Thursday, December 10, 2015

Journey toward Justice with First Nations

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde laugh as they talk before the beginning of the Assembly of First Nations Special Chiefs Assembly in Gatineau, Tuesday December 8, 2015. (Adrian Wyld/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

I follow the CBC on Twitter and it has been tough to do so the past few days. My Twitter feed has been punctuated with the photos and brief descriptions of aboriginal women who have disappeared or were murdered. They are the solemn testimony to a broken society which has exploited and marginalized aboriginal peoples in this country. Sadly, religious institutions have been active in that exploitation.

The good news this week is that the federal government will consult with First Nations about an inquiry into the missing and the murdered. The previous government steadfastly ignored calls to establish an inquiry, although the current Conservative leadership now supports it.

The United Church of Canada has been calling for such an inquiry for several years. We do have an ugly history of involvement in the residential schools, which were supposedly about education but were often more about enculturation and even cultural genocide. Along with apologies and redesigning our denominational crest we have worked toward reparations for and healing with those who were harmed by the schools run by our denomination. We continue to work toward "right relationships," realizing that this will be a long journey.

I've explored this many times before, but any comments about the commitment of the federal government announced this week?

1 comment:

Judy said...

It is a good move - and long overdue, as are many pother initiatives requested from our aboriginal people.