The Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples recently met in Toronto from March 12-15. Ministry reports were heard from across Canada. The council also heard reports on the various partnerships such as the International Indigenous Urban Ministry Gathering, The Anglican Indigenous Network, and General Synod. The National Indigenous Anglican Bishop and the Coordinator for Indigenous Ministry also presented ministry reports. The Primate joined the meeting on March 13 to talk about the Primate’s Commission on Discovery, Reconciliation and Justice. The anniversary of the 1994 Covenant was also discussed at length. ACIP has received agenda time at the Council of General Synod meeting in May to discuss the twenty years of the Covenant. There may be some type of ceremony at that time but that will be decided on the Working Group assigned the Covenant. Other items of great concern are the implementation of the Canon 22 amendments and the 2015 Sacred Circle. A planning team for Sacred Circle was names and several locations were also suggested. There was also good discussion on our authority within the Anglican Church of Canada and what can be done to help the wider church understand that we need and want to re-claim our God given authority for Indigenous ministry.

As the Council deliberated, Freda LePine was keeping track of points to ponder, important items that will need more work. Since ACIP meets only once per year, it was decided that smaller working groups would be formed to work on these important issues. The Indigenous House of Bishop’s Leadership Circle is another mechanism for action. It was voiced several times that ACIP needs to be more active to support the Office of the NIAB. Seven Working Groups were formed at address the following issues:

Seven Sacred Points of our Spiritual Movement

  1. 1994 Covenant working group – Celebrate it, communicate it, look at next steps, streamline the process for becoming an Indigenous Mission Area (Stanley Sainnawap, IHOBLC, Ruth Carroll)
  2. Financial accountability – what money is out there for Indigenous Ministry? Incorporation of Sacred Circle/ACIP, advocate for accountability to Indigenous ministry on the part of ACC, design presence across ACC on basis of Indigenous identity, we have to find a way to not exclude urban Indigenous. (Stanley Sainnawap, Andrew Wesley, IHOB, Todd Russell, Chris Harper)
  3. Develop two statements: “where we are,”  we have received wide verbal acceptance but only spotty support; statement on stipendiary ministry and establishing Indigenous ministries, support it, how and where we can intervene. (Mark, IHOB)
  4. Negotiate with House of Bishops on Indigenous Authority and Indigenous church. First step is to identify key issues (Mark and IHOB LC).
  5.  Canon 22 implementation and a more active ACIP (Larry Beardy, Adam Halkett, Willard Martin, Todd Russell)
  6. ACIP Advocay and Awareness for spiritual growth of Indigenous people:  Support for Regional ministries, Residential Schools, Catechist training, urban ministry, translations, suicide, youth,  Anglican Church doing ministry “with,” not to Indigenous Peoples, Sacred Circle, NIAB, Invisible women statement (Ruth Carroll, Hannah Alexie, Freda LePine, Carolyn Chum, Sylvia James, Dixie Bird, Ruby Robinson)
  7. Dialogue with Chiefs of our Indigenous Anglican communities (Adam Halkett, Larry Beardy, Freda LePine)

Members in attendance:  Norman Casey, Freda LePine, Lydia Mamakwa, Sylvia James, Ruby Robinson, Hannah Alexie, Laverne Jacobs, Larry Beardy, Adam Halkett, Dixie Bird, Chris Harper, Carolyn Chum, and Ruth Carroll

Office of National Indigenous Anglican Bishop:  Mark MacDonald, Teresa Mandricks, Ginny Doctor

Members unable to attend:  Willard Martin, Todd Russell, Sid Black

In-depth minutes of the meeting will be available at a later date.