The contemporary issues facing First People of Canada have their roots in history. Through colonial expansion, treaties, racism, ignorance and government policy, the First Nations of Canada were forced off their traditional lands and onto reserves, usually located in remote locations with few economic opportunities. Historically, government policies attempted to eliminate aboriginal culture and force aboriginal people to assimilate with mainstream Canadian culture. The residential school system forcibly separated families and broke cultural ties. The result has been catastrophic for aboriginal people with many suffering from chronic poverty, dysfunctional families, cycles of abuse and addiction, high suicide rates, high crime rates and poor health.
God calls us to reconcile with our brothers and sisters, and neighbours, and to start this lifelong journey by asking forgiveness for what was done on our behalf and in the past by governments and churches. We can begin to break the destructive cycles that have kept aboriginal and non-aboriginal people apart. Here are some resources that might help you and your church get started on this journey of healing.