What was the most touching experience you had in 2016?
Seeing Lorna Standingready (former Elder, All Native Circle Conference) and Alberta Billy (who in 1985 asked the General Council for the Apology) at the 30th anniversary celebration of the Apology in Sudbury, Ontario. It was beautiful and poignant to see them sitting with their heads together, a great moment of mutual consolation and friendship.
What was your most joyful moment?
While attending a youth conference in Vancouver, I was moved to tears as I watched young people locking arms together to sing and pray. There was just this incredible sense of togetherness and community in the room, absolutely full of love.
What was your saddest moment?
I had the privilege of participating in a grief ceremony in Norway House, where I heard countless stories of loss. But even in the midst of all that grief, there was an incredible sense of community resilience, which allowed everyone to come together and heal despite the weight of their grief.
What event or situation made you angry?
In Indonesia, we visited a community right on the edge of a waterway that runs through Jakarta. This was the most disgusting water I’ve even seen, oily and brown, with garbage floating in it. But this foul, foul water is the only thing these people have for their cooking and bathing. While I was horrified that anyone had to live in these conditions, it made me remember that here in Canada, many First Nations communities also live with undrinkable water. That is truly an outrage.
What was your most embarrassing moment?
At a youth event in the London Conference, we played a running game outside. I was really into it until I stumbled and fell, completely, winding myself. It was a really embarrassing moment, which showed my age rather more than I intended.
Anything else that stands out?
The incredible response across our church to the refugee crisis. I don’t think I’ve visited a single community this year that hasn’t been part of efforts to sponsor a refugee family. This tremendous level of care and compassion and support for those in need beyond our borders is truly commendable.
—Moderator Jordan Cantwell was interviewed by Paul Russell, Communications Coordinator with the Office of the Moderator and General Secretary.