A Long Road to Right Relationship | Sojourners

A Long Road to Right Relationship

The Anglican Church of Canada models restitution to Indigenous communities.
Illustration by Michael George Haddad

A FEW MONTHS AGO, I was driving from Peterborough, Ontario, to my home at Six Nations Reserve. The route took me through the traditional homelands of the Anishinaabe.

I began to feel and smell the spirit of the ancestors. On the right were farmlands; on the left, townhouses. In the distance, I could see the metropolis of Toronto. This is where Anishinaabe walked, hunted, gathered, and lived for years before first contact with Europeans. When the settlers came, they built structures to suit their needs. They took over the land by force, trickery, and other means. The concept of buying and selling land is absent from the Indigenous way of life. You cannot sell what the Creator has given you.

Many churches in Canada were built on Indigenous land, first by the Church of England and then the Anglican Church of Canada (ACC). Six Anglican churches were built on the Six Nations where I live. They are a part of my Anglican history; I can trace my Anglican roots to the early 1700s. It is a rich history. And complicated.

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