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Our Declaration of friendship, reconciliation, and respect

For years now, Aboriginal Youth Opportunities and Indigenous Family Centre have worked together by sharing resources and seeking ways to bring people together so that violence will end in our neighbourhood.

This past Friday, as AYO celebrated their third birthday (just a few weeks after IFC celebrated their 40th!) wanted to publicly declare their support for AYO. Recent events in our city (notably a large fundraiser cancelled by MCC when a local Pentacostal church would not allow smudging outside their building or anywhere on their grounds) made us realize that our relationship is indeed still unique and should be celebrated.

Here is what we promised!

Statement of Reconciliation and Respect From its beginnings over 40 years ago, the leadership of Indigenous Family Centre, as supported by the Christian Reformed Church in Canada, has consistently attempted to honour, celebrate, encourage and support Aboriginal cultural and spiritual practices. In the past, churches and government organizations forced Indigenous peoples to turn away from their centuries old practices as they related to prayer, worship, celebration and contemplation. In a truly Reformed understanding of theology, those who led IFC attempted to bridge this gap and honour these practices, which pointed to the one true Creator of heaven and earth. In life and practice, IFC has embraced Indigenous leadership in our board, our staff and our volunteers. In light of this, and in light of a broken and divided world where many inequalities and unfairness continues to exist, we make the following commitments. We will choose dialogue and discussion over disagreement. Yes, there may be times when we disagree, however, we will focus on and celebrate our ability to talk In light of spiritual life, we will promote practices that bring people to a deeper understanding of their place in God’s plan. In matters of justice, we will seek justice with and for Indigenous people, even when it means there may be discomfort for those of us who are non-Indigenous. We acknowledge that we live in Treaty 1 territory and enjoy the benefits and responsibilities that come with being a treaty person. We recognize this nation to nation agreement and seek to better understand how these rights and responsibilities should be worked out in our lives. We have seen the spirit of God work within people, bringing healing where there is hurt, hope where there is loss, reconciliation where there was rejection, light where there was darkness, peace where there was violence. We commit to following the spirit and continuing the work we have been given to do. Sincerely The staff, board and membership of IFC.

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