Summer greetings, Being Good Relations Network and all interested in receiving these updates,
It has been a busy and sometimes difficult summer for many: from the joy of many powwows, culture camps, and ceremonies resuming in person, to the intense responses and memories stirred by Pope Francis’ visit and words. Let’s continue to really hear one another with an open heart, and absorb healing and joy through Creator’s summer green and warmth.
Today the Sandy Saulteaux Spiritual Centre begins its Mamawe Ota Askihk – Sharing Life Together Here on Earth gathering, and we wish the whole community the very best!
The latest Living into Right Relations national newsletter has many important updates on General Council decisions; grant deadlines; a reminder about September 30- the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation/ Orange Shirt Day, complete with a planned giveaway of related gifts, and more. And it includes a prayerful reminder as Pope Francis’ pilgrimage ends:
“We at the United Church acknowledge the complexity of emotions brought up this week by the Papal visit and the Pope’s message to survivors of residential institutions, their families, and their communities. Only they can decide whether this was the response they wanted to TRC Call to Action 58.
We urge non-Indigenous people to continue to respectfully follow the discussion that is taking place, to listen to what is being said and why. Listen to survivors, to Indigenous activists and organizations, and to people such as the former TRC commissioners, all of whom have expressed their opinions on this. And above all, please continue to do what you can do to help fulfill the other 93 Calls to Action.”
Please share these words, and the newsletter link, with your community of faith.
Healing Fund Open House and info, August 18 online
A new Healing Fund Coordinator, Joni Shawana of Wikwemikong Unceded Territory, has joined the national team. Joni will be hosting a virtual Healing Fund Open House Information Session on Thursday August 18, 2022 via Zoom (Choose either session to attend 9:00AM noon Mountain Daylight).
The Healing Fund, established in 1994, is a grant that supports healing initiatives in Indigenous communities to address the ongoing impacts of the residential school system. If your First Nation community, programs, youth / elders’ groups or communities of faith have project ideas on ways of healing, mending, restoring or celebrating, we invite you our Open House to learn how you can apply for grant up to $15,000 to create healing, culture and/or language project.
Orange Shirt Day live Giveaway, 30 August
Indigenous Ministries and Justice, the United Church, writes, “Last year, Indigenous Ministries and Justice held an Orange Shirt Giveaway on September 30. In what was possibly the most chaotic Facebook event we have ever experienced, we shared 50 shirts with Indigenous and non-Indigenous United Church members and friends who are committed to honouring the children taken to residential institutions as well as the ongoing work of reconciliation.
This year, the tradition continues with a giveaway of 40 “Every Child Matters” flags, sized 36” by 60” and with metal grommets. We have purchased these from the Whetung Cultural Centre in Curve Lake, Ontario. Proceeds will go to the Save the Evidence campaign to preserve the Mohawk Institute in Brantford.”
Read on for the details of putting your name into the draw, and for joining in on August 30!
Orange Shirt Day/ National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, Friday September 30
“When you wear an orange shirt it’s like a little bit of justice for us Survivors in our lifetime, and recognition of a system we can never allow again.” -Phyllis Webstad
Please start thinking about what you, your group, or your community of faith can offer this important day and space. Your Being Good relations Leadership Team will meet in late August to plan. We will share resources from Indigenous Ministries and Justice in early September. Have resources to recommend? Email details to firstname.lastname@example.org so they can be included.
Opportunity for BIPOC youth this fall
Are you an Indigenous or Racialized young person? Interested in having conversations with others about anti-racism and how the United Church of Canada can better support this work?
If so, please join others like yourself for a weekend of community building, connection and retreat at the Sandy-Saulteaux Spiritual Centre from September 30th-October 2nd, 2022.
More information and the application form are here.