Today, I am going to give you some information about the Services for the first four weeks of Lent which we are calling, “on the Journey to Reconciliation” . At the fall gathering of the Cluster I work with, Living our Faith in the World, we agreed that we wanted to offer some educational opportunities to the congregation either in the time of Worship, or in a Workshop, or both. This came about as we were asked through the TRC to respond to article #49, of the calls to action. This particular call says: “ we call upon all religious denominations and faith groups who have not already done so to repudiate concepts used to justify European sovereignty over Indigenous Lands and peoples, such as the Doctrine of Discovery and terra nullius.” The Wednesday Study Group has been studying for several years about our First Nations sisters’ and brothers’
History. We are continuing on this Study, learning new things about some of our early laws and treaties etc. but most particularly around issues of Land.
I had my first encounter of looking at “Land” in a different way about 30 years ago. Some of you my know that my youngest daughter is Aboriginal. In her early teens she wanted to find a reconnection with her birth family. She was successful in her searching and the family welcomed her back, including we her adopted family to a POW Wow in her honour, which was a joyous event. I was particularly drawn to her grandmother who told me several stories of their family. One story in particular has stayed with me over these many years. The story of their family living in what is now, Riding Mountain. national Park. In the late 1920s, the Government of that day ordered them to move off this land. They were forcibly moved off this land as their homes were burnt behind them. That story and the images it has evoked have been strongly imprinted on my mind and in my heart. We in the Wed. Study group with the Living our Faith in the World Cluster have planned, through a small group that was formed to work on this, four Services beginning next Sunday.
This first Sunday of Lent we will go back to what was the beginning of colonization and Land inequity issues, the Doctrine of Discovery. Marian Matthews and Kerry LaRoque will lead us in trying to understand and begin to unravel this part of our history.
The second Sunday, Lorraine Kakegamic will share the story of her husband Solly’s experiences in the Residential School system.
Week three, Stanley McKay will lead us to a better understanding of why the issue of Land is the crucial area for us to understand in order for us to being on our journey to .
Week four, Loretta Ross from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission will help us better understand the meaning of Treaty.
We hope that one or more of these Sundays will spark your interest to do some Study of your own. The Wed study groups, the Men’s Study Group and the Thurs. Study Group can recommend some books to you? So, we ask you to as usual, bring an open mind and heart as we share together some of these difficult topics together. Thank you