National Aboriginal Day: The road to reconciliation

Where to start? I feel most unqualified to introduce National Aboriginal Day but perhaps that is the place from which many of us begin when we think about our First Nations neighbours. Yet even that word, “neighbour”, connotes a familiarity with which most of us are unaccustomed and, frankly, unworthy to use. And so, rather than post a wordy introduction, I thought I would include several links for your perusal. One is a Government of Canada webpage outlining ways that one might celebrate, the next is a link to the story of Big Bear, an important chief and objector to the signing of Treaty 6 in the early part of the 20th century, and two links to the music of a group that goes by the name, A Tribe Called Red.

These are snapshots into a people, varying cultures, and a sardonic wit that may prick sensibilities. They aren’t the whole story but they are some of the story and as a people of largely European descent we need to be open to listening to the diverse accounts of Aboriginal people across a vast array of topics, grievances, joys, victories and defeats.

The road to reconciliation is marked by a willingness to get to know.


This week, the blog will feature contributions from members of our Calvary community who participated in the Blanket Exercise, which was held at our church in May. My hope is that these posts, ideas, and information will stir something in our hearts and minds, and will begin some important and meaningful conversations.

On Sunday, June 25, Michelle Nieviadomy, Assistant Director and Youth Coordinator for the Edmonton Native Healing Centre, will be joining us at Calvary. I wanted to share some insight into her teaching topic, and I found a beautiful statement on the Healing Centre’s website:

“Our goal is to journey along side the urban Aboriginal population reconnecting people to culture and ceremony.We firmly believe that our world belongs to God the Creator and through this window of opportunity we are able to show and teach that the ceremonies of old can be redeemed in Christ. By presenting Christ as the centre of our culture and ceremonies new life is breathed into our old ways.”

The road to reconciliation is marked by a willingness to learn.


Government of Canada National Aboriginal Day Webpage:

An Account of Big Bear:

A Tribe Called Red:

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