A Message to the Church Concerning the Primate’s Commission on Discovery, Reconciliation and Justice

Note: Please visit the Commission’s page for up-to-date information and resources.

June 10, 2014

Quick links:

Biographical info
Terms of Reference
A Covenant
Work of the Commission

A message to the church from Archbishop Fred Hiltz, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, concerning the Primate’s Commission on Discovery, Reconciliation and JusticeThis document in PDF format

At General Synod 2013 I announced my intention to establish a Commission to address the following matters.

  • Our Church’s plan of action by way of follow up to a resolution of General Synod 2010 repudiating the Doctrine of Discovery.
  • Our Church’s response to the question of the Chair of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Justice Murray Sinclair, “What is reconciliation?”
  • Our Church’s long term commitment in standing in solidarity with Indigenous Peoples in addressing the long-standing injustices they continue to bear in this country, not withstanding Canada’s formal status as a signatory to the United Nations Declaration of The Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

In consultation with our National Indigenous Anglican Bishop, Mark MacDonald, and the Co-ordinator for Indigenous Ministries, The Rev. Ginny Doctor, Terms of Reference for the Commission were drafted. A copy is attached.

In accordance with those Terms of Reference, the National Indigenous Anglican Bishop and I were charged in consultation with the Indigenous Leadership Circle, to appoint a Commission of no fewer than 12 members.

I am pleased to say that the following persons have been appointed to this Commission.

Jonas Allooloo
Lily Bell
John Bird
Sidney Black
Terry Finlay
Verna Firth
Jennifer Henry
Laverne Jacobs
Ellie Johnson
Lydia Mamakwa
Stanley McKay
Graydon Nicholas
Sol Sanderson
Riscylla Shaw
Stuart “Bud” Smith
Andrew Wesley
Amos Winter

A brief biography of each person is attached to this memo.

  • Archbishop Terrance Finlay has agreed to convene the first meeting at which the Co-Chairs will be selected. Thereafter, he and The Rev. Andrew Wesley will serve the Commission as Chaplains to its sacred work.
  • I ask your prayers as this Commission comes together and discerns the way to best organize its work. It is clear that it will likely operate through working groups addressing its three-fold charge. It is also clear that from the outset this Commission may not be able to complete its work within this triennium. The task is enormous, and the journey is long, but the vision is wonderful, for it is of God. It is best articulated in The 1994 Covenant, “our Journey of Spiritual Renewal”. A copy is attached.

2014 marks the 20th Anniversary of this Covenant. I can think of no better way to observe this anniversary than through the establishment of a Commission such as this.
May God bless each member.
May God bless their holy work.
May God bless our beloved Church in its abiding commitment to healing, reconciliation and new life in Jesus Christ our Lord.

As we uphold the Commission in prayer I commend this Collect, appointed for National Aboriginal Day.

Creator God,
from you every family in heaven and earth takes its name.
You have rooted and grounded us
in your covenant love,
and empowered us by your Spirit
to speak the truth in love,
and to walk in your way towards justice and wholeness.
Mercifully grant that your people,
journeying together in partnership,
may be strengthened and guided
to help one another to grow into the full stature of Christ,
who is our light and our life. Amen

Fred J. Hiltz
Archbishop and Primate

Links and Attachments:

Biographical info
Terms of Reference
A Covenant
Work of the Commission

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