Reconciliation and Indigenous Justice

We now stand at a crucial time in the life of the church, and the history of Canada, when we can see the journey through. 

For more than thirty years, the United Church and Indigenous peoples have been on a journey towards mutuality, respect and equity. Towards reconciliation. Towards justice.

Last updated: 
September 5, 2019

While at the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and 2 Spirits in Maliotenam, Quebec, I heard many families express relief and gratitude to finally share their stories. Over 60 families provided testimony in public and private hearings in Maliotenam, Quebec. Families have come from Pakua Shipi, La Romaine, Natashqan, Maliotenam and Uashat, Pessiamit, Manawan, and Baie Comeau. I was touched to see a woman drummer accompany each family to their seats in front, while singing a healing song before they testified.

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Last updated: 
September 5, 2019

I attended the National Inquiry of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in Thunder Bay, Ontario. As a member of the Aboriginal Ministries Council, I went there to be in solidarity with the families and to witness. These are my reflections.

Hovering over a blanket of Sacred objects and Eagle Feathers, a beautifully coloured red jingle dress embellished with bright red jingles, hung empty and motionless on a hanger. It was the unfulfilled promise of tomorrows never lived. Underneath the dress, on a stone Qulliq, a flame danced, carefully tended by an Inuit Elder on the...

Last updated: 
September 5, 2019

As an Aboriginal Ministries Council member in The United Church of Canada, I am often asked to attend meetings or events that address issues important to Indigenous communities of faith. Recently, I attended the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) in Edmonton. When I went there, I knew it would be difficult, but my partner, Charlene, and I wanted to be there to support our relatives. I knew I would have many emotions because this issue is so close to my heart. This is especially important for my partner because she had a sister, Phyllis, whose...

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November 23, 2017
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March 12, 2019
Private member’s bill will align Canadian law with UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
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August 28, 2017
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July 22, 2019
Moderator Jordan Cantwell calls on Prime Minister Trudeau's government to support Bill C-262, to harmonize Canadian law with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
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July 13, 2017
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May 13, 2019
Moderator Jordan Cantwell’s open letter on the Day Scholars’ class action, the “administrative split” argument that denied compensation to students of certain residential schools, and the case of students who lived in the Teulon residence.
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September 5, 2019

I took these pictures last August while visiting my mother’s relatives in the central part of Saskatchewan on the Muskoday First Nation. They capture some of the 825 dancers that participated in the 25th annual traditional Powwow.

I was sitting beside my aunt, my mother’s youngest sister, during the afternoon Grand Entry when she remarked, “There is no such thing as too much colour when you are Indigenous.” I have cherished my aunt’s words, since. They have provoked me to look more deeply into the richness of what I see and experience. And perhaps her words will help you to lift up...

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September 5, 2019

Canada Day is coming. Canada 150 celebrations are intensifying. I wonder how Indigenous people are feeling about it all. I asked a few Indigenous friends and leaders in our church: “If someone from one of our non-Indigenous communities of faith asked you about the 150th year of Confederation, what would say? What thoughts or feelings or prayers would you want to share with us?” Here are their responses...

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March 10, 2017
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January 21, 2019
Moderator Jordan Cantwell responds to Senator Lynn Beyak’s recent comments on residential schools, which have been widely reported in the press.
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December 2, 2016
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September 3, 2019
Moderator Jordan Cantwell expresses the church’s concerns about the approval of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline.