PLAN OF ANGLICAN WORK IN SUPPORT OF A NEW PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN INDIGENOUS AND NON-INDIGENOUS ANGLICANS
A NEW AGAPE
- The Anglican Church of Canada is committed to a new relationship with the Indigenous (or Aboriginal) Peoples of Canada. This new relationship is based on a partnership which focuses on the cultural, spiritual, social, and economic independence of Indigenous communities. To give expression to this new relationship The Anglican Church of Canada will work primarily with the Indigenous Peoples for a truly Anglican Indigenous Church in Canada. It is an important step in the overall quest for self-governance.
- The Anglican Church is committed to the concept of Self-Determination of Indigenous peoples in all aspects of their lives.
- Wholeness for people and communities requires that we restore the circle of life as embodied in the Covenant, with its emphasis on self-determination.
- New relationships will happen only in a context in which honest efforts are being made to eradicate lingering social injustices.
- Efforts to heal the wounds caused to individuals and communities by the residential schools experience must be designed and led by Indigenous Peoples.
- Healing of our relationships is done locally, person by person, community by community.
- A new relationship involves Indigenous and Non-Indigenous communities working together to create a new partnership, A New Agape.
GOAL I. SELF-DETERMINATION
To create a "A New Agape" partnership within the Anglican Church of Canada between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous people to build a self-determining community for Indigenous Anglicans. (Strategies are listed below)
To support Indigenous Peoples throughout Canada in achieving their goal of self-determination. (Strategies are found under Goal II, Justice.)
- A Self-Determining Indigenous Anglican Community
- Move forward with consultations and discussions/workshops and resources to implement the Covenant and establish a self-determining Anglican Indigenous Community.
- Move forward with consultations, discussions and resources the Act of General Synod 1995 as stated, "support and encourage the Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples as it works at redefining the role of Indigenous Anglicans in the Church, and specifically encourages the exploration of:
- the establishment of the office of a national Indigenous Bishop who will work in partnership with the national church and dioceses;
- the development of Indigenous forms of church government and decision making;
- ways for the Indigenous congregations to move toward self-sufficiency."
- Work to change Anglican canons and constitution, as appropriate.
Church Leadership Training Institutes and Programs;
- Increase the funding for existing Anglican institutions/programs offering training to indigenous peoples in the areas of theological education, pastoral and therapeutic counselling, spiritual exploration. These include the following institutions and programs:
- Henry Budd Training Centre
- VST Native Ministries Consortium
- Arthur Turner Training Centre
- James Settee College
- TAIP (Diocese of Keewatin)
- Mamow Program (Diocese of Moosonee)
- Caledonia TEE Program
- Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples training experiences
- International experiences such as Anglican Indigenous Network and Indigenous Theological Training Institute, Wintertalk
- Other programs and experiences, as appropriate
Indigenous Leadership Training Bursaries
- Increase the funding for bursaries to enable students to pursue appropriate training for leadership in healing work.
- This will include some funding of individual counselling as requested by leaders who are former students of residential schools, where such funding is not already available from Medical Services Branch (short-term).
GOAL II. JUSTICE
To continue and increase the church's work in support of justice for Indigenous Peoples, including land claims, self-determination and treaty negotiations. Much of this work is done ecumenically through the Aboriginal Rights Coalition, which subscribes to the principle that relations between First Nations and the Government of Canada be conducted on a Nation-to-Nation basis.
- Education and Formation.
- Work with dioceses to expand the existing networks of people, Indigenous and Non-Indigenous, with a commitment to justice for Canada's Indigenous Peoples, e.g. EcoJustice Committee members, Magnificat Network people, Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples members, delegates and partners to past Anglican Indigenous Sacred Circles etc.
- Provide general and historical educational materials of the justice issues facing Indigenous Peoples.
- Provide current information on emerging issues and 'hot' topics, as they arise.
- Work with dioceses to develop a group of Non-Indigenous people with a commitment to being partners to Indigenous Peoples and communities in the long-term struggle for justice, e.g. partners at past Anglican Indigenous Sacred Circles plus others.
- Continue to participate in the Aboriginal Rights Coalition, both nationally but also regionally, and continued distribution of its publications.
- Continue to participate in the Canadian Ecumenical Jubilee Initiative, and distribution of its publications.
- Seek ways to build relationships with other non-church groups who share the commitment to justice.
- Establish a Joint Working Group on Indigenous justice, made up of members from EcoJustice Committee and the Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples.
