Preparing for the National Aboriginal Day of Prayer

Since May 31, the Anglican Church of Canada has been engaged in 22 Days of Healing and Reconciliation, deepening learning, prayer and action focused on the Anglican Healing Fund. The church across Canada has focused on the Fund’s commitment to healing and support for community-based Indigenous language recovery projects, a period that will culminate with the National Aboriginal Day of Prayer on June 21.

Anglican parishes and communities across the country are preparing to mark the National Aboriginal Day of Prayer in different ways. In the Diocese of Ottawa, for example, Christ Church Cathedral is hosting a prayer walk for healing and Indigenous language revitalization through an outdoor labyrinth.

The event will begin with a reading of the names of all existing and endangered Indigenous languages in Canada. Live speakers and ethnographic recordings of different languages, past and present, will offer those present an opportunity to experience the rich diversity of Indigenous languages—“absorbing and being exposed to and internalizing the fact of Indigenous languages, and also the loss of that,” Dean Shane Parker said.

Indigenous Ministries has been actively involved in many local initiatives. For his part, National Indigenous Bishop Mark MacDonald will observe National Aboriginal Day this year while visiting the Diocese of Rupert’s Land.

“There is a growing effort to observe [National] Aboriginal Day across the Church,” Bishop MacDonald said.

“I am encouraged by the number of requests we receive to be involved with local efforts … I wish everyone the best for a beautiful day.”

Multiple resources exist to help Anglicans observe the National Aboriginal Day of Prayer. Propers for the BAS Calendar of Memorials and Commemorations are available as PDF files in English, French, Inuktitut, and Western Cree.

Other resources include the Litany for the Healing and Restoration of our Church, from the Diocese of Rupert’s Land, and Honouring the Four Directions, a prayer resource based on the colours of the medicine wheel.

A Ceremony of Solidarity for the National Aboriginal Day of Prayer, 2016 also remains available, which presents sections of the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People interspersed with the Ten Principles guiding the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, along with prayers.

How will you be marking the National Aboriginal Day of Prayer? Share with us on Facebook or on Twitter, and consider making a gift to the Anglican Healing Fund.

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