Indigenous

Indigenous leadership is vital to the life of the United Church, and this is a crucial time of journeying together toward reconciliation.

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February 26, 2018

Let us hear a story of one ministry and a historic event in Moraviantown, London Conference.

We give thanks that in April 2016 land was transferred from The United Church of Canada back to the Delaware Nation. The land is known as Fairfield and has become a national historic site with a history dating back to the 1700s.

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February 9, 2018
Bill on UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples moves on to committee for hearings and further discussion.

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PDF icon Aboriginal Sunday: Celebration and Thanksgiving
With gratitude we gather to praise God, to seek transformation, and to celebrate the power of the Spirit who is always moving.

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PDF icon Acknowledging the Territory in Worship
A brief guide to help congregations and bodies of the church incorporate an Acknowledgement of Territory into their gatherings.
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May 22, 2018

KAIROS, which seeks justice and works in defence of human rights, offers ways for faith groups to live out the 94 Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

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PDF icon Active Litany: Circle of Light
An active worship activity using candles, responsive reading, and movement, for Indigenous Day of Prayer.

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File After the Apology of June 11, 2008: A Prayer
A prayer to mark Canada’s apology to survivors of residential schools and their families and communities.

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PDF icon Apology 30th Anniversary: Hymn
"This Path We Walk" by Rev. S. Curtis Tufts, sung to the tune "O WALY WALY"...

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PDF icon Apology 30th Anniversary: Litany
This litany and story are based on the memories of The Very Rev. Stanley McKay and others who took part in the earliest national Aboriginal ministries consultations in the 1980s.

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PDF icon Apology 30th Anniversary: Worship Service
In this year of the 30th anniversary of the apology, as the United Church turns 91, you are invited to consider how the apology has led to renewed life in the United Church.

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PDF icon Braiding Reconciliation: Prayer Ritual and Background
A prayer ritual to mark the anniversary of the United Church's 1998 Residential Schools Apology...
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January 29, 2018

Let us hear a story of how The Healing Fund is building resilience and hope in Indigenous children and youth.

Pimicikamak Cree Nation (pronounced as pim ih chik uh mak) is a Cree-speaking Indigenous community north of Lake Winnipeg in Cross Lake, Manitoba. Pimicikamak means “where a lake lies across the river.” The community initiated a three-day suicide prevention strategy by inviting Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists to their community to create art with their children, youth, and families.

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PDF icon Bulletin Insert: A Time of Celebration for Aboriginal Sunday
You can download and print this insert to distribute with your bulletin on Aboriginal Sunday.
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October 1, 2018
Moderator leads return visit to Indigenous church in Australia, as part of mutual journey toward self-determination and reconciliation

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PDF icon Caring for Creation: A Service for Children’s Sunday
This service for Children's Sunday invites all of us to care for creation as a Christian community...
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September 10, 2018
The Healing Fund is one of the beneficiaries of a new endowment fund, to be named at a ceremony at Trinity-St. Paul’s United Church.
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October 22, 2018
The Moderator is headed to Parliament Hill with a message for the Prime Minister: We need a stronger plan to end poverty in Canada.
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January 24, 2018
On March 30 and 31, 2016, The United Church of Canada will participate in events marking our commitment—as a denomination and as part of the ecumenical community—to adopt 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. We do this in response to Call to Action #48 of the Truth and...
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October 17, 2018
An 18-member team from The United Church of Canada is now in El Salvador to take part in an international ecumenical conference for peace, to be held from March 17 to 19. Moderator Jordan Cantwell and former Moderator Bill Phipps head up a group that includes two survivors of Canada’s residential schools system, plus a dozen or so veterans of Canadian church solidarity work with El Salvador. All...
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April 30, 2018
“Building a new relationship and passing Bill C-262 into law are non-partisan issues,” churches urge federal party leaders.

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File For the Beauty of Those Lost, for Healing Founded on Justice
A prayer for missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirited people, their families, and the public inquiry into what happened to them.

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PDF icon From Apology towards Reconciliation: Reflection Process for Conference and Presbytery Meetings
Take a half-hour to read the 1986 Apology and 1988 Response, and reflect on them in light of the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
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October 26, 2018

An Advent prayer written for the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.

