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PATHWAYS TO RECONCILIATION

Gathering THREE — APRIL 2, 2022

You are invited to participate in the third gathering of PATHWAYS TO RECONCILIATION
Theme: “The Indian Act and Residential Schools” interactive discussion

Saturday April 2th, 2022, at 
the Church of the Holy Trinity from
1:30pm-4:30pm 

This event is free of charge

Gathering TWO

The Rev. Billy Isenor, Kerry Baisley, Lynda Gray (seated), Mari Anne Hussen, Simon Johnston, ODNW

Under the umbrella heading of “Pathways to Reconciliation,” Church of the Holy Trinity and St. Mark-Ocean Park co-hosted the second of four gatherings on Saturday March 5th at St Mark’s church hall. 

Over 50 attendees from both parishes gathered to hear Lynda Gray present on her book “First Nations 101: tons of stuff you need to know about First Nations people.” Lynda is a member of the Tsimshian Nation and the Gisbutwada Clan (Killerwhale). She captivated the audience for over an hour sharing her perspective of how the British North America Act and later the Indian Act were used to colonize and subjugate Indigenous Peoples. These two Canadian Laws laid the foundation for residential schools built across the country as a way to “kill the Indian in the child”.

After Lynda’s inspiring address, she took questions and comments from the floor. Of the many positive perspectives one common thread arose: participants were surprised that none of the issues raised in Lynda’s book were in the Canadian school syllabus. Many expressed their astonishment at learning from Lynda how governance systems dismantled traditional structures, how indigenous economies were obliterated, and how residential schools tore families apart, to mention a few of the themes raised by members of the audience. 

Lynda reminded the gathering that Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 calls to action provide a roadmap for the future. She also gave examples of simple, and meaningful actions that every Canadian can perform if they wish to be allies with First Nations, Metis, and Inuit. She stressed that listening to Indigenous voices, reading the truth about our history, and gathering to share knowledge will contribute to reconciliation. 

The gathering gave Lynda a standing ovation and, through the moderator, thanked her for her grace, her willingness to share and for her leadership. 

For more information on Lynda please go to: http://www.firstnations101.com/purchase-fn101.html

A view of the pleanary at St. Mark’s during Lynda Gray’s presentation.

Gathering ONE

Medicines
Fr. Billy Isenor smudging 
Group discussions

Last summer, Fr. Wesley Hills, priest-in-charge at the Church of the Holy Trinity; Fr. Billy Isenor, Rector of St. Mark-Ocean Park; Terry Baisley, Missioner for Indigenous Justice, Mari Anne Hussen, Warden at St. Mark’s and Simon Johnston, Parish Councillor at Church of the Holy Trinity, met several times to discuss how our parishes could collaborate to raise awareness about the history of First Nations, Metis and Inuit and their relationship with Canada. Such an event would also be an opportunity to have facilitated discussions about many complex issues with the aim of exploring paths towards reconciliation.

We were also mindful that our parishes needed to take up the challenge of the 2015 Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action. While we couldn’t enact all ninety-four, we could certainly focus on one:

We call upon church parties to the Settlement Agreement to develop ongoing education strategies to ensure that their respective congregations learn about their church’s role in colonization, the history and legacy of residential schools, and why apologies to former residential school students, their families, and communities were necessary.

Call to Action #59

Our discussions lead to Church of the Holy Trinity and St. Mark-Ocean Park collaborating to co-host four gatherings under the umbrella heading of “Pathways to Reconciliation”. 

On Saturday October 2nd, over seventy-five attendees from both parishes assembled for the first gathering in Griffith’s Hall at the Church of the Holy Trinity. Fr. Wesley offered an opening prayer calling for openness, understanding and unity. After this, a video documentary, “The Doctrine of Discovery: Stolen Lands, Strong Hearts”, was shown. The video was created as part of the responses of the Anglican Church’s Primate’s Commission on discovery, reconciliation and justice. The video provided education and insight into the racist foundations of our property laws and other laws still in existence today.

The sixty-seven-minute documentary was followed by a coffee break, after which Fr. Billy offered smudging. He explained that smudging is an ancient purification ritual. It involves igniting a braid of dried herbs to generate a curl of smoke. The smoke is dry washed over the head, arms and chest to renew and cleanse the body, mind and spirit. All attendees were invited to process and participate. 

Following this rite Kerry Baisley, facilitated a plenary session, that encouraged feed-back and dialogue about the video. Everyone was eager to participate, and the discussion could have continued well after the appointed time for adjournment. Of the many positive comments, the most often repeated was that the documentary contained surprising facts that should be part of the school curriculum. And participants said they were eager to watch the documentary again and to share it with others.