#GS2010 Day 7: Honouring Indigenous Ministries

Today has been a long long long day. The pace is picking up as the no debate list dwindles and the new and more controversial matters start coming forward.

But before all that, we had a victorious afternoon of honouring the self-determined place of Indigenous, Inuit and Metis people in the Anglican Church of Canada. Three years ago we consecrated the Rt. Rev. Mark MacDonald as the National Indigenous Bishop. He is a bishop without a territory, but with a ministry to the indigenous people. Most of our motions have been procedural, but what we have done through these dry procedures is declaring that we stand beside our Indigenous sisters and brothers in their fight for national self-determination by recognizing their structures, Sacred Circle and adding their voice to the governing bodies of the Anglican Church of Canada.

In my diocese, the nation that is here, the Mik’maq, are largely Roman Catholic, so they are, with some exceptions, rare in Anglican pews. We have made connections with local reserves in some parishes. I do not have the opportunity to hear from our Indigenous peoples on what happens in the Anglican Church. I have greatly appreciated the opportunity to hear their wisdom, particularly being challenged to think in a different framework.

We also moved to make June 21 an official commemoration in our calendar as the National Aboriginal Day of Prayer. I look forward to opportunities to celebrate this, too.