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February 23, 2018

A Prayer for Accountability, Justice, and Hope. Please join the Aboriginal Ministries Circle in prayer as we try to address the systemic racism that continues to be upheld in systems that are meant to protect us. We honour our relatives who have journeyed on, those yet to be born, and those who remain committed to the Seven Grandfather Teachings.

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August 28, 2018

On Sunday, May 26, 2015, congregations all over Canada created Heart Gardens to honour the memory of Aboriginal children who died in the residential schools over the 120 years the schools existed. Over 2,000 Heart Gardens were created. 

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December 5, 2018

Indigenous spirituality, leadership, and participation are vital to the life of the United Church.

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April 20, 2018
Show your support for the rights of Indigenous peoples to participate in decision making and to free, prior, and informed consent.

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File Lenten Lament: Seeking Right Relations
For the 150th year of Confederation, an invitation to acknowledge the damage done to the First Peoples of this land and seek reconciliation in worship and through next steps. From Gathering, Lent/Easter 2017.
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April 30, 2018

A prayer from The Dancing Sun for Aboriginal Sunday.

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PDF icon Living on the Path of Respect
A worship service on the repudiation of the Doctrine of Discovery.
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August 16, 2018
Moderator Jordan Cantwell has written to all members of and communities of faith in The United Church of Canada encouraging their thoughts, prayer, and action in support of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Written in the context of recent events related to pipeline projects in Canada and the United States, the letter emphasizes the importance of free, prior, and...

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PDF icon Living with Respect for Children
This worship service on "Living in Right Relationship" invites all ages to live in respectful relationship with all people and nature...
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October 19, 2018
Braiding Reconciliation Prayer, inspired by a teaching shared by Youth Forum at General Council, marks 20th anniversary of 1998 Apology.
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August 28, 2018

In southcentral Ontario, on the south side of Rice Lake, approximately 30 km north of Cobourg in a valley, you will find the beautiful Alderville First Nations Community. 

Through support from Mission & Service, Alderville First Nation is a thriving, Spirit-filled community that is rich in heritage and Native culture. Visitors are able to interact with the community at the Annual Pow-wow and at Drum Socials. 

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February 15, 2018
We will never realize the promise of what Canada can be unless we all work to make it so.
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March 19, 2018
Moderator Jordan Cantwell’s pastoral letter on the crises facing Indigenous communities.
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June 12, 2018
Moderator Jordan Cantwell urges the church to honour Indigenous Day of Prayer as a sign of our continuing commitment to reconciliation and right relationship.
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February 21, 2018
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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October 9, 2018
As we approach October 4, the day set aside to publicly remember murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls in Canada, The United Church of Canada offers the Commissioners of the National Inquiry into Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls our prayerful support in the difficult work ahead.
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September 20, 2018
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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October 9, 2018
At Christmas, we acknowledge the coming of a new hope for justice and peace in the world. It is in this spirit that I write to thank you for moving so quickly to implement a national inquiry on murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls, an action that we and many others asked you to undertake as one of your first acts of government.
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August 13, 2018
As the American League Championship Series gets underway, The United Church of Canada and the United Church of Christ have issued a joint message on mascots, racial stereotyping, and reconciliation.
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October 10, 2018
The Rev. Susan Beaver and the Rev. Dr. Will Kunder will share the position of Office of Vocation minister serving Indigenous Communities of Faith.

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File Prayers for Indigenous People and Communities
In times of violence or racist incidents, prayer can be a positive action of support for healing and reconciliation.

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PDF icon Prayers of the People for Reconciliation
A reflection on the legacy of Indian Residential Schools in Canada
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March 7, 2018

The Mohawk words “Akwe Nia’Tetewá:neren” (in English, “All My Relations”) were added to The United Church of Canada’s crest in 2012, recognizing that we are all connected to each other and all of creation.

