Anglican Bishop of Saskatoon, Rt. Rev. Christopher A. Harper appointed National Indigenous Anglican Archbishop and Presiding Elder of the Sacred Circle
~ from a post dated December 5, 2022 on the Anglican Church of Canada website
The Rt. Rev. Christopher A. Harper, Diocesan Bishop of Saskatoon has been named National Indigenous Anglican Archbishop and Presiding Elder of the Sacred Circle with pastoral oversight over all Indigenous Anglicans.
The appointment was formally announced by Archbishop Linda Nicholls, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada and Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples (ACIP) Co-Chairs, the Rev. Canon Dr. Murray Still and Caroline Chum.
“Archbishop-elect Chris Harper brings years of experience in ministry among and with Indigenous Anglicans, urban and on reserve. He has a passion for walking together with respect that will be essential as the Sacred Circle within the Anglican Church of Canada establishes its way forward. I look forward to working with +Chris as we learn together how God is calling us to witness to this new relationship,” said Archbishop Linda Nicholls.
ACIP Co-Chair Caroline Chum stated, “Gitchi-Meegwetch (great thanks) to everyone for their prayers and blessings during the selection process for our Presiding Elder. We look to you now to continue your support for Indigenous Ministries and our National Indigenous Anglican Archbishop Chris, as we journey to our Sacred Circle 2023. We are truly blessed. Thanks be to God.”
The Rev. Canon Dr. Murray Still, also a Co-Chair of ACIP added, “We at ACIP were unanimous in our choice of Bishop Chris Harper for the next National Indigenous Anglican Archbishop (NIAA). I have known him since I first became active in the Sacred Circle in 1993 at Minaki Lodge in Kenora. At that time the Sacred Circle was known as the National Native Convocation.
Bishop Chris played a leadership role at that gathering when Residential School survivors shared their painful stories. He is a pastoral man with vision and administrative skill. He also preaches well and knows the Christian and traditional spirituality. Walking in two worlds, Bishop Chris can gently bridge the two traditions at a time this is desperately needed.
Through the years since 1993, Bishop Chris has attended national Sacred Circles and important consultations that have moved us to where are today, on the path to self-determination within the Church. He is active in the Indigenous House of Bishops Leadership Circle (HBLC) and that group played a large part of developing the Covenant Our Way of Life which will guide us as a people of the land and waters. Ekosi.”
Born in Saskatchewan and a member of the Onion Lake Cree Nation, Bishop Christopher is a graduate of Wycliffe College, Toronto School of Theology. His parish ministries have included on and off reserve, and shared ministry with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada. He has also been involved with numerous committees within the Anglican Church of Canada including Council of General Synod, Provincial Synod and diocesan Executives for Saskatchewan and Algoma.
Bishop Christopher currently sits as a member of Sacred Circle, is involved in numerous ecumenical partnerships and is the Chancellor for the College of Emmanuel and St. Chad.