Today, the United Church makes its response to Truth and Reconciliation Commission Call to Action #48, adopting and complying with the principles, norms, and standards of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples [PDF on un.org] as the framework for reconciliation. It does so as the Aboriginal Ministries Council initiates a historic consultation on its vision and future structure.
Yesterday, we participated in the release of an ecumenical statement expressing the commitment of a diverse group of churches to the Declaration.
The United Church has been on a journey toward reconciliation since the 1980s, when Indigenous members of the church requested an apology for the church’s role in colonization. While we have taken many steps together in that journey, it remains an ongoing process. As the church’s statement says, adopting the UN Declaration as our framework of reconciliation “requires us to revisit our identity as a church, and how that identity does or does not foster relationships of mutuality, equality and respect, both within and beyond the walls of the church.”
While this poses challenges, “we know, not just in our hearts and minds, but where our faith resides, that this is the path we are meant to be on together.”
All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself…and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. (2 Corinthians 5:18–19)
Read the United Church’s full statement, under Downloads, below.