Indigenous Concerns and Relations
In the Atlantic Regions of the United Church of Canada we have primarily connected with Indigenous neighbours around rights, recognition, and protection of land and waters. First guided by the call within our creed “…to live with respect in Creation”, we are also seeking to have a better understanding of what it means to be “treaty people”. The relationship with the peoples of the Wabanaki Confederacy (Mi’kmaq, Wolastoqiyik, Peskotomukhati, Penobscot, Abenaki) and settlers to this area was established through the Peace and Friendship Treaties.
We are conscious of the long and painful history of relations between the Christian church, colonial settlement practices, and the harm caused to these lands and peoples. May we always seek to live with respect on the land, and in peace and friendship with all its peoples.
Here is a link to video of of a 30 minute conversation between Rev. Scott Stuart and our Minister for Justice and Mission, Laura Hunter, about the tradition and practice of sharing an acknowledgment of the land at gatherings in your Community of Faith.
MI’KMAQ FISHING RIGHTS STATEMENTS 2020
In response to violence and discrimination experienced by Mi’kmaq fishers attempting to exercise their treaty rights to fish, the Regional Councils offer this Statement of Solidarity. (September 2020)
FISHING RIGHTS DISPUTE – References and Resources
Full worship service in response to violence toward Mi’kmaq fishers, including powerful sermon from Russell Daye, St. Andrews UC, Halifax, NS naming the call to “courage, power, love, and self-discipline”. October 18th, 2020. (50 minutes)
An inspiring theological reflection on the Christian call to civil disobedience – by Emma Seamone, St. Stephen, NB, October 18th, 2020. (15 minutes)
Theological reflection on Mi’kmaq fishing conflict through the lens of the parable of the vinyard, September 19th, 2020 – by Emma Seamone, St. Stephen, NB
Is the Crown At War With Us? NFB film documenting the fishing dispute in Mi’kmaw community of Esgenoopetitj First Nation (Burnt Church, NB) 2000-2001.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES – GENERAL
A helpful site for resources related to Wabanaki – videos, news items, stories. Wabanaki Collection — First Nation Teaching Resources NB
For more information about work in this area contact:
Minister for Justice, Mission, and Outreach for
Fundy St. Lawrence Dawning Waters Regional Council
Regional Council 15
First Dawn Eastern Edge Regional Council
1-800-268-3781 ext. 6157