Indigenous Relations Circle

Reconciliation is always about relationships. It’s about bringing balance to the relations between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people. At an individual level, people often ask, “What can I do?” My answer to that is always, “Look at how you believe and how you behave and how you think and change that.” (Justice Murray Sinclair, 2015)

St. James formalized the Indigenous Relations Circle as a new ministry in 2019, but this was not the beginning. Over 15 years ago, the Diocese participated as part of the Anglican Church of Canada in the Residential School’s Settlement Project. The Diocese met the challenge to pay our part of the settlement agreement assessed at $1.6 million, and Saint James was very much involved! In December 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission released its Final Report and 94 Calls to Action. The Anglican Church of Canada, anticipating the report’s challenges and Calls to Action, had already begun its activities. The National Church set up a Healing Fund and continues to nurture reconciliation, anti-suicide programs, language revitalization and more.

Since then, the Indigenous Church has also developed its autonomy within the Anglican Church of Canada with the naming of the new National Indigenous Anglican Archbishop. The Primate also made an apology for spiritual harm to Indigenous communities. Part of that harm included a profound lack of respect for traditional spirituality.

Who are we?

  • We are a group of parishioners at St. James with a First Nations Elder advisor. Together, we are committed to improving relations with Indigenous peoples in the local communities.
  • We invite participation from First Nation, Métis or Inuit members of the community or congregation and others with a shared interest.
  • The Indigenous Relations Circle aims to support the priorities of the National Church, the National Indigenous Anglican Archbishop, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action, Reclaiming Power and Place: Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

We hope to advance Reconciliation as a Spiritual Practice with activities under four themes: Self-Awareness (Education), Acts of Healing, Social Justice and Self-determination. These activities are expandable and can be integrated to promote non-linear “Circles of Learning”.

The Indigenous Relations Circle invites you to join us with an open heart and mind as we continue moving forward together.