I acknowledge that I am writing on Treaty No. 1 territory, the traditional lands of the Anishinaabe (Ojibway), Ininew (Cree), Oji-Cree, Dene and Dakota, and the homeland of the Métis Nation.
I am grateful for their stewardship of this land and their hospitality which allows us to live, work and serve God the Creator here. Each time I use such acknowledgements, I grow in understanding the significance of what is being named.
Such acknowledgements are beginning to be used regularly in some civic and church gatherings in Canada. They are part of a continuing response to the challenges and opportunities of our ongoing quest for truth and reconciliation between the Indigenous Peoples of Canada and those who have settled in this land.
Our Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada has committed itself to continue to participate in this quest. It is timely for us to reflect on what this has meant for us and how it will continue to chart our course. I invited three of our members to help us to do that in our feature article.
As I write, debate is swirling about the role statues from our colonial past should play in our future. It is one sign that the process of truth and reconciliation is becoming part of our collective conscience and consciousness. There are many others.
Patiently engaging in active listening and learning how lasting consensus among us all can be achieved appears to be our most important role in this process.
In addition to working with our feature, I revisited the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which Canada has still to ratify. It is good to be reminded of these things.
Skip Triplett, one of those who wrote our feature article, also alerted me to a document The Opportunity for Indigenous Infrastructure. Google it and you will discover a part of the work that is being done and understand a bit of the complexity of what we are hoping to achieve.
As Senator Murray Sinclair expressed during his 2009–15 tenure as Chief Commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, “The road we travel is equal in importance to the destination we seek. There are no shortcuts. When it comes to truth and reconciliation, we are forced to go the distance.”
There are many articles in this issue about how we are discovering new ways of ministry because of the COVID-19 pandemic. What’s happening in campus ministry in Alberta (p. 19) is one example.
In observations about Jesus’ encounter with a man born blind, Q & A offers guidance for Christians in how they relate to people who are different, with a focus on racism, p. 15.
From time to time David Brattston has provided unique perspectives for Q & A. In Practising Our Faith (p. 9), we learn about his methods and motivation.
Kenn Ward, Editor