Decisions on Right Relations
Much of the final decision making of General Council will happen on Day 7, Friday, July 27. The facilitation team worked until the wee hours of the morning to ensure proposals were concise and ready for commissioners to vote on. The business team streamlined the process so that commissioners could efficiently express a readiness to vote on the items brought before them or a need for more discussion.
The proposals regarding right relations work focused on continuing reconciliation and genuine reparation by upholding the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This work will require Indigenous guidance; we are all Treaty people and commissioners are well aware of their privilege.
- The church affirmed the continuation of the Living into Right Relations network in the new structures. Informed by the Calls to the Church, work on reconciliation will be done nationally, regionally, and locally within a framework developed by the Indigenous church.
- Locally and regionally, the church will affirm and recognize local Indigenous languages, including in the naming of communities of faith. Further study will be done on which Indigenous languages to incorporate to enhance right relations and how best to do so.
- In response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action 60—to develop curriculum on respect for Indigenous spirituality, the legacy of residential schools and the churches’ role in it, religious conflict in Indigenous communities and “the responsibility that churches have to mitigate such conflicts and prevent spiritual violence”—the United Church approved ministerial training and continuing education in this area, stipulating that theological colleges and educational bodies work in consultation with the Caretakers of Our Indigenous Circle and the new National Indigenous Organization.
- The church approved support for the KAIROS Blanket Exercise, with training for ministry personnel and consideration of the cost in rural communities, under the oversight of the regions or the Office of Vocation.