Our work towards reconciliation
Mill Woods United Church is committed to reconciliation between Canada’s First Nations and non-indigenous people in the aftermath of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (2008-2015). We acknowledge the land on which we gather. Mill Woods is the ancestral land of Treaty Six First Nations. All of us are Treaty people, for which we give thanks.
This page has news of events, ideas for action, and background resources. For other outreach activities of Mill Woods United, click here.
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 is a working group of people from Edmonton-area United Churches (including Mill Woods), as well as other cultural and faith backgrounds. It now has its own Facebook page. There is also a mailing list for announcements relating to Reconciliation, such as upcoming events. To get on the list, email Paula Kirman, the list moderator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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/