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Truth and Reconciliation

Truth and Reconciliation Vancouver September 2013

We are getting ready for the national TRC event in Vancouver from September 17 to 22, 2013.

We highly recommend a book called ‘Unsettling the Settler Within’ by Paulette Regan, who has taught at the University of Victoria and is currently the Director of Research for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. We think this book will help us all get ready for the final national TRC event planned for Vancouver in the fall of 2013 and it addresses the question of how to build relationships based on trust. Click here to read the first two chapters of the book. Here is another book called Speaking My Truth, which can be downloaded for free.

SPEAKING MY TRUTH: Reflections on Reconciliation and Residential Schools

Book study on Saturday, September 14th from 2 to 4 pm in the Bishops' Room. Refreshments. Guest speaker: Sid Chow Tan. Read the stories, including Sid's, on line at speakingmytruth.ca . These are personal essays and reflections in "book club" form. Even if you know very little about Residential Schools and Canadian history, these stories will draw you in. Please see the display in the Narthex for more information and handouts.


Join the St. James' Walk team! Fr. Mark and Fr. Matthew have already joined the team to  Walk for Reconciliation “A New Way Forward” on September 22nd. It's an inspiring, fun and family-friendly event with lots of multicultural entertainment and learning opportunities. The Bishop has encouraged us all to attend.

The Walk is scheduled to start at 10 am at the Vancouver Public Library/Queen Elizabeth Theatre. You can walk for 2 km or 4 km to the celebration gathering place near Science World/Creekside Park.

We have team t-shirts on order for $15! Let me know if you want to buy one and what size you need.

The Walk is set to be a historic event and one that many are saying will be a pivotal moment for Canada. Being in the Walk means, very simply, that our hearts and minds are open to a shared understanding.

We are committed to helping Reconciliation Canada bring together the unique gifts and strengths of our cultures to create stronger, more resilient communities for our children. Please join us!

And if you can't join us, please help us reach our fundraising goals in support of the Reconciliation Canada Legacy Fund. Just click the second link below to view our team page and make a donation.

You'll be helping fund the most well developed public education programs and community engagement initiatives for reconciliation in Canada.

Thank you for considering this - we appreciate it!

Click here to join St. James' Anglican Church and help us in our efforts to support Tides Canada Foundation - Reconciliation Canada Legacy Fund. Or, Click here to view my team page for St. James' Anglican Church.


Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada
National Event, Vancouver BC, Sept. 18-21

This year members of our diocese have an opportunity to participate in a significant moment in our nation’s history—one of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s National Events. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission is a five-year process requested by survivors of the Indian Residential Schools as part of their settlement agreement with Canada and the four churches which operated the schools. As members of a church that ran the schools and was a named party in the settlement agreement, Anglicans have agreed to participate in these events.

The Event—Participate, Witness, Learn

The sixth of seven National Events will be held in Hastings Park, Vancouver (commonly known as the PNE grounds), from Sept. 18-21. Thousands of people—residential school survivors, their family members, former staff members, church people, high school classes, and ordinary citizens, will attend.

Included in the Event are full plenary sessions where everyone gathers in the same place, as well as smaller sessions—hearings and testimonials, cultural presentations, apologies and gestures of reconciliation, films, presentations, and forums. These gatherings are emotionally powerful, and can also be painful.

Citizens are invited and encouraged to participate and learn about this chapter in our nation’s history, and to volunteer to help with the many jobs required to help the Event run smoothly. Churches will have a particular support role to play. Closer to the Event, you will be able to register to attend or to volunteer, at the TRC’s website.

Locally Organized Events, Sept. 17 and 22

Sept. 17: All Nations Canoe Flotilla—False Creek

Sept. 22: Walk for Reconciliation—starts at 10am at the Vancouver Public Library/QE Theatre (registration now open). The Bishop has encouraged all members of our diocese to take part in this walk. “A New Way Forward” community celebration at BC Place will close the Walk.

These locally-initiated and organized events book-ending the TRC National Event are being co-ordinated by Reconciliation Canada. Anglican participation in these events is about being good neighbours, about showing up when invited by local Indigenous people, and about building reconciled relationships that will carry on into the future.

Click here for more information about this Walk, to register or to volunteer.  

Anglican Participation

To prepare:

• Attend the half-day “Reconciliation 101” session at St David of Wales, June 22.
• Attend the days of prayer and fasting at St David of Wales parish, Sept. 13-15.
• St. James is participating in the evening service and meal at St. David's on Tues. Sept. 17th - time to be determined.
• Follow the coverage of Indigenous justice issues in Topic and other media.
• Access the Traveling Resource Library on Residential Schools (contact the Rev’d Laurel Dykstra at St Catherine’s, North Vancouver for more information)
• Mark Sept. 18-21 on your calendar, and plan to attend with a friend.

