Responding to Questions about Remit 1: Establishing an Autonomous Indigenous Organization
Since launching the remit about restructuring the Indigenous Church in March 2023, we have received a number of questions about the remit process, as well as about the remit itself.
Some of these questions have asked: What is this remit about? Where did this remit come from? Why is a remit process needed? What is the voting process? What will the new Indigenous Church look like? How will it be funded? How will this Indigenous organization be in relationship with the regional councils and wider United Church?
In this video, Adele Halliday, Anti-Racism and Equity Lead, and Sara Stratton, Reconciliation and Indigenous Justice Animator, of the General Council Office respond to these questions and others that have been raised about the current Category 3 Remit on establishing an autonomous National Indigenous Organization within The United Church of Canada.
We hope that this video offers you additional information to help your regional council or your pastoral charge’s governing body to make a decision on the remit question by the deadline of March 31, 2024.
If this remit is approved, it would not immediately create a new Indigenous Church. Rather, the remit asks for the removal of barriers in order to give Indigenous people in the church the time and space they need to define their own future in relationship with the United Church.
In the meantime, some of the details about policy, practices, and overall function remain unknown. Some questions, such as those about finances and many of the other issues, will not have answers until the process and the accompanying conversations take place.
Though there is uncertainty about some of these details, there is certainty and clarity about one important aspect: being in relationship.
The proposal to the 44th General Council in 2023 from the National Indigenous Council clarifies that the request for the removal of structural barriers does not mean that the relationship between the Indigenous Church and the rest of the United Church is ending. The proposal describes the long relationship between the church and Indigenous peoples, and expresses the desire to set aside the notion of "mission" to Indigenous peoples and to truly move toward “being partners in God's call to all the Earth.”
The video about the remit can be viewed and downloaded on YouTube.
For background information about this remit, a study guide, and more, please read Remit 1: Establishing an Autonomous National Indigenous Organization. Questions can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.