The Primate’s Commission on the Doctrine of Discovery, Reconciliation and Justice has spent time “in thoughtful, political and theological reflection” on the nature of the doctrine of discovery and is currently working on developing a theological reflection on the doctrine that can be shared with the rest of the church.
The Rev. Andrew Wesley and Archbishop Terence Finlay, co-convenors of the commission, updated the spring meeting of Council of General Synod (CoGS) about this and other developments.
The commission last met Nov. 7 to 8 at St. Peter’s Anglican Church in Ohsweken Six Nations, Ont. Finlay said the group is still building relationships and doing research.
“We’re also talking about what does reconciliation look like in parishes and communities,” he said, noting that people across the country are taking many different kinds of steps to work toward reconciliation, such as studying the matter in confirmation classes and Bible studies. The commission is looking for ways to connect to all of that and to get a picture of what is happening at the grassroots level, he said.
Finlay said the commission is also considering how the quality of life in Indigenous communities could be improved by trying to understand the nature of treaties and the Indian Act.
The group was scheduled to meet next at the Carey Centre on the campus of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver in mid-May. While there, Finlay said the group would discuss the Indigenous leaders’ call to the wider church as well as a paper, “Reflections to Spark Conversations on Christian Theology,” produced by members of the ecumenical working group, including KAIROS executive director Jennifer Henry and Lori Ransom, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s senior advisor for churches and faith communities.