First Nations Outreach

First Nations Outreach

Making our lives better

The parish of All Saints is situated on historical and unceeded territory of the Sto:lo Nation. The parish has within its boundries: Seabird Island Band, Skawahlook First Nation,  Leq’a:mel First Nation, Sts’ailes Band, Cheam Indian Band, Popkum Band, and Skwar First Nation.  Together, we are ‘Communities in Community’ with one another!   

The Anglican Church of Canada and the Diocese of New Westminster have issued apologies to all First Nations in Canada for our mistaken participation in the Residential Schools program that came from our colonial history. Sadly, this included our acceptance of the Doctrine of Discovery. The Anglican Church fully denounced and repudiated this doctrine in 2010. As a part of our act of contrition, we now recognize the territories where our parishes and churches are situated. We, as a part of the national church are also looking at over-coming the colonial history and attitude of which we were a part.  Today, we are working towards a greater relationship with our local First Nations Peoples. The General Synod has developed a timeline of our colonialism and a gradual understanding that God calls us to put this behind us and move forward in the Spirit of unity, equality and inclusion of all people within the life of the church, celebrating the unique, equal and differing gifts that we all bring. Many people have worked long and hard on this journey of reconciliation justice. We have begun, with God’s Grace we move forward. The link to Anglican Timeline is attached below and as vicar of the parish I invite you to explore it.

http://www.anglican.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/timeline.pdf

The national church calls us to a deeper reflection on our present and future relationships with our First Nations. In an excerpt from the October 2015 Statement from the House of Bishops of The Anglican Church of Canada concerning the Calls to Action from Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission: “All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation.” (2 Corinthians 5:18) As bishops of The Anglican Church of Canada, we are very grateful for the work of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission.  Many of us have participated in the local, regional, and national gatherings hosted by Chief Justice Murray Sinclair, Dr. Marie Wilson, and Chief Wilton Littlechild. At the heart of every gathering was the opportunity for survivors of the Indian Residential Schools to tell their stories.  We recognize the tremendous courage of all who shared their experiences of loneliness, humiliation and abuse. We commend the Commissioners for their steadfastness in listening to these stories and ensuring that they are never lost but preserved for all time in the National Center for Truth and Reconciliation in Winnipeg.  Having heard the testimony of thousands of former students and the inter-generational impact of their experiences on their families, the Commissioners issued at the Closing Ceremonies for the TRC in Ottawa in June, 94 Calls to Action.” We are encouraged to become familiar with these links in the hope we may in time build relationship with our indigenous sisters and brothers

The Anglican Church of Canada has an extensive section on this matter which shapes our direction. The link to this resource is:

 http://www.anglican.ca/resource-category/truth-reconciliation/

Calls to Action-a result of the work of the TRC is:

 http://www.trc.ca/websites/trcinstitution/File/2015/Findings/Calls_to_Action_English2.pdf