INDIGENOUS CONVERSATIONS

October 28, 2021

Good afternoon,

Hundreds of thousands of Indigenous children were sent to church-run residential schools. Many did not come back home, and were buried in unmarked graves. The Catholic Church has not released the records from their archives. No teacher, nun, priest or bishop have taken responsibility for this attempt to assimilate First Nations into settler culture.  The schools were an attempt to take away the culture, language and community  from the Canadian landscape. It was cultural genocide.

Now the Pope is coming to Canada. Will he admit, on behalf of the church, that there was sin ? Will he admit the sin or will he only ask for forgiveness ? Will he promote a criminal investigation into what happened at the residential schools ? Pray for Pope Francis, the First Nations people, and settler Canada, as this visit takes place.

Whenever I am in Winnipeg, I see more First Nations people than usual. I can go months here in Ontario and not recognize an Indigenous person. But in Winnipeg, they are part of the community. We stayed with Jared for a few days , and his neighborhood has many Inidgenous living there. 

At the Forks of Red and Assiniboine Rivers , there is an art piece put up by the Missing and Murdered Inidgneous women’s group. It is a carved piece of a woman with a hole where her heart would be. There was a commission for murdered and missing Indigenous women. It produced a large two volume report, but not anything has changed. What can I do ?

The book of Esther is a story of Haman wanting to exterminate the Jewish people:

“Then Haman said to King Xerxes, “There is a certain people dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom who keep themselves separate. Their customs are different from those of all other people, and they do not obey the king’s laws; it is not in the king’s best interest to tolerate them.  If it pleases the king, let a decree be issued to destroy them, and I will give ten thousand talents of silver to the king’s administrators for the royal treasury.”  Esther 3: 8-9

Prayer 
 Enable us God   
  to repair,   
 to renew,   
 to restore, 
   to reparate,           
   our relationship with our Indigenous and the           
                                        settler community. AMEN.


Fred

Soaring like Vultures
lifted up by unseen Hands
Trust, silent enters my fears     Monica Pieper Landoni 2021



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