From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
Anglican Indigenous Canadians to meet with international counterparts
Worldwide Faith News <email@example.com>
Tue, 04 Sep 2001 10:29:13 -0700
Indigenous Canadians to share experiences with international counterparts;
Self-determination on the agenda for network gathering
Among indigenous Anglicans, the Anglican Church of Canada is at the
vanguard of healing and reconciliation work and it will be that reputation
that five Canadian native people will carry with them to this month's
international meeting of the Anglican Indigenous Network in Australia.
The meeting, scheduled for September 16-21 in Cairns, will bring together
English-speaking indigenous Anglicans from Canada, New Zealand, Australia
and the United States. The network was formed in 1991 and first met the
following year in Hawaii.
The five Canadians who will travel to Australia to participate in the
gathering are: elder Gladys Cook from Portage la Prairie, Man.; Arctic
suffragan (assistant) Bishop Paul Idlout; Calgary diocesan priest Rev.
Mervyn Wolfleg; Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples co-chairperson Todd
Russell and the national church's indigenous ministries co-ordinator Donna
Bomberry. Two members of the Sisters of the Church from Oakville, Ont.,
Srs. Heather and Margaret, will also attend the gathering.
In an interview, Ms. Bomberry said the fact that Australia is hosting the
gathering for the first time is significant, particularly since aboriginal
Australians face many of the same issues as their Canadian counterparts,
such as self-determination.
The five-day meeting, which has an intentionally loose agenda, has four
themes, said Ms. Bomberry: common spirituality, concerns, gifts and hopes.
She expects that much of the conversation will turn to self-determination
"within our lands and in our church" and ministry and leadership training
of indigenous people.
Healing and reconciliation between indigenous people and others will also
be discussed at length, Ms. Bomberry predicted. The Canadian experience
will likely be a model for other countries, she added.
"We're far ahead," said Ms. Bomberry. "I know they all watch the Canadian
church, and we will share about the initiatives of the (church's) healing
fund and our current situation as a church in negotiations" with a federal
The other members of the network are learning from the Canadian experience.
It was through the network that the first native theological training
school was created. The U.S.-based Indigenous Theological Training
Institute, founded in 1996, hopes soon to launch its second volume of the
First Peoples Theology Journal. The first volume, released in July, 2000,
featured essays, theological reflections and poetry by native theologians,
priests and a bishop.
Since its first meeting in 1991, the Anglican Indigenous Network has met in
New Zealand, Alaska, Lethbridge, Alta., and a second time in Hawaii in 1999.
- 30 -
Indigenous Anglicans to gather in Hawaii
August 1999 website news story
'I am the church'
-- feature article on Gladys Cook, taken from Residential Schools: Legacy
and Hope, a special issue of MinistryMatters magazine
Healing and Reconciliation
part of the Residential Schools, Legacy and Response section of the
national church website (with information about the Anglican Church of
Canada's healing fund)
Anglican Church of Canada
600 Jarvis St.
Toronto ON L5E 2G1
(416) 924 9199 ext. 307
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