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File Reconciliation in the Watershed: A Creation Time Resource
Weekly reflections on the themes of "All My Relations" and "watershed discipleship."...
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January 29, 2018
As part of its commitment to the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, The United Church of Canada today joins with the broader ecumenical community in announcing a collective intention to implement 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. An ecumenical...
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June 12, 2018
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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December 7, 2016

Ask the Prime Minister how Trans Mountain will fit with Canada’s commitments to emission reductions and reconciliation.

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File Sacrament of Communion for Seeking Right Relations
In response to the suffering inflicted upon children and families by the Indian residential school system. From Gathering, Lent/Easter 2017.

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File Sermon: The Gift in Apology
This sermon marks the 20th anniversary of The United Church of Canada's 1986 Apology to First Nations Peoples...
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July 9, 2018

Indigenous Day of Prayer reminds us that if we are to heal broken relationships, we must talk with one another. Let us begin today and never stop.

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May 22, 2018

The urban Aboriginal population in Canada has increased dramatically in recent years, with the overwhelming majority of the country’s 1.2 million Indigenous people living off reserve. Toronto Urban Native Ministry has a heart for Indigenous people living on the margins of city life. Founded in 1996, it reaches out to Aboriginal people in precarious life situations: on the streets and in prisons, shelters, hostels, and hospitals.

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February 26, 2018

The Liqwiltach Elders’ and Youth Culture Group hosts events and learning experiences in the Campbell River area of British Columbia. Led by volunteer June Johnson, the group connects residential school survivors with local Indigenous youth to provide learning experiences that revitalize culture and language.

These experiences also provide a space for youth from different communities to share their oral histories and traditions, which are once again being passed down from generation to generation.

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File The Pursuit of Right Relations
A worship service outline marking the 20 years since the United Church gave its apology to First Nations peoples.
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October 1, 2018
Moderator Jordan Cantwell expresses the church’s concerns about the approval of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline.
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June 5, 2018
In her June 1 letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the Moderator wrote to express deep concern at the federal government’s decision to purchase the Trans Mountain Pipeline.

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PDF icon Truth and Reconciliation: Three Services
Created to mark the TRC closing, worship on the themes of Turning and Lamentation, Seeking the Spirit, and Celebration and Thanksgiving.
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June 12, 2017

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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March 2, 2018
An article published in the April 27, 2016, edition of The Globe and Mail (“Churches escape residential school settlement obligations in wake of Catholic deal”) merits some clarification.
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January 29, 2018
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...
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October 26, 2018
Private member’s bill will align Canadian law with UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
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September 17, 2018
The United Church of Canada welcomes the release of the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. This is a momentous occasion. It is the culmination of six years of courageous and difficult work, and the result of 130 years of painful lived experience by former students of residential schools.

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File We Dare to Hope
A prayer for committing to the genuine inclusion of Indigenous peoples in decision making on all matters that affect them
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May 14, 2018

A prayer for Canada Day

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June 15, 2018

A prayer for Indigenous Day of Prayer

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PDF icon We Raise Our Thanksgiving
An Indigenous Thanksgiving Communion Service

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File Who Are We? Resources for Canadian Multiculturalism Day
Worship resources to celebrate Canadian Multiculturalism Day. ...
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August 28, 2018

The community gathers, and music fills the air. Slipping effortlessly between Anishinaabemowin and English, the gathered congregation sings their favourite hymns to piano and guitar. Christian Island United Church serves the Ojibwe, Potawatomie, and Odawa people of Beausoleil First Nation located on beautiful Georgian Bay. 

The Sunday morning congregation is tiny, but the pastoral care needs of the community are never-ending. This is a place where the United Church tries to live out in practical ways our apology to First Nations. 

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June 13, 2018

In 1971, the observance of June 21 as a National Indian Day of Prayer was formally recognized by The United Church of Canada, at the 24th General Council. In 1982 the National Indian Brotherhood (now the Assembly of First Nations) called for the creation of a National Aboriginal Solidary Day. Around that time the Sacred Assembly, a national conference chaired by Elijah Harper, also had a similar call for a national holiday to celebrate the contributions of Indigenous Peoples. And the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (1995) recommended the designation of a National First Peoples Day....

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File Worship for 150 Years since the Confederation of Canada, 1867-2017
This is a service of celebration and lament marking 150 years since the Confederation of Canada.
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