The Reconciliation Journey with our Indigenous Neighbours
In honour of National Aboriginal Day, we invited Andrew Victor to do a devotional for the MCC BC staff. Andrew is Sto:lo from Cheam First Nation and a pastor at Chilliwack Native Pentecostal Church. Part of his devotional included the following message and challenge, which we want to share for all to consider:
Indigenous Relations: How should we respond?
Problem. That is how the relationship with Indigenous Peoples have been defined. The relational focus has been on the difficulty, the obstacle, the inconvenience. The relational efforts have zeroed in on discussions, on proposing solutions, like dealing with an unruly child.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission has brought a small portion of this painful and complex issue into the national conversation. Indigenous people have shared their truth from their hearts. Canadians have been gifted with the truth of our shared history. Have you listened? Has your heart been touched?
The TRC Commissioners have called for action. Action that will redefine this relationship. Action that will bring reconciliation.
How should we respond as Christians?
God cares for all nations and peoples. The full ministry of reconciliation addresses the personal and corporate relations between people. “It is not enough to seek to save the souls of people and care nothing about the places of ethnic and racial divides that are plaguing our nation” (Orlando Crespo, InterVarsity).
“Reconciliation is about forging and maintaining respectful relationships. There are no shortcuts” (Justice Murray Sinclair).
MCC BC continues to work together with Indigenous people to build respectful relationships and create opportunities for healing in response to the TRC calls to action. We invite churches and their members to explore this ministry of reconciliation with us: to walk with us and commit to a process of healing within our communities, the strengthening of Indigenous culture, and the building of new friendships. “All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.” (II Corinthians 5:18)
For more information about the Indigenous Neighbour’s project, contact MCC BC at 604-850-6639.