The 44th General Council met virtually between February 2022 and August 2022.
At that meeting, the General Council approved an amendment to the Basis of Union in The Manual of The United Church of Canada to establish an autonomous National Indigenous Organization. It also authorized a Category 3 Remit to test the will of the church with respect to this change.
The General Council's decision was in response to proposal NIC-01: Restructuring of the Indigenous Church from the National Indigenous Council, which named its vision of the two parts of the church (Indigenous and non-Indigenous) working side-by-side, and recommending the identification and removal of "all the structural barriers to developing and sustaining an autonomous Indigenous Church within The United Church of Canada". The way to remove these "structural barriers" is named in a proposal from the General Secretary, GS-10: Living into Reconciliation, which asks the church to give pre-emptive remit approval for whatever the Indigenous Church determines in the future as the place it will have in the United Church, guided by the Calls to the Church—and without the need for further remit approvals.
This is a Category 3 Remit, and so requires a vote by every regional council and each pastoral charge's governing body. If a regional council or a pastoral charge does not register a vote, that is considered a vote against the proposal.
There is one question to be voted on, as follows.
Does the regional council/pastoral charge agree to amend the Basis of Union to reflect:
- That The United Church of Canada will be organized as follows: (1) a three-council structure, consisting of communities of faith, regional councils and a Denominational Council*; and (2) an autonomous National Indigenous Organization; and
- That once the new autonomous National Indigenous Organization is established within The United Church of Canada, it will have its own mechanisms to make any future changes to its structure and processes, and, therefore will not be subject to the remit process under section 7.4.1 of the Basis of Union**; and
- The changes required for the establishment of the autonomous National Indigenous Organization.
Below are the remit and response forms. The response form must be signed and returned to the General Council Office to the address set out on the form.
Thank you for your participation in this important work of the church.
General Secretary, General Council
* The "Denominational Council" and the "General Council" are often used interchangeably.
** The detailed proposed changes to the Basis of Union are listed in a chart on page 5 of the Study Guide, under the section heading "Frequently Asked Questions".