Another step toward indigenous self-determination

By

Brenda Still

Dr. Randall Fairey, a member of the Governance Working Group, presents the motion. Photo: Art Babych
Dr. Randall Fairey, a member of the Governance Working Group, presents the motion. Photo: Art Babych

On July 4, General Synod unanimously passed Resolution A051, which set out the criteria for the selection of future national indigenous Anglican bishops (NIAB) as well as members of the Anglican Council of Indigenous People (ACIP) and Sacred Circle.

Although General Synod 2010 adopted Canon 22, which incorporated the structure of the National Indigenous Ministries into the constitution of the church, this selection criteria was left to be decided. The Governance Working Group first posed questions about the criteria at the 2009 Sacred Circle meeting, and in keeping with the principal of indigenous self-determination, the answers were up to the indigenous members of the church. After broad consultations, the 2012 meeting of Sacred Circle unanimously confirmed the criteria in this resolution brought to General Synod 2013.

Presenting the resolution, Randall Fairey of the Governance Working Group said that while the resolution was fully endorsed by the Council of General Synod, it was most importantly declared by the elders at Sacred Circle as a wise and acceptable way forward. Describing it as another “milestone on the journey for the canonical definition and governance of national indigenous ministry, ” Fairey acknowledged that “over the next triennium, more work needs to be done for the full evolution of this canon.”

Canon Laverne Jacobs suggested an amendment that would limit the number of terms people could serve on ACIP. That amendment, however, was rejected following comments from Harry Huskins, who seconded the original resolution. Archbishop David Ashdown also pointed out that the resolution was based on broad consultation within indigenous ministries and any significant changes should not be imposed by the General Synod.

Two other resolutions were passed on the evening of July 4. Resolution A052 made provision for the election of the Bishop Ordinary to the Canadian Forces. Resolution A50, which presented a form for “Notice of Restoration to Ministry” (after prior abandonment) was also approved.

Leigh Anne Williams

Leigh Anne Williams

Leigh Anne Williams joined the Anglican Journal in 2008 as a part-time staff writer. She also works as the Canadian correspondent for Publishers Weekly, a New York-based trade magazine for the book publishing. Prior to this, Williams worked as a reporter for the Canadian bureau of TIME Magazine, news editor of Quill & Quire, and a copy editor at The Halifax Herald, The Globe and Mail and The Bay Street Bull.

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