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On Wednesday July 21st, a few parishioners from Ascension joined our area Bishop, Riscylla Shaw, for a Zoom conversation to talk about what is currently unfolding for Indigenous communities with the revelations coming from residential schools.

Susan Van Tijn took some notes from that conversation and here are few questions, thoughts, suggestions and hopes that were shared:

  • "I am appalled by my ignorance." - The last residential school to close was in 1996.  This isn't history before our time, but during our time.
  • This is a global issue.  American's are just coming to some of the realizations and processes that we as Canadians have been journeying through.  Will we be called to help?
  • What does it mean to decolonize Jesus?  To decolonize our faith?
  • How do we acknowledge that we are complicit in what has happened in this country?

What can we do, now?

  • Don't be paralyzed by the grief of what is unfolding.  Move forward.
  • Buy a copy of the TRC report and have it in the church library.
  • "Be concious."  Allow the scales to fall from our eyes.
  • Get political.  Push Canadian government on the UN Rights of Indigenous People
  • Adopt a Call to Action as a person, as a parish
  • Change the question you ask:  It is very colonial to ask, "How can I help/support you?"
  • Ask lots of questions.
  • Don't be discouraged that the process will take a long time.  Generations!
  • From the calls to action: #60 - respect Indigenous spirituality in its own right; #82 Monument to Children

Moving Forward

There is a heartfelt desire in this parish to participate in healing ways in the journey of reconcilation in this country.  Some have already expressed an interest in regathering our Learning Group and creating new iniatives (i.e. working towards clean water for all).  If you are interested, let Ruthanne know.  We will hold a meeting in September to talk about next steps.