A) Before You Read
B) READ: Chapter 5
King uses strong language and describes Christianity as a “conquest religion”. (p 103) Terry LeBlanc (Mi’kmaq-Acadian), a contemporary Christian theologian says, “The message of Jesus to First Nations, Metis and Inuit was “weaponized.” (LeBlanc is talking about the institutionalized presentation of Jesus, not the actual life, ministry and teachings of Jesus.)
“The western Church assumed that the land and its history that produced European
Christianity was sacred it in its role in the development and communication of Christian faith. This assumption is so deeply engrained in the churches of the West that many Indigenous People assume that Christianity and Euro-American culture are inseparable.”
– from CRC for Public Dialogue – Living the 8Th Fire curriculum – Circle 7
Re-read King’s pages 102-103.
- a) Do you agree that during colonialism, the Good News of Jesus Christ became “the bad news” to many Indigenous people?
b) What hindered the missionary settlers from contextualizing the Gospel?
c) How has you own cultural background shaped your view on mission work?
What is our responsibility to the cause of the gospel in our twenty-first century context?
d) How could the Gospel message of Jesus be presented to First Nations today?
e) What is it about the gospel message that transcends culture so powerfully Pause to Read (1 Corinthians 12:4-7).
”Kill the Indian and save the man.” Richard Pratt, an army captain believed that education would be a better tool of civilizing and assimilating Native people, beginning with First Nations children. Thus, he established the first US modern, off-reserve residential/boarding school.
Residential schools in Canada popped up in the 1840’s. The architect of Canada’s residential school was Duncan Campbell Scott, who aimed to install schools that would “rid Canada of the Indian problem.” (p. 72)
The 3 abuses of the church-run residential schools were outlined: a) North America decided that White values would be prime and Native values extinguished; b) there was not government oversight of the schools; c) health standards and services were substandard.
- a) In what ways has Duncan Campbell Scott’s move evolved Canadian government policy in the last 100 years?
b) What was the immediate and long-term impacts of this assimilation on Native people?
c) What got in the way of presenting the Person of Jesus to Native people during the decades of residential school education?
What do you think about the USA and Canadian governments’ apologies to Native Americans and to First Nations, Metis and Inuit in Canada? What do you think about King’s question as to whether or not the Canadian government’s apology was legitimate, when it later denied a history of colonialism?
D) Comment on the Facebook Page
How difficult it has been, O Creator, for us to be humble and caring.
We so easily forget your teachings of the just and right relationships that we are to have with each other, as brothers and sisters, in this land.
We so easily forget that our responsibility carries from generation to generation for all those who are hurt and oppressed and denied their place in the circle of life – those who still need our support, who need justice and peace.
How difficult it is for us to remain humble as we walk the road of life.
May we find peace so that we might share peace that is genuine and real, and help others to know peace within.
Spirit of life, help us to walk the road of integrity back to the circle of life, where we will be truly joined by all our brothers and sisters.
Meegwetch Che Manido (Thank you Great Spirit).
From Living the 8th Fire – CRC Center for Public Dialogue