Aboriginal people, also known as Indigenous people, are the descendants of the original inhabitants of North America. The Canadian Constitution recognizes three groups of Aboriginal people—First Nations, Métis and Inuit. These are three separate people groups with unique heritages, languages, cultural practices and spiritual beliefs, constituting approximately 4.3% of the Canadian population.
Canadian Aboriginal people are often marginalized due to systemic racism and stereotypes. Many of the misconceptions Canadians have about Aboriginal people have been reinforced throughout the history of the colonization of North America. A pertinent example of injustice done towards Aboriginal people is the residential school system.
At DMC, we encourage congregations to think beyond charity to include justice and advocacy as part of their response to Aboriginal people. There are many resources available to help Christians find ways to reconcile relationships with our Aboriginal neighbours.
- The CRC’s Canadian Aboriginal Ministry Committee’s (CAMC) Toolkit. There really is no better place for diaconal resources relating to Aboriginal people!
- The Christian Reformed Church in North America’s Aboriginal Ministry page, which contains a wealth of resources.
- Citizens for Public Justice’s Indigenous Justice page. CPJ is a national organization of members inspired by faith to act for justice in Canadian public policy.
- KAIROS Canada’s Indigenous Rights page. Synod 2015 has recommended the Blanket Exercise—a resource originally developed by KAIROS—as an excellent resource for all Christian Reformed churches.
- North American Indigenous Ministries, a non-profit focused on partnering with First Nations believers to reach out to communities that need the Gospel.
- The Assembly of First Nations, a national advocacy organization representing First Nation citizens in Canada.
Other Online Resources (blogs, vlogs, documentaries, etc.)
- Rather than individually list resources here, it is better to highlight the CRC’s Canadian Aboriginal Ministry Committee’s (CAMC) Toolkit. Visit the toolkit for articles, books, documentaries, music, workshops, worship resources, artwork, and more!