- Work with dioceses to expand our urgent action network of people across the country who can engage in rapid response advocacy work locally as well as nationally.
- Refine policy and procedures to enable urgent action advocacy work.
- Work with dioceses to assist church justice workers, both Indigenous and Non-Indigenous, to provide presence and accompaniment as 'hot spots' erupt in various locales, e.g. Bishop Beardy's trip to Burnt Church.
- Continue to participate in the advocacy work of the Aboriginal Rights Coalition and the Canadian Ecumenical Jubilee Initiative.
- Build relationships with secular groups doing advocacy work on Indigenous justice issues.
- Work to ensure that all church personnel are treated fairly.
- Work to ensure adequate representation of Indigenous leadership within the structures and bodies of the church at all levels.
- Continue the Primate's World Relief and Development Fund's Canadian development program in Indigenous communities.
GOAL III. HEALING
To expand the church's Healing Fund so that increased grants can be made to Indigenous groups designing and implementing healing programs in their communities.
To assist Non-Indigenous groups to address their own need for holistic healing which is to restore a balance of each part of our being, intellectual, spiritual, physical, emotional.
- Healing Support for Indigenous Peoples
- 1.1 Fund-Raising
- Develop a fund-raising strategy.
- Hire the necessary staffing to implement the strategy.
- Work with dioceses to promote this new fund-raising initiative.
- 1.2 Fund Administration
- Expand the current Residential School Advisory Group to accommodate the needs of an expanded fund.
- Hire staff to manage and promote the fund, and build relationships with the communities who wish to access funds.
- 1.3 Targetted Areas of Work
- Work with dioceses to identify local groups, communities and projects that can be encouraged to seek support from the fund.
- Work with dioceses to provide increased support for parish/pastoral ministry in indigenous communities.
- Work ecumenically and with non-church groups wherever possible.
- Support programs aimed at urban indigenous populations.
- Support programs aimed at recovery of language, culture and spirituality.
- Support and encourage youth involvement.
- Continue to hold a triennial National Indigenous Sacred Circle healing gathering for Anglicans.
- Explore holding regional Indigenous Sacred Circles in the years between the national gathering.
- Promote local decision-making to correct the root problems, not just treat the symptoms.
Healing for Non-Indigenous People
- 2.1 Awareness-Raising/Education
- Provide educational resources to raise awareness for Non-Indigenous people of their own need for holistic healing (a balance of self…intellectual, spiritual, physical, emotional).
- Support and encourage youth involvement.
- 2.2 Anti-Racism Training
- Work ecumenically to develop educational programs to explore and counter racism, and to learn to value our diverse cultural identities.
- 2.3 Healing Circles
- Educate about and promote the use of Healing Circles in Non-Indigenous parishes.
GOAL IV. HISTORICAL REPARATION
To seek to address the consequences of colonialism and the assimilation experience in symbolic and ceremonial ways.
- Local Church Leaders
- Assist dioceses in finding ways for diocesan church leaders to become engaged with local communities affected by residential schools, to listen to stories, support recovery efforts, and to apologize where that is desirable.
- Truth & Reconciliation Tribunal.
- Work with the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) and other organizations to develop a Truth & Reconciliation Tribunal to enable stories to be told and the issues of compensation and apology to be worked out.
- Continue to keep a video memorial record of the Sacred Circle gatherings, and promote the use of these educational videos in all Anglican parishes.
- Work with Indigenous organizations in providing other suitable memorials of the residential schools and those who attended them, e.g. assistance with archival research and historical records etc.
- Liturgical Rites
- Develop liturgies to memorialize the stories, and to mark the steps on the healing journey towards Holistic Healing.
GOAL V. WALKING IN PARTNERSHIP, "A NEW AGAPE"
This work will be done by Indigenous and Non-Indigenous people together, and will be based on principles of truth-telling, justice-seeking and identity-valuing. It will require good will, and a commitment to mutual respect and interdependence. Partnerships will need to be built within the church and also with non-church groups and communities.
- Story-telling and Story-listening
- Use formalized ways for Indigenous and Non-Indigenous people to tell and listen to each other's stories and histories.
- Some of these ways are included in some of the other strategies mentioned above, but other ways will be emerge from the people who gather.
- Cross-Cultural Encounters
- Expand and encourage existing programs designed to bring Indigenous and Non-Indigenous peoples together in mutual discovery or each other and exploration of common interests.
- Support and encourage cross-cultural youth exchanges.
- Anti-Racism Training
- (As above under Goal III)