ᐯᐦᐅᓇᐣ / Pêhonân – A Gathering-Waiting Place: Voices of Indigenous Followers of Jesus in the Ecumenical Movement
The Council’s Commission on Faith and Witness and its ecumenical partners, The Prairie Centre for Ecumenism and The Canadian Centre for Ecumenism, invite you to an important triennial ecumenical event: the 8th Canadian Forum on Inter-Church Dialogues (CFICD), which will take place June 8-10, 2023, in Edmonton, AB. Built around a thematic focus, each Canadian Forum on Inter-Church Dialogues shares the fruits of Canadian bilateral and multilateral ecumenical dialogues and creates a space for conversations and fellowship among those involved or interested in ecumenism.
The 8th Canadian Forum on Inter-Church Dialogues is hosted in a place which has long been known in Cree/Nehiyawin as ᐊᒥᐢᑿᒋᐚᐢᑲᐦᐃᑲᐣ, Amiskwaciwâskahikan, or Beaver Hill House, and which is known as Edmonton today. At its heart was a ᐯᐦᐅᓇᐣ/Pêhonân – a waiting/gathering place where numerous Indigenous nations would assemble to prepare for ceremony and exchange. Today the city remains a home and a centre of gathering for many urban and rural First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people in Alberta, across the Prairies, and to the North. The region of Edmonton and its outlying areas also have a strong history of inter-Christian ecumenism and a flourishing ecumenical life. Honouring the distinctive gifts of this place, the 8th CFICD focuses on the experiences of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Christians in the ecumenical movement and offers a range of workshops on ecumenical topics.
The 2023 CFICD theme – ᐯᐦᐅᓇᐣ / Pêhonân – A Gathering-Waiting Place: Voices of Indigenous Followers of Jesus in the Ecumenical Movement – calls us into a deeper understanding and appreciation of the wisdom, gifts, and experiences that Indigenous followers of Jesus can offer the ecumenical movement. Too often, their voices have been absent from ‘official’ Canadian ecumenical dialogues. This gathering explores how the churches in Canada can engage in as rich an ecumenical discussion as the diversity of this land and its peoples calls for.
The format of this event seeks to foster collaborative and receptive learning, relationship-building, and dialogue, inspired by Pêhonân as both a place and a space for encounter.
The background image of this banner features the bend in the North Saskatchewan River, which is known as ᐯᐦᐅᓇᐣ / Pêhonân – a waiting / gathering place where numerous Indigenous nations assembled to prepare for ceremony and exchange (ᐊᒥᐢᑿᒋᐚᐢᑲᐦᐃᑲᐣ / Amiskwaciwâskahikan / Beaver Hill House / Edmonton, AB).
Highlights of the three-day program will include
Two panel conversations between Indigenous followers of Jesus will explore the themes of “What can we learn from the land and from traditional teachings of the First Peoples about relationships and dialogue?” and “How could the ecumenical movement in Canada seek to become ‘decolonizing’?”
The Ven. Travis Enright (Archdeacon for Reconciliation and Decolonization; Knowledge Keeper, Standing Stones Sacred Lodge; Anglican Diocese of Edmonton) and The Rev. Dr. Sandra Beardsall (Author, Researcher, and Professor Emerita of Church History and Ecumenics; United Church of Canada) will walk with and listen to the participants and offer opening/closing reflections.
Indigenous followers of Jesus reflecting on what we can learn from the land and from the traditional teachings of the First Peoples about relationships and dialogue across difference.
- Adrian Jacobs – Cayuga Nation member of the Six Nations Haudenosaunee Confederacy of the Grand River Territory, ON; an Elder and founding member of the Board of NAIITS – An Indigenous Learning Community; Senior Leader for Indigenous Justice and Reconciliation, Christian Reformed Church-Canada
- The Most Reverend Christopher A. Harper – National Indigenous Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Canada and presiding Elder of the Sacred Circle; member of the Onion Lake Cree Nation; Chancellor for the College of Emmanuel and St. Chad
Moderated by: The Ven. Travis Enright – Archdeacon for Reconciliation and Decolonization; Knowledge Keeper, Standing Stones Sacred Lodge; Anglican Diocese of Edmonton
Listening to the experience of Indigenous members of ecumenical dialogues and organizations, with an emphasis on inviting answers to the question “How could the ecumenical movement in Canada seek to become ‘decolonizing’?”
- Russel Burns – member of Treaty Six, James Smith Cree Nation; former delegate to the Anglican Church of Canada – United Church of Canada bilateral dialogue from the United Church of Canada; National Indigenous Council
- Lori Ransom – Reconciliation and Indigenous Justice Animator with the United Church of Canada and an Indigenous Consultant to the World Council of Churches; member of the Algonquins of Pikwàkanagàn First Nation, near Eganville, ON; an ordained Elder of the Presbyterian Church in Canada
Moderated by: The Rev. Dr. Sandra Beardsall – Author, Researcher, and Professor Emerita of Church History and Ecumenics; United Church of Canada
- Ecumenical is Intercultural
- Crossing Boundaries: Exploring Ecumenical Shared Ministries
- Local Expressions of Ecumenism
- Vistas and Vantage Points: Bilateral Dialogues in the Canada of Today
- 11th Assembly of the World Council of Churches and the Canadian and Indigenous ecumenical context
- Young adult voices in ecumenism
Ceremony and worship in a variety of Indigenous and Christian traditions.
For more information and updates, visit: www.councilofchurches.ca/gathering-waiting-place-cficd-2023
Questions? Contact Setri Dzivenu: email@example.com