Below is a list of some of the activities they led or participated in:
- Papaschase gathering at Jackie Park in 2012 where Mary-Anne attended her first blanket exercise.
- We both attended the TRC Conference at Shaw Convention Centre 2014.
- Started Minutes for Reconciliation including reading the two apologies of the UCC.
- We made recommendations to council to begin services with land acknowledgments and had a plaque installed at the front door of the church.
- Reintroduced the Turtle candle for worship services.
- We invited Chief Bruneau, chief of the Papaschase people, to speak on Aboriginal Day to our congregation & created a heart garden outside in the community garden (the hearts have since been installed into a frame in our sanctuary).
- Participated with Moving Forward with Reconciliation – group of Edmonton United Churches funded by Edmonton Presbytery which included promoting many reconciliation events around Edmonton.
- We participated in numerous Common Ground ecumenical events including tipi raising, pipe ceremony, talk with Hunter Cardinal to learn how to make tobacco pouches, round dances and 8th Fire educational events.
- Invited Michelle Nieviadomy to lead us in a mini-blanket exercise during worship (where Mary-Anne took on the role of the pompous European).
- Invited Sarah Komarnisky to speak to the congregation and purchased and installed her posters 150 Acts of Reconciliation.
- Invited Chubby Cree to present songs on Aboriginal Awareness Day.
- Arranged Reconciling YEG art display in the sanctuary.
- Held an educational event in the sanctuary with Stanley Salopree singing and drumming and sharing stories and Anne Marie Sewell speaking about the paintings and the poems with each one.
- Attended many Aboriginal Family nights which became Wahkohtowin nights.
- Participated in a Poundmaker walk to the Legislature.
- Mary-Anne attended traditional arts and regalia nights and learned to bead from metis artist Krista Leddy plus attended a drum making class taught by Lloyd Cardinal at the Native Friendship centre to make a drum from buffalo hide.
- Attended Amiskwaciy nights at EPL.
- Attended an event at Amiskwaciy Academy.
- Attended mass blanket exercise and first round dance at City Hall.
- Arranged a storytelling walking tour of the river valley with Dr. Dwayne Donald.
- Screened movies with speakers/elders in attendance to guide discussions afterwards: Elder in the Making, Treaty Talk, Treaty Walk, Reel Injun, Indian Horse
- Attended Treaty 6 days at City Hall on behalf of the MWUC..
- Recognized and promoted Orange Shirt days at MWUC.
On December 3, 2017, our Sunday gathering included a special presentation.
Crystal Fraser is a PhD Candidate in History at the University of Alberta and Gwichya Gwich’in from Inuvik and Dachan Choo Gèhnjik, Northwest Territories. Her research focuses on the history of residential schools in the Canadian North during the postwar period.
Dr. Sara Komarnisky is a post-doctoral fellow in History at the University of Alberta and is of Ukrainian settler heritage. She is an anthropologist currently researching art and craft made by Indigenous patients at Canadian “Indian Hospitals” from the 1940s to the 1960s.
Sara spoke about the 150 Acts of Reconciliation Guide that they put together. For more information, click here.
Minutes for Reconciliation
The “Minute for Reconciliation” is a moment during our Sunday worship service where we reflect upon Reconciliation and the Calls to Action to the United Church of Canada. We will be archiving them on here our website.
Blanket Exercise on February 12, 2017
Our February 12 Worship Service featured the Blanket Exercise. Michelle Nieviadomy, of Inner-City Pastoral Ministry (ICPM) and Moving Forward with Reconciliation (MFWR) led our congregation through a KAIROS Blanket Exercise during the service, which was led by Nancy Siever and Mary-Anne Janewski of MWUC. Here is our photo album on Facebook.
Here is a calendar of upcoming events relating to Reconciliation in and around Alberta (although most of the events are in the Edmonton area. They are the events that are announced through the Moving Forward with Reconciliation working group.
The Edmonton Public Library offers programs and resources with opportunities to develop a deeper understanding of reconciliation and how it impacts all Canadians. Visit the EPL’s Exploring Reconciliation page for updated information.
Moving Forward with Reconciliation
Moving Forward with Reconciliation was a working group of people from Edmonton-area United Churches (including Mill Woods), as well as other cultural and faith backgrounds. From 2015 to 2019, it facilitated a wide-range of activities both educational and action-oriented.
2017 — changing the curriculum
Good news on the Mandatory Curriculum K to 12 Call to Action #62 in light of the forthcoming overhaul of the Alberta School Curriculum: Support for First Nations, Métis and Inuit student learning, as well as the inclusion of Education for Reconciliation, which includes ways of knowing and diverse perspectives, will be reflected in future K-12 curriculum. Four million dollars in existing funding will be spent on consultation with Indigenous partners on future curriculum.
June 2016 — Chief Bruneau
Chief Calvin Bruneau of the Papaschase First Nation was our guest speaker on June 26, 2016. We also planted a heart garden. To see photos from the service, click here to visit our album on our Facebook page.
“Sorry: Why Our Church Apologized.” A new book of the United Church on the 1986 Apology given to Canada’s First Nations and some of the painful history of our church with First Nations.
“Decolonizing Hearts” — click on the link to view a video presentation by Jennifer Henry, Executive Director of Kairos — filmed on April 11, 2016 in Edmonton
Kairos: Winds of Change Campaign Follow the link above to find out how you can join with social justice campaigners from many Canadian churches as they strive to respond to the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
In the words of Justice Murray Sinclair, “Education is what got us here and education is what will get us out“.
KAIROS, an organization uniting Canadian churches, and the Legacy of Hope Foundation agree with the TRC that education is the key to reconciliation. They have launched a major campaign focused on TRC Action #62, which calls for education about the residential school legacy, Treaties and past and present Indigenous contributions to this country to be a mandatory part of the curriculum in each province and territory. Without a shared understanding of how our collective past brought us to where we are today, we will not be able to walk together into a better future.
For an overview of the campaign, see — http://www.kairoscanada.org/what-we-do/indigenous-rights/windsofchange-overview/