A small group of Anglicans from Huron and Lutherans from Bay Area Ministry Group came together in Brantford during the Treaties Recognition Week (November 7-13) to present learning opportunities on Indigenous issues for the surrounding population.
The Treaties Recognition Week Group was formed after the Province of Ontario proclaimed on May 30 that the first complete week of the month of November annually will be recognized as Treaties Recognition Week. This followed on the heels of the call issued by our Primate on March 19 2016 at Her Majesty’s Royal Chapel of the Mohawks to Canadian Anglicans to engage with Call to Action #48 in the TRC’s Final Report.
The Primate called “on every diocese and territory of our church to ensure opportunity for learning about the history and lingering legacy of this doctrine (of discovery), commending resources produced by the Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples and the Primate’s Commission on Discovery, Reconciliation and Justice.”
The Group presented four learning opportunities for the population. Seven daily readings were prepared by Peter Mogk and made available online.
The group was encouraged by the local MPP and MP, who welcomed the readings and committed to sharing them with their political colleagues in Toronto and Ottawa. The Hamilton public was invited to view Alanis Obamsawin’s documentary film “Trick or Treaty?” which provided a potent insight into the nature and challenges of treaty recognition as well as the cost of disregard. The highly participatory Blanket Exercise, designed by KAIROS, was made available at Brantford’s St. Mark’s Anglican Church, as a wonderful learning tool for exploring the history of relationships and legislative actions with our Indigenous host peoples. Finally, people gathered from Port Dover to Cambridge and Hamilton to Ingersoll at the Woodland Culture Centre in Brantford, adjacent to the Mohawk Institute, which was the first residential school in Canada, situated on the territory of the Six Nations of the Grand River.
At the Woodland Centre, Nathan Tidridge, an author and awarded teacher, shared part of his treaties recognition experience under the title “…To do justice – our relationship with Indigenous peoples”. The essence of this presentation was nicely captured by a reporter from the Brant News, and the local MPP and MP have extended their commitment to reconciliation and treaty relationships by distributing to colleagues this newspaper report.
Phil Monture, land claims specialist for the Six Nations of the Grand River, acquainted the audience with “The Land Beneath Our Feet” which took a brief look at the history of lands in the Haldimand Tract.
Following these two introductions to the realm of treaty relationships, participants gathered in a sharing circle and prayer in Her Majesty’s Royal Chapel of the Mohawks facilitated by the Rev. Larry Brown.
The Treaties Recognition Week Work Group is looking ahead to the possibilities for Treaties Recognition Week, 5-11 November 2017.
Resources offered by the Treaties Recognition Week Work Group:
Seven daily readings prepared by Rev. Peter Mogk: http://stmarks.on.ca/wp-content/uploads/Treaties-Recognition-Week-November-2016-Daily-Readings.pdf .
Documentation on Haldimand Tract prepared by Phil Monture.
Strength for Climbing: Steps on the Journey of Reconciliation (www.kairoscanada.org); United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP); They Came for the Children and Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action (www.trc.ca);
Steve Heinrichs’ Paths for Peacemaking with Host Peoples; Nathan Tidridge’s The Queen at the Council Fire: The Treaty of Niagara, Reconciliation, and the Dignified Crown in Canada.
Additional information on Treaties Recognition Week: https://ontario.ca/page/treaties
Contact: [email protected]