Today marks the 25th anniversary of the first apology offered to Canada’s First Peoples by The United Church of Canada. No, we’re not “there yet” because we’re still on the long journey toward seeing our apologies fulfilled in actions and in truth, healing, reconciliation, and right relations. It’s why we take opportunities to participate in the work of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission as well our own Right Relations work.
I wish I could have joined the Bay of Quinte “Right Relations Canoeists,” for example, when they set out last Friday on their canoe trip, dipping their paddles into the waters of Long Lake and heading out into the heartland of what the Anishnabe have called home for generation upon generation. I was grateful to be able to send the greetings of the church to them, with a letter of gratitude and encouragement on behalf of us all.
Today has been a day for preparing and packing for travel to Prince Rupert later this week. I will be travelling to our church’s National Aboriginal Spiritual Gathering, which has the theme Honouring Spiritual Diversity. I look forward to a wonderful weekend of being with members of our Aboriginal Ministries Council and Circle, and representatives of communities throughout the country.
Indian Country Today Media Network.com has an excellent article on today’s anniversary, lifting up the work and witness of courageous individuals such as Alberta Billy—without whom I can’t imagine we’d be celebrating 25 years today—and my friend, Thelma Davis, a member of the Six Nations of the Grand River First Nation.
We’ve come a long way. We’re not there yet. But the journey is good, and I’m grateful for such fine companions. I wonder how healing is happening in your community on this anniversary.
May Creator continue to bless our way. All my relations.