Outreach Update Regarding Racism Against Indigenous People

A prayer for racial justice.

Creator, there is so much on our hearts right now. 

In this month during which we honour the lives and histories of Indigenous Peoples in Canada,  we are also full of lament: lament for children buried without ceremony at Residential Schools, for those on our streets struggling to survive, and for Black, Indigenous and other people of colour and ethnicity experiencing racism, violence, and exclusion. 

We confess the ways in which we, as individuals and as institutions, have and continue to participate in systems that devalue and oppress others.

In this season of Pentecost, we ask your Holy Spirit to move in us, convict us of sin, guide us into all truth, and knit us together in your love, which holds each person as precious, a bearer of your divine Image.

In the name of the loving, liberating, and life-giving Lord Jesus Christ.  AMEN

Further to our commitment to this year’s Vestry Motion to learn about Racism in all its forms, I would like to offer the following in connection to last week’s discovery of the 215 Indigenous children’s bodies found on the grounds of a Residential School in B.C.
I offer this factual, historical document regarding Dr. Peter Bryce and the reports he filed with the Canadian Government in 1920.  I found it eye-opening.  This is not what I learned at school!  Please use this link to access:  http://biographi.ca/en/bio/bryce_peter_henderson_16E.html

Additionally, I attach a copy of a letter I have sent to my MP regarding this find in Kamloops.  I urge you to consider sending something similar to your MP as well.  If you want to use what I have written or edit it to suit yourself and your position, please feel free.  As Christians, I believe we are called to action– sorry doesn’t cut it anymore.
Dear MP  [your MPs name]
I was very much saddened by the news this week of the 215 Indigenous children found in a mass grave in Kamloops, BC on the site of a Residential School run by the Roman Catholic Church.  I was, however, not surprised.
Our Indigenous people have paid a terrible price at the hands of the Canadian Government and now is the time for Canada to stop talking about reconciliation and reparations, and actually enact real change.
Canada needs to:
– honour the treaties
– work harder on safe water accessibility for all those living under boil water advisories
– aid Indigenous people to save their language/culture and enable them to educate their own in their own schools
But first, the Canadian Government must investigate the grounds of each and every Residential School, and enable repatriation of children found buried unidentified.  This involves doing whatever is necessary, to ensure that the Roman Catholic Church releases all records associated with the schools they ‘managed’ on behalf of the Government of Canada, doing the necessary forensic work to identify the unidentified bodies to match them with their families and return the remains to their land.
I feel very strongly that the First Peoples of the land we now call Canada have been treated abominably–sorry doesn’t cut it anymore.  You,[your MPs first name] are my voice in Ottawa and I say corrective action is required now.  Please advise me of where discussions are at this time, in Ottawa, on this topic.  I await your reply.
Thank you
[your name, address, postal code & phone number]
  Lyne Webb
  on behalf of the Outreach Committee 


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