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Indigenous Justice Ministry Coordinator for the diocese of New Westminster, Brander Raven McDonald with encouragement and collaboration from Bishop Skelton is pleased to announce a plan for the creation of the D of NW Indigenous Justice Circle.

So far, two five hours sessions are planned for 2016. The first Circle, January 13, 2016, will take place in the Trendell Lounge, the shared facility of St. John’s, Shaughnessy and the Synod Offices at 1410 Nanton Avenue from 10 am until 3 pm.

At this first Circle, a principal component will be discussions regarding the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) recommendations pertaining to the Church. All those participating will need to be familiar with the summary report of the TRC, particularly relating to reconciliation work with church groups. This material is available in the TRC Calls to Action document available by clicking here.

In the Circle, calls to action in the categories of: education, awareness raising, relational development strategies and First Nations world view basics will be explored.

The next scheduled Circle is May 25, 2016, in the same location. The Circle will gather from 10:30 am to 3:30 and work on strategies toward developing a network for the work of Indigenous Justice as it pertains to the diocesan mandate for Aboriginal engagement.

Brander hopes that these Circles will be fertile grounds for: networking, relationship building with local First Nations leadership, the establishment of an Aboriginal Elders advisory, increased cultural awareness and increased awareness and knowledge of local First Nations events and activities that are taking place around the diocese with the goal of establishing some partnerships and cooperative events.

Out of these Circles a number of possible education and learning opportunities might develop, including training on basic cross cultural First Nations world view understandings of Indigenous protocols. Brander would like to encourage the intentional visioning of a physical cultural space located on a diocesan site where local First Nations events can task place, with the goal of building community and providing opportunities for local First Nations engagement.

It is important that this process be evaluated in order to determine that we are all journeying in the same direction on the same road, or do we need to make some course corrections? With that in mind the development and implementation of evaluation tools regarding First Nations engagement with each of our parishes would be an important component of the Circle’s first year.

Click here to register for the first Indigenous Justice Circle on January 13th, 2016

If you would like more information, email Brander at