As members of the Diocese of British Columbia we have been tasked to share in a journey of truth telling, reconciliation and healing. For some this journey began many decades ago while for others the journey is just beginning.
As with most journeys of discovery we will need to examine our expectations, goals and objectives.
We will be confronted by new experiences and information and we will be challenged to examine our core values, beliefs and traditions in an effort to bring new understanding into our viewpoints.
The journey of Reconciliation will call on us to reflect our past actions and evaluate events which may have occurred long before our country was born or our churches built. It will call on us to reflect on events which have taken place within our lifetimes or are taking place in our everyday lives.
Most people begin with the question: “What is Reconciliation?”
“It’s about coming to terms with events of the past in a manner that overcomes conflict and establishes a respectful and healthy relationship among people, going forward. It is in the latter context that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada has approached the question of reconciliation. To the Commission, reconciliation is about establishing and maintaining a mutually respectful relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples in this country.
On Sunday, January 26, 2020 there is an opportunity for us to meet and take our first small steps together. Our first steps together will provide new perspectives, information and insight on events and factors which influenced our ancestors as they journeyed to these Islands and Inlets long ago.
The starting place for understanding the current state of Indigenous Affairs within BC and Canada begins with an understanding of the philosophy called the “Doctrine of Discovery”.
The Doctrine of Discovery provides a historic viewpoint, attitude or way of thinking that has shaped our world for centuries and surprising still influences our every day thinking. The Doctrine of Discovery provided a framework for 15 Century Christian explorers, in the name of their sovereign, to lay claim to territories uninhabited by Christians. If the lands were vacant, then they could be defined as “discovered” and sovereignty claimed. The presiding theory of the time was that Indigenous Peoples, because they were non-Christians, were not human and therefore the land was empty or terra nullius. When Christopher Columbus arrived in 1492, it is estimated that the Americas were actually occupied by 100 million Indigenous Peoples - which was about one fifth of the human race at that time - who had been living their traditional lives on the land since time immemorial. But, because they were not Christians the land was deemed terra nullius or “not occupied”. This fifteenth century Christian Philosophy significantly influenced world governments including Canada’s approach specifically in social policy, legal systems, laws and our day to day interaction with First Nations communities, families, children and elders. It has been this philosophy, guided and shaped by the “Doctrine of Discovery”, that has been at the very root of all the discrimination and marginalization indigenous peoples have faced. In 2016 Bishop Logan symbolised the journey of Reconciliation for the Diocese of Islands and Inlets through his Sacred Journey, Re-entering the Land and in so doing began to “come to terms” with our Anglican history. At the same time he challenged us to consider ways of build respectful, honest and Christian ways of overcoming the harm and abuse born out of the Doctrine of Discover. The Doctrine of Discovery continues to impact Indigenous people throughout Canada and the world and it is in this context that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada has approached the question of reconciliation. To the Commission, reconciliation is about establishing and maintaining a mutually respectful relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples in this country. https://newsroom.carleton.ca/story/truth-and-reconciliation-commission/
The movie will be shown after the service on the 26th. You are invited to bring a bag lunch and stay and watch the movie after the service that day.