The Remit is a voting process which involves pastoral charge governing bodies and Regional Council delegates. Below, we hope you’ll find some helpful resources to support your Board or Council’s courageous conversation and decision-making.
Your work towards a Council or Board vote
At their May and June in-person meetings, Regional Council delegates also voted on the Remit, which passed unanimously or vey nearly so in all cases. However, the real work lies in pastoral charges. Every pastoral charge governing body has the responsibility to vote on this Remit before March 2024. And if your pastoral charge does not vote, that counts as a No vote.
Engagement here is very important- and it’s an opportunity. Through this Remit we can take the time to learn about this important step in the relationship between the Indigenous and non-Indigenous United Church. There is no rush (until we reach February 2024!), so let’s take the time for courageous conversations. Have a look at the November 2023 letter to all pastoral charge boards and councils for more information, and please make sure you look at the resources shared on this page. Those include a learn, discuss, decide process for Boards/ Councils.
More courageous conversations resources and spaces in the future
Once we have finished follow up from three in-person Regional Council meetings through May and June, the Region can turn to working on additional learning resources and spaces for your pastoral charge governance. We hope to share videos from the resource people and knowledge keepers who spoke to the Regional meetings. And we will create online spaces where we can gather to listen, learn, and discuss. Watch the newsletter and our Regional events calendar.
If you have any questions in the meantime, please contact Julie Graham, Regional Minister: communications and justice (including right relations and Indigenous justice commitments), email@example.com
Resources for your discussions and decision
Finding key national resources for the Remit
The homepage for this process is on the 44th General Council site, because this is part of GC44’s decision making. All the materials for voting are all posted on this page (scroll to the bottom). The documents needed for voting have already been sent to pastoral charges, using ChurchHub contact information, but you can easily access them here.
Other important resources include the study guide, a text summary of frequently asked questions, and a January 2024 video on questions about the Remit, addressed by members of the non-Indigenous church. This accompanies a short video on Indigenous perspectives on the Remit, released in November 2023, and you can access that video here. Here is the January 2024 Letter from the General Secretary.
(Please note that these two newer videos largely replace the earlier video on frequently asked questions to date, though you are most welcome to continue to use it.)
Important additional context for your learning includes the Caretakers’ Calls to the Church; and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Resources from Regional Councils and beyond
These are found in the section below. The conversation about this Remit is similar in each Regional Council, in part because Canadians have been raised with or taught the same general assumptions and stereotypes about Indigenous people and peoples. So we’ve opted to share resources from across the church so that you have access to a variety of voices and ideas.
We will continue to update these throughout the Remit process, in addition to holding open meetings with resource people to help us have these conversations. If you have any questions or ideas for how best to hold these important conversations, please contact Julie Graham, Regional Minister: communications and justice (including right relations and Indigenous justice commitments), firstname.lastname@example.org
Resources from Regional Councils
All three Regional Councils:
Video of 23 November 2023 learning circle (approx. 90 minutes)
At the 2023 regional meeting in Camrose AB, knowledge keeper Russell Burns (James Smith Cree Nation) and national staff and knowledge keeper Charlene Burns (Maskwacis First Nation), and Executive Minister Shannon McCarthy offered delegates a presentation and conversation on the Remit. Click here for the video of that conversation. Please note that time stamps and explanations of content in each segment are included in the video description.
Prairie to Pine
At the 2023 regional meeting in Winnipeg, knowledge keeper Rev Cheryl Jourdain, past Speaker of the All Native Circle Conference, and Executive Minister Shannon McCarthy offered delegates a presentation and conversation on the Remit. Click here for the video of that conversation. Please note that time stamps and explanations of content in each segment are included in the video description on YouTube. Please read and share this November 2023 letter to all pastoral charge governing bodies.
In May 2023, past Cowessess First Nation Chief Cadmus Delorme was theme speaker at Living Skies Regional Council’s regional meeting. He was asked to challenge the Region on how the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in the treaty lands of Saskatchewan could and should change, and how he feels we might better accept the challenge of living into commitments such as the TRC Calls to Action.
Chief Delorme did not know that the meeting would also be discussing and voting on the Remit, and by coincidence (or rather, the Spirit moving), his words inspired many in the room into a deeper understanding of the Remit and the reasons for it. In particular, people found his framing and discussion on “two canoes on the same river” to be an important way of approaching the Remit. In a splendid illustration of Murphy’s Law, the Zoom recording of his presentation was unusable. Below you’ll find other examples of Chief Delorme’s work, including a somewhat similar presentation.
Video: What We Have Truly Inherited: Chief Cadmus Delorme, Solstice Series at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum. Starting at 23:00, Chief Cadmus Delorme gives a presentation quite similar to the one he offered at the 2023 Living Skies Regional Council meeting. The Canoes reference is at about 50:00.
How the First Nations canoe and Canada canoe can once again travel side by side: Straight Talk with Chief Cadmus Delorme (starting around 10:20, but the whole video is short and good).
Archbishop Bolen and Chief Delorme call for new ways of “Walking With Your Neighbour” A comprehensive article on similar conversations about respect and treaty relationship was hosted by our Catholic kin in Saskatchewan, and echoes many United Church conversations about finding new ways into a different future.
Antler River Watershed, Western Ontario Waterways and Horseshoe Falls Regional Councils in Ontario are working together to offer video and print resources. Please click here to review all of these, and choose what works best for you. A great starting point is their August 2023 reflection on some commonly asked questions.