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First Nations relationship-building

We at Langley Mennonite Fellowship acknowledge our presence on Stó:lō Kwantlen land and are grateful to our First Nation hosts.

 

Truth and Reconciliation Commission Findings – Conversations on next steps for our churches

Saturday, November 28th, 2015 from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm
to discuss the Truth & Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s 94 Recommendations; specifically that pertain to the churches in Canada and how we might respond as churches in MCBC. You can find the recommendations here:

Meeting at Langley Mennonite Fellowship 20997 – 40th Avenue Langley, BC.
Cost: $10 includes lunch

 TRC Nov 28 2015

 

Potluck lunch with Kwantlen First Nation elder Cheryl Gabriel, Oct 4th

In LMF’s ongoing journey of learning more about our First Nations neighbours and building a relationship with them we have invited some members of the Kwantlen First Nation to join us on Sunday October 4th. Cheryl Gabriel, an elder and Education Coordinator will be with us. She will be joined by her son Brandon and partner Melinda. They will join us for potluck and then be sharing some of their story, their history and protocols with us. We look forward to this visit and invite everyone to participate as we continue on this journey together.

 

Canadian Mennonite fundraiser banquet with Brander McDonald, April 18th

Brander McDonald, Indigenous Relations Coordinator for Mennonite Church British Columbia will share his music and talk about his work as the main feature of Canadian Mennonite’s annual banquet to be held at Langley Mennonite Fellowship, 20997 40 Ave, Langley, BC, on Saturday, April 18 at 6pm. McDonald, billing himself as a Cree First Nations believer in Jesus, speaks of his two passions, “One, the passion of what it means to be a First Nations cultural person and to be fully engaged as a lifelong follower of Jesus. Not the Jesus of residential schools of the past, not of government policy, but the Saviour represented in the gospels and even of Anabaptist traditions. I have a passion to share what it means to carry this cross-cultural heart for the healing of my native peoples and the church community to which I grew up in. The second passion is being a singer/songwriter who can share these same stories and lessons through song and speech.”
Tickets to the event are free. This is a fundraising event open to all Mennonite churches, and a call for donations will be made at the end of the night. Space is limited, so reserve your tickets early by calling the church at 604 530 0333 or emailing the church office at langfell @ telus.net

BranderMcDonald

 

Blanket Exercise, April 11th

Emmanuel Mennonite Church, Abbotsford
April 11, 9-11am

The Blanket Exercise is a workshop that explores the nation-to-nation relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada. Blankets arranged on the floor represent land and participants are invited to step into the roles of First Nations, Inuit and later Métis peoples. The workshop helps people to understand how the colonization of this land impacts those who were here long before settlers arrived. It engages people’s minds and hearts in understanding why the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples is often broken and how we can take action together.

The “Exercise” takes from 60-90 minutes and will be followed by a Healing Circle.

The Indigenous Justice Ministry of the Diocese of New Westminster in partnership with Mennonite Central Committee Canada Aboriginal Neighbors Program invites you to join in a participatory educational event to raise awareness and learn of the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada.

Find out more and how to register here.

 

3rd Sto:lo History & Culture Learning Day, Feb 7th

St. Marys Residential School
February 7, 1-4.30pm

Supported by Mennonite Church BC. There is no need to RSVP, a $10 donation is suggested.

Come hear local Fraser Valley Indigenous leadership voice their expertize and passion on various subjects regarding history, governance, treaty, land, sovereignty, residential schools, healing, relationship, justice, social justice, language and culture.
The main speakers will be again be Sto:lo Sonny McHalsie of the Sto:lo Siems Anthropology Department. Those who attended the 2nd Sto:lo History and Culture day said they wanted to hear from Sonny again.
This a one in a series of dialogues that we are engaging upon with our Indigenous neighbours.

About the Speaker:

Sonny-McHalsie-1

Naxexelhts’i, also know as Albert (Sonny) McHalsie, is one of the most knowledgeable local historians, specializing in the area of Sto:lo heritage and culture. He will talk to us about the history and traditions of the Sto:lo people. He is currently the Director & Cultural Advisor of the Stó:lo Research and Resource Management Centre. The Centre operates on behalf of the Stó:lo Nation and Stó:lo Tribal Council – representing 18 of the 24 Stó:lo Bands within the Lower Fraser River Watershed of southwestern British Columbia. Sonny has interviewed many Stó:lo Elders and researched various aspects of Stó:lo culture and history. Sonny was a contributing author of You Are Asked To Witness: The Stó:lo in Canada’s Pacific Coast History (1996). He was also a co-author of the book I am Stó:lo: Katherine explores her heritage (1997) – focusing on his family and his daughter Katherine. He sat on the editorial board and was a contributor to the award winning publication A Stó:lo Coast Salish Historical Atlas (2001). He has worked for the Stó:lo since 1985. Some of his areas of expertise include Stó:lo Place Names and cultural landscape features. He is a member of the Shxw’owhamel First Nation, is married, and is the proud father of two girls and six boys, and grandfather to one grandson. Sonny also represents his family as the Siya:m within the traditional Shxw’owhamel Siyá:m Council. He continues to fish at his ancestral fishing grounds located in the Stó:lo Territory.

For more information go to the MCBC website ‘Indigenous Relations’ page to see a video of Sonny McHaisie.

 

MCBC Indigenous Relations

Mennonite Church British Columbia’s Indigenous Relations Coordinator is Brander McDonald, a Cree First Nations believer. Find out more here.

Brander will lead us in music in our Advent service on December 7, 2014.

 

Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Vancouver, 2013

Here is a video of the Expression of Reconciliation presented by a group of Mennonites together at the TRC in Vancouver:

Reconciliation from Dave Heinrichs on Vimeo.