We especially encourage you to consider hosting a Blanket Exercise at your church—whether that be during a worship service, in an adult education class, at a council meeting, in Sunday school, or at a special event.
These worship resources are for use on any Sunday during November (Native American Heritage Month). Though this month is only officially recognized in the United States, these resources have been developed with both Canada and the United States in mind. Click here to learn more and download the worship resources.
Month of Prayer Surrounding the Stories of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (Canada)
In recent years, more media attention has been given to the stories of many missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls in Canada. As these stories come to light, society and individuals cannot stand by, idly allowing such injustices to continue. We invite you to enter into a month of prayer that focuses on the injustices surrounding the stories of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. It is our prayer that we can join together to pray for these women, their families, their perpetrators and their families, the justice system, and their communities. Click here to learn more and download a PDF of the prayer toolkit.
CAMC Toolkit: Walking the Road of Reconciliation
This toolkit provides resources for learning and action toward Indigenous justice and restoration, including workshops, worship resources, and educational resources. The educational resources include articles, books, videos, music, art, and more. The toolkit was put together by CAMC (affectionately called “Cam-c”), the Canadian Aboriginal Ministry Committee. CAMC is a CRC committee that cares passionately about the relationships between Indigenous peoples and non-Indigenous Canadians. You may have seen the art tour organized by CAMC, reForming Relationships, or you may have experienced the Blanket Exercise, one of CAMC’s favourite tools for reconciliation. CAMC provides lay leadership to the CRC on Indigenous issues. Click here to view the toolkit.
Visit the CAMC Toolkit Learn page for book and music recommendations and other dynamic educational resources.
Doctrine of Discovery Report
Synod 2012 adopted a call to action in the report of the Creation Stewardship Task Force, calling for the CRC “to examine, better understand, and respond to the ‘Doctrine of Discovery’ and related legal instruments -- particularly in their origins, their historical effects, and their continuing effects on Indigenous peoples in Canada and the United States” (Acts of Synod 2012, pp. 806-807). The Doctrine of Discovery is a concept of international law justifying colonial expansion into North and South America, arising from a series of papal bulls (declarations) issued by the Roman Catholic Church in 1452, 1454, and 1493. It granted European powers the right to take over land in North America. The doctrine also emerged from reflections of political philosophers and legal precedents. Though the roots of the doctrine date back 500 years, its implications remain fresh in Indigenous communities. Click here to read more about the Doctrine of Discovery Task Force.
Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report (Canada)
After six years of hearing the testimonies of survivors of residential schools, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission released its report, including 94 recommendations for rebuilding a relationship of respect and equity between Indigenous peoples and other Canadians. Click here to read a summary of the report.
Reflections from the Hogan: Blog by Mark Charles (U.S.)
Mark Charles is the son of an American woman of Dutch heritage and a Navajo man. He is currently living on their Navajo Reservation and keeps this blog, in which he explores and tries to make sense of the complexities of the United States’ history regarding race, culture, and faith in order to forge a path of healing and reconciliation. Click here to visit his blog.
Action for Reconciliation (Canada)
In this statement at the Ottawa Truth and Reconciliation Commission event, the CRC promised to continue learning about the common history it shares with Indigenous peoples through the Blanket Exercise, wrestling with the church’s own history of interaction with Indigenous peoples through the Doctrine of Discovery Task Force and advocating for Indigenous education reform in Canada. Click here to read the statement.
Loss of Indigenous Lands Interactive Time-Lapse Map (U.S.)
This interactive map, produced by University of Georgia historian Claudio Saunt, offers a time-lapse vision of how the U.S. took more than 1.5 billion acres from Native-Americans between 1776 and 1887.
[Header image photo credit: Melissa Blunden]