The Indigenous Solidarity Working Group, comprising parishioners and friends, is interested in the complex and myriad issues surrounding Indigenous People in Canada, and in particular relating to our urban Indigenous neighbours.
The group’s focus is both education and outreach. New members are welcome to assist with programming.
If you’re interested in Indigenous issues and our ministry, please use the form below to sign up for our newsletter, and let us know if you’d like more information on how to get involved.
Land & Memory: An Introduction to the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation
On Thursday, June 17, 2021, Margaret Sault, Director of the Land, Membership and Research Department of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation provided “An Introduction to the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation” to close to 50 members of Redeemer. The evening with Margaret Sault was the first in a series of events called Land and Memory. This program is the Indigenous Solidarity Working Group’s contribution to the Sesquicentennial.
The event opened with our Incumbent, the Reverend Canon Steven Mackison who welcomed everyone and offered a prayer and an acknowledgement of the Indigenous people who have for centuries called this land home, a home we have known as Toronto. This territorial acknowledgement recognized and included the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation.
Margaret’s presentation and her commentary took us on a journey of Toronto from the perspective of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation who have a vastly different memory of this land than those of us who are descendants of settlers or who are newcomers.
A few highlights from her presentation include the following:
- Too often negotiations between Indigenous people and the Crown have not been carried out in good faith by the Crown. When treaties were negotiated, the terms of the treaties have not been respected by the Crown (as was the case with the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation).
- A reminder that Avenue Road and Bloor Street (and a good portion of Toronto) was part of the Toronto Purchase or Treaty 13 in 1805.
- Land claims take a long time to negotiate and finalize. In the case of the Mississaugas of the Credit,the claim was initiated in 1986. An agreement with the Crown (Canada) was reached in January 2010 and was approved by members of the Mississaugas of the Credit in May
- The Mississaugas of the Credit held its first pow wow in 1987, and while none have been held during the pandemic, it is with great anticipation that the next one will occur in 2022 and hopes abound that members of the Church of the Redeemer will join them in this celebration.
Please take some time to watch the presentation which was recorded with the permission of all who attended. It is thought-provoking, engaging and much history and knowledge was shared.
The Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation have also produced a 13-minute video called A Sacred Trust which can be viewed at http://mncfn.ca/culture-history/a-sacred-trust/
Our deepest thanks to Margaret Sault.
The Indigenous Solidarity Working Group has developed a proposal for a mural to be painted by Joseph Sagaj, a prominent Indigenous artist. The mural would be installed on the lower cement section of the wall along Avenue Road. The City offers a grant of $70,000 that we trust will cover 90 percent of the cost. The other 10% must come from sponsors, the community and volunteer hours from non-parishioners.
To date, two consultations (via Zoom) for parishioners have taken place as well as one with Indigenous members of the community. The consultations were opportunities to generate ideas about what the murals might portray. Joseph Sagaj has participated in these consultations and has listened carefully to the many ideas and suggestions generated at these consultations. The Concept Drawings (see link below) contain the reports of these consultations as well as showing how the space on the wall would be used through the use of colour.
At a Special Vestry Meeting held on Sunday, November 8, the parish approved the proposal. A formal application will be submitted to the StART Committee at City Hall that funds murals in Toronto.
Please read the proposal (see link below). If you have comments or questions, please send them to Stephen Allen, chair of the Indigenous Solidarity Working Group at the following address email@example.com or on SurveyMonkey. Efforts will be made to answer your questions within a week. Thank you.
If you’re interested in learning more about challenges and issues facing Indigenous Peoples, check out our Reading and Resources list below, as well as recent news in the sidebar.
Being the Church God is Calling Us to Be
The ninth Indigenous Anglican Sacred Circle began on August 8, 2018 at the University of North British Columbia campus in Prince George, B.C. The report of the day’s proceedings on the Anglican Church website includes the assertion that “the dream of a self-determining Indigenous church within the Anglican Church of Canada is closer than ever to becoming a reality”.
In the late afternoon, Sacred Circle received a draft version of the document An Indigenous Spiritual Movement: Becoming What God Intends Us to Be, which laid out the goals of self-determination, its meaning and guiding principles.