Statement on Reconciliation
Unitarian Fellowship of Regina
“Reconciliation” is about establishing and maintaining a mutually respectful relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples in this country.” For the Unitarian Fellowship of Regina, reconciliation requires respecting Indigenous spirituality. It means resolving to continuously educate ourselves about First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities and engaging with them on a journey toward justice and equity for all Indigenous Peoples in Canada.
Quote excerpted from page 113, What We Have Learned: Principles of Truth and Reconciliation
Treaty Four Territory Acknowledgement
We acknowledge that we are on Treaty 4 Territory, the traditional lands of the Nêhiyawak (Plains Cree), Nahkawé (Saulteaux), and Nakota, and later the homeland of the Dakota, Lakota and Métis peoples who came to this land after the signing of Treaty 4 in 1874. We are all Treaty people.
- Nêhiyawak – neh-hee-o-wuk (Cree: means Plains People)
- Nahkawé – nuk-ah-way (Ojibwa: means Plains Saulteaux)
- Saulteaux –so-toe
The Fellowship has been engaged in educating itself about Indigenous People and their life experience for decades. Our book of formal readings (published 1993) includes statements by Indigenous leaders. In 2013, we worked with the Office of the Treaty Commissioner to provide a Treaty Education workshop for our Fellowship and the community.
Our Sunday Service Committee arranges presentations by Indigenous people who inspire us to look more widely and understand more deeply. Since 2016 we have added Indigenous music to our services periodically.
Your ideas would be welcomed.
We actively encourage members to be engaged in the reconciliation work of the Regina community by advertising these events weekly in our Order of Service and newsletter The Chalice. For example, several of our members have attended workshops taught by Indigenous experts on such topics as protocols to show respect for elders (Angela Pratt) and protecting our waterways (Dodie Ferguson).
Many of us have been learning specifically about Indigenous Spirituality with Elder Lorna Standingready (8 hours using a multi faith guide: Quest for Respect) and with Professor Blair Stonechild (6 hours including Indigenous values). We thank Knox Met United and First Presbyterian for creating these opportunities.
In addition, two Fellowship members are facilitators for the KAIROS Blanket Exercise (a learning tool that demonstrates some realities of our Canadian history). And three members have attended Project of Heart, a 12-week course offered several times during 2016-18 at Luther College, University of Regina.
Be active with us!
In The Chalice (our public newsletter), we share our reconciliation journey and invite others to join us as we expand our horizons.
- Residential Schools: Historical Perspective (J. Knox, March 2016)
- Reconciliation – What’s Next (J. Knox, Oct. 2017)
Watching & Reading for Reconciliation
We watch the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network. What a great way to learn!
The Unitarian Fellowship has collected some thought-provoking reading (downstairs) and built a reading list. Come check it out! Most items are also available at the Regina Public Library.
Top reading selections
Challenge yourself! Read something that reshapes your view of the world. Get informed about a side of our history that our Governments have suppressed for over a hundred years. For example:
- One Story, One Song by Richard Wagamese (2011) – A collection of wonderfully insightful short stories (2-4 pages each).
- The Inconvenient Indian: A curious account of native people in North America by Thomas King (2012)
- No Surrender: The Land Remains Indigenous – Sheldon Krasowski (2019)
- Reconciliation & the Way Forward – Shelagh Rogers, Mike Desgagné, Glen Lowry, Sara Fryer (2014) – a collection of speeches and interviews
- “Spirit Bear and Children Make History” is based on the true story of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal case and Jordan’s Principle. It is a story about children who wait too long for health care because neither federal nor provincial governments will agree they have a responsibility to provide health care to Indigenous children. Read the book! Share it with others and consider what action we can take to ensure all little ones get the cae they need, when they need it. To learn more about Jordan’s Principle go to www.jordansprinciple.ca and to learn more about the ongoing Tribunal case (filed in 2007 and still going) go to www.fnwitness.ca
The Métis: A Visual History by Sherry Farrel Racette (2010 Gabriel Dumont Institute). This wonderful book is 28 pages of vibrant art and great stories. Together they make a readable history of the Métis people 1690-1982. The book presents valuable perspectives covering information often missed in other histories. Great reading for teens and adults.
Reconciliation Study Group
From 2017 to early 2020, the Study Group met twice monthly. We began by exploring together the TRC’s 94 Calls to Action with in-depth research and discussion. We are still following up on those issues of greatest concern to us and working on our priorities:
- K-12 Education
- inequities in funding for child welfare and education, and
- the visible, systematic inequity in Saskatchewan justice systems.
In 2019, we still met twice monthly, focusing on confronting racism and discussing the United Nation Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP)
In 2020, we began reviewing and learning from Reclaiming Power and Place: The Reports of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
1 – Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report provides a framework for understanding, stories, pictures, and reflects on our history as Canadians. This main web page identifies all the reports with links to the reports and to story-telling and detailed information about the Commission’s work.
4 – Reclaiming Power and Place: Executive Summary of the Final Report (also contains Calls for Justice)
5 – A Legal Analysis of Genocide: Supplementary Report
Get into the Act! …Join us!
Canadian Unitarian Council
Unitarians are active nationally too.
CUC Response to the final report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women