During the Event:

• The “host parish,” St David of Wales, will be open daily for Eucharist, prayer and pastoral care, Sept. 17-21.
• Our diocese will make a gesture of reconciliation during the National Event.

Local events:

• Take part in the Walk for Reconciliation on Sunday morning, Sept. 22, with the Primate, the National Anglican Indigenous Bishop and other Anglican leadership.
• Attend the diocesan service with Bishop Mark MacDonald, National Anglican Indigenous Bishop, at the Cathedral at 8am on Sept. 22 (near the staging area for the Walk for Reconciliation).
• Organize an early service in your own parish or deanery for Sept. 22, using liturgical resources prepared by the diocese.

After the Event:

• Donate to the Anglican Healing Fund, which provides grants to community healing initiatives.
• Build friendships and relationships with Indigenous people in your parish and community.

“Let’s find a way to belong to this time and place together. Our future, and the well-being of all our children, rests with the kind of relationships we build today.”
Chief Dr Robert Joseph

Useful information and updates can be found on the website of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and KAIROS Canada. Also, Laurel Dykstra, Clarence Li, or myself would be happy to speak to a parish, deanery gathering, or other group or event. If you know of anyone else who would like to be part of this network and assist in getting the word out, please let me know and I will add his or her name to the list. Thank you for supporting and participating in this important work!

Simyuwinhl Gibuum Liksjok
The Rev. Michael Batten
Rector, St David's Church
2475 Franklin Street
Vancouver BC V5K 1X3
Tel: 604.253.8524

Idle No More      Articles by Devon Meekis

1. Idle No More Calls For Only Peaceful Acts of Resurgence and Reclamation of Sacred Sites
When INM first began, Elders were consulted and direction provided from them. Their message and direction has been of peaceful solidarity and unity. One of the most sacred of Indigenous laws is peaceful resistance when Elders and children are involved and this is what we must follow.
Idle No More is a peaceful organization that is working towards profound social, political, and economic change. Our goal is to use education to build consciousness and awareness in all Canadians on the resurgence of Indigenous sovereignty and environmental protections. We are working on building relationships within our communities as well as across Canada and globally. We also call out to each community to organize teach-ins and peaceful demonstrations – we believe an educated public is the best form of action. Each community has different needs, and we support the various actions that are taking place across Turtle Island, however because of the many decades of colonialism, some community members are seeking stronger forms of action such as blockades. While we need to protect the land from further damage, we hope that this will be used as a last resort to protect Mother Earth, and not as a symbolic act. We are working hard to maintain INM as a positive movement that includes all cultures in a vision for justice for all people and for our earth.
Idle No More feels that any acts that are not in line with peace and solidarity only detract attention from our ultimate mission which is to assert our sovereignty and ensure protection to our Mother Earth and in essence our peoples health and wellbeing. We ask that you all keep in mind these factors when planning any acts of resurgence.
INM recognizes that the grassroots are the face of INM - we would like to state that any one individual does not speak for the collective in any of their acts or statements. Although we recognize that individuals will partake in their own acts, we support a collective grassroots voice that speaks to Indigenous sovereignty and environmental protection. We welcome creative acts and encourage people to generate peaceful ways to build community and defend the earth.
Devon Meekis — 3 January 2013

2. Respect for All - A piece of protocol to keep in mind.
Idle No More does not support nor endorse turning away or excluding anyone from ceremonies because of what they may be wearing or for reasons that can be easily accommodated at the time.
INM recognizes that all people may be seeking solace and comfort in Indigenous ceremonies and prayers, we must do all that we can to support and accommodate this as much as possible.
Thank you everyone for your support.
Devon Meekis — 02 January 2013

3. Sacredness of Who We Are as Gifted from the Creator
Idle No More is based on Natural Law & would never support militant effects as our peacekeepers are all about protection of safety & well-being for family, children, woman & protecting our way of life & spirituality. However, only if as a LAST option, would a defensive ever be made but it would be only at the direction of the woman and/or spiritual advisors. Please this graphic has the potential of causing & promoting racism among our people, we are above that, please do not support this type of representation and support the true meaning of the sacred peace pipe, the binding foundation of Treaty Making~ IDLE NO MORE Does NOT Endorse or Encourage this, please out of respect for our people, our way of life, our treaties, & our Mother Earth, remove any affiliation with Idle No More ~ Shannon Houle, Idle no More creator ofwww.idlenomore.ca & www.idlenomore.com website
Devon Meekis — 19 December 2012
© 2012 & 2013 Devon Meekis