A statement from Archbishop Fred Hiltz
What follows is a statement from Archbishop Fred Hiltz, responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Call to Action # 48 on behalf to the Anglican Church of Canada. The response was presented at Her Majesty’s Royal Chapel of the Mohawks, Six Nations of the Grand River on Saturday, March 19, 2016.
Let our “yes” be yes
(Based on James 5:12)
In response to Call to Action #48 from Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, I speak today on behalf of the Anglican Church of Canada.
My heart is heavy with the burden of our many sins against the Indigenous Peoples throughout Turtle Island. For every way in which we insulted their dignity and took their lands, silenced their languages and suppressed their culture, tore apart their families and assaulted their children, I must never weary of saying on behalf of our church, “I am sorry”.
My heart is humbled by the call to honour – in word and action – the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
With many others, my heart yearns for that future in which – in the sight of the Creator – we are walking together in ways that are good and holy, right and just for all.
Contemplating what I would say today and how I might say it, I found myself drawn to the Letter of James and his word of counsel, encouraging the church of his day to be steadfast in its witness to the Gospel. This strikes me as good counsel for the church of our day, as it seeks to act on decisions made at General Synod 2010 repudiating the Doctrine of Discovery and endorsing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Here we have a call to let our “yes” in that historic moment be a resounding and continuing “yes”.
~ Read the rest of the statement here.
For more information on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and our denominations’ responses to and calls for reconciliation with First Nations peoples, go to our Truth and Reconciliation page.