Evangelical connections with National Indigenous Peoples Day

12 June 2023

June 21 is National Indigenous Peoples Day. This is a day for all Canadians to recognize and celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples (as the Government of Canada's website explains).

This special day was established in 1996, inspired in part by the vision of Elijah Harper, an Oji-Cree member of Parliament at the time, and the 1995 Sacred Assembly that he called.

Former EFC presidents Bruce Clemenger and Brian Stiller participated in that assembly. Here's Stiller’s speech from the Sacred Assembly. Clemenger played a role in reviewing and editing an assembly statement called the Reconciliation Proclamation.

The EFC continues to celebrate the Reconciliation Proclamation as landmark document that is helping guide the EFC toward right relationship with Indigenous Peoples. A few years ago the EFC announced seven commitments ( toward right relationship, and here are some initiatives in the works.

  • The Seven Commitments Working Group, a group of leaders committed to assisting the EFC in sparking conversation and action around right relationship, continues to encourage a variety of activities including the first of the EFC’s seven commitments, namely to circulate, re-introduce and remember the Reconciliation Proclamation.
  • The EFC board has formally adopted the Reconciliation Proclamation.
  • The Seven Commitments Working Group is developing a documentary about the historic and spiritual importance of the 1995 Sacred Assembly and the Reconciliation Proclamation.
  • There are also plans for Evangelicals to hold a ceremony to remember and recommit ourselves to the principles and values described in the Reconciliation Proclamation.

Happy National Indigenous Peoples Day (and National Indigenous History Month, as many including MCC Canada also observe.)

Image from

Author: Joel Gordon