The great damage inflicted among Indigenous Peoples by the colonizing projects in North America/Turtle Island, including the far too frequent complicity of the churches with them, is something that can hardly be overstated. Most Canadian Christians are, I hope, relatively aware of the large-scale physical, cultural, and spiritual harms that were perpetrated by things like the reserve system, residential schools, and bans on traditional ceremonies and rites. Less widely considered, however, are the impacts that also came from the importing of inter-Christian hostilities from Europe to the Peoples of this land. Although less urgent than the direct and tangible abuses, here too there are harmful marks that must be reckoned with.
The history of separated Christianity in the lands we now call Canada has its roots, of course, in divisions that go back to European Christendom prior to the colonizing period. Through things like denominational rivalry and missionary competition, these deep-seated rifts between peoples from another continent were then further transplanted to this land. …
With this additional piece of the tragic story in mind, the task of seeking Christian unity can take on yet another layer of meaning and necessity. It is this conviction that inspired Pêhonân – Forum on Dialogues, a gathering held by the Canadian Council of Churches Commission on Faith and Witness in Edmonton, Alberta in early summer 2023.
>> Read the full article on the Salt and Light Media website (English only).
Photo description: Archdeacon Travis Enright, Lodge Elder of the Standing Stones Sacred Lodge in the Anglican Diocese of Edmonton, leads a Round Dance at the conclusion of the Pêhonân gathering in June, 2023.