International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples

9 August 2019

Rev. Canon Robert Two-Bulls commissions the Maori youth in Lompoc, California ahead of their journey to Pine Ridge Reservation

“We believe that God is leading the Church to a turning point in its history and that the full partnership of indigenous peoples is essential. Therefore we pledge to work together to exercise our leadership in contributing our vision and gifts to transform the life of the Christian community”. From the mission statement of the Anglican Indigenous Network.

As reported by ACNS, the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada recently voted overwhelmingly to approve steps to enable a self-determining indigenous church within the Church. It is only the second member church of the Anglican Communion to do so, the other being the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia.

To mark and celebrate International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, which falls on August 9th, we are sharing here some stories from indigenous communities across the Anglican Communion.

The first (pictured above) is an account of a youth exchange which recently took place between two Anglican indigenous communities – one from Aotearoa, New Zealand, the other in South Dakota, USA. In this account, Canon Isaac Beach talks about the value and richness of this experience for the young people. Canon Isaac, a Maori of Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Kahungunu and Ngāti Rangitihi decent, is Kaikarakia (prayer leader) at Saint Luke’s in Paki Paki in the Diocese of Te Tairāwhiti, Aotearoa. He was a youth representative for the Province of Aotearoa, New Zealand, Polynesia at the recent Anglican Consultative Council. Reflecting on the youth exchange, Canon Isaac said, “I strongly believe exposing our young people to international experiences through indigenous exchange is critical to informing how they can live a Christ-centred life. It is a wonderful tool for intentional discipleship.” Read Canon Isaac’s account here about the indigenous youth exchange.

The second story is from Guyana and describes the work being done by the Mothers’ Union amongst – and by -indigenous people. It is accompanied by a brilliant video showing the impact of this work. Guayana storyGuyana video: Gloria’s story.

The third is a blog from Brazil – an account of an ecumenical round table hosted by Anglicans to work more intentionally for inclusion of indigenous people. It expresses the personal views and reflections of the author. Brazil round table.

The final account comes from a very different part of the world, West Malaysia, and demonstrates the commitment of Archbishop Moon Hing to ministry with indigenous people: West Malaysia story.

This International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, please pray for Indigenous/First Nations Anglicans. Mindful that many indigenous communities are facing the worst impacts of climate change, as well as holding deep knowledge about sustainable living, please pray that that the recent Anglican Consultative Council resolution A17.06 be fulfilled, namely:

A17.06 Climate resilience

The Anglican Consultative Council:

  1. regrets that the ongoing impacts of climate change are yet to be adequately resourced or responded to with due seriousness or urgency by all Member Churches, and therefore commits immediately to:
  2. recognising the important role of Indigenous/First Nation peoples’ knowledge in building resilience to climate change in communities