Canadian Aboriginal Ministry Committee

Known affectionately as “cam-c”, we’re a CRC committee that cares deeply about the relationships between Indigenous peoples and non-indigenous Canadians. You may have seen the art tour that we organized (reForming Relationships) or experienced the KAIROS Blanket Exercise, one of our favourite tools for reconciliation. We provide lay leadership to the CRC on Indigenous issues in Canada.

The Canadian Aboriginal Ministry Committee has the specific role of educating and mobilizing CRC members and congregations to live in reconciled relationships as covenant (treaty) people before our Creator with focus on reconciling the relationship between Indigenous people and non-indigenous people in Canada.

The Canadian Aboriginal Ministry Committee works to raise awareness of the shared history and of the present lived reality of Indigenous people in Canada. In doing so, relationships are built and justice is sought out by advocacy or raising more awareness.

Who is the CAMC member in your area? Find out here.

Workshops

KAIROS Blanket Exercise
The KAIROS Blanket Exercise will get you, for a time at least, walking in someone else’s shoes, and will raise your awareness and understanding of our common history in Canada.

Living the 8th Fire small group curriculum
Living the 8th Fire is a discussion based curriculum of 7 small group sessions. The curriculum as a whole can be used without prior knowledge or used to build upon previous learning. Developed by the Centre for Public Dialogue and the Canadian Aboriginal Ministry Committee, Living the 8th Fire is based on the CBC’s 8th Fire documentary and explores further on the themes of stereotyping and the history of assimilation.

Worship resources

Aboriginal Ministry Sunday
Every year on one of the Sundays nearest to National Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Christian Reformed churches across Canada recognize this day and celebrate the Aboriginal Ministries of the CRC. Join us in the celebration with bulletin inserts or covers and other worship resources.

Discernment in cross-cultural ministry
What does it look like to discern as a community which cultural practices honour Jesus and could be appropriately included in your worship service? Here’s the story of one CRC community’s experience, the Indigenous Christian Fellowship (formerly Indian Metis Christian Fellowship) in Regina.

Prayer guides

Month of Prayer for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women
Pray for healing, restoration, and reconciliation for all those involved in and touched by missing and murdered Indigenous women.

Lent resource: UN Declaration prayer guide
Walk through each of the 6 weeks of Lent praying about one or two themes of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

A Prayer for the Suicide Crisis
Indigenous youth are about 5 to 6 times more likely to commit suicide than non-Indigenous youth in Canada. Will you join us in praying about this systemic justice issue?

Diving deeper

Youth Ambassador of Reconciliation Program
The Youth Ambassador of Reconciliation Program is designed to provide non-Indigenous CRC young people with the tools and opportunity to act as bridges between their church community and a local Indigenous community.

reForming Relationships tour
The reForming Relationships art tour was a catalyst for building and re-building relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Canada, through the paintings of Cree artist Ovide Bighetty. The paintings were inspired by a traditional teaching amongst the First Nations of Turtle Island that before Europeans crossed the ocean, their elders had visions of people coming from the east with messages from the Creator. Although the tour has now ended, you can still purchase copies of the prints in the Kisemanito Pakitinasuwin (The Creator’s Sacrifice) series from the CRC’s Indigenous Christian Fellowship.

Recommended resources

Territory acknowledgment guide
In 2016, Synod repudiated the Doctrine of Discovery and the concept of ‘terra nullius’ as heresies. What does this mean, why does it matter, and how can we live into this commitment to seek reconciled relationships built on respect between Indigenous peoples and other inhabitants of "Turtle Island"? Territory acknowledgment may be a place for your congregation to start. This guide includes a template for land acknowledgements, best practices, and an example of a CRC congregation that took some steps in this direction

CRC statements
Justice and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples has been a key part of Christian Reformed Church ministry in Canada for a long time, ever since the founding of our first Urban Aboriginal Ministry in Winnipeg (the Indigenous Family Centre) more than 50 years ago.

Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action
Which call to action could you or your church help to accomplish? Where do you feel the Holy Spirit pulling on your heart in response to these calls?

We Drink Downstream: TRC video
This video was recorded at a debriefing event at First Vancouver CRC after the TRC event in Vancouver and is intended to provoke discussion around reconciliation in other CRC communities and contexts.

Find more recommended resources on The Network here.