Pilgrimage Carries On

hand holding a post card "Lets Walk the Talk of Reconciliation. Support Bill C-262
Walk the Talk Postcard

We are 46 days away from the 10 year anniversary of the adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. As Canadians, we have 46 articles of the Declaration to learn and write on our hearts.

We’re taking action to encourage all elected officials and ask them to support Bill C-262, “An Act to ensure that the laws of Canada are in harmony with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.” We’re inviting you to join in. There are pre-printed postcards available for just the cost of postage and can be ordered from CommonWord. If you’re not sure what to say, you can also download a list of suggested messages.

Or, if you want to write a letter instead of sending the postcard, you can do that too. Here’s a list of Members of Parliament to help you find MPs in your area. Postage to MPs is free. We do encourage handwritten letters, as those are more likely to carry weight than emails or other electronic forms of communication.

people at a table signing cards
Postcard Party @ Hope Mennonite

Host a table at your local gathering place (church, community centre, etc.) when you know there will be lot’s of folks around and hold a little Postcard Party. The more the merrier!

Lifting Hearts Off the Ground

book cover, orange with silhouette of trees at the bottom
Lifting Hearts Off the Ground

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is a powerful proclamation of the principles that should guide Indigenous-Settler relations around the world. Some call it a blueprint for reconciliation. Some say that, if taken seriously, it could help states and Settler societies repair significant historic injustices and reject present colonialism. Yet as a legal text, it’s not the easiest document to read or to imagine into action.

In Lifting Hearts Off the Ground, two poets — one Indigenous, one Settler — come together to breathe life into the seemingly dry bones of the Declaration. And as we contemplate, wrestle with, and pray their words, we discover an invitation to renewed relationships with each other, the land, and Spirit. Thank you to Lyla June Johnston, and Pilgrimage walkers Joy De Vito and Leah ProudLakota Gazan who put together this book of inspiration.

Published by Mennonite Church Canada and available through CommonWord.

New! Pilgrimage Video Documentary

With gratitude to the walkers, host communities, and above all, the many grassroots Indigenous peoples who have actively struggled for the recognition of their basic human rights, we offer up this video documentary that shares the experiences of the 600 km Pilgrimage for Indigenous Rights. The walk may be finished, but the work of raising awareness of and respect for Indigenous human rights is not over. Here’s how to help make this video continue to work toward our goal (short teaser version to come):

  • Share it widely on social media and in your communities; host a showing and follow-up conversation.
  • Encourage the elected officials in your region to watch this video and follow-up with a request to meet and discuss it.
  • Share it with your church family, pastor, your family, and your childrens’ schools.
  • If you have connections with elected officials, try and arrange a showing on Parliament Hill.
  • Share it with the media in your area, especially if you have media connections.

Many thanks to Brad Leitch of Rebel Sky Media for his excellent work on this production.

Pilgrimage for Indigenous Rights: Join the effort

by Deborah Froese; April 26, 2017; Mennonite Church Canada
Winnipeg, Man

PFIR walker Kandace Boos is travelling with her 9-month-old daughter, Junia. An urban artist, Boos plans to document the journey in art. Photo supplied.

The Pilgrimage for Indigenous Rights (PFIR) draws to a close on May 13, but even when the event is over, there are several ways to keep the objective of the initiative alive.

And what exactly is that objective? Ensuring that Indigenous peoples are guaranteed the same basic human rights enjoyed by others living in Canada – from houses and running water to education.

To this end, the Pilgrimage, a 600 km trek from Kitchener to Ottawa, Ont., is advocating for the adoption and implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). The Declaration provides the foundation for healing relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. Implementing it is one of the 94 Calls to Action issued by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in their final report. Continue reading “Pilgrimage for Indigenous Rights: Join the effort”

Ottawa Valley media announces pending arrival of Pilgrimage

Thanks to InsideOttawaValley for sharing news of our arrival in the valley. They’ve also shared that a free public event will take place at St Paul’s United Church (25 Gore St. W. in Perth), where MP Romeo Saganash and others will address the gathering on matters related to Bill C-262 which seeks to bring Canada’s laws into harmony with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

Call to Churches . . .

Calling on Churches to take photos of your congregations and/or church signs with “Adopt the Declaration” messages. Send original hi-resolutions images to office@mennonitechurch.ca, and we’ll post them here. Together, we can make some significant change! Please spread the word, and talk to your church to make it happen. – Steve Heinrichs