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A statement from the Northern Manitoba Area Mission

We, the Clergy and Elders present, at the meeting of the Northern Manitoba Area Mission Council of Indigenous People on July 3 –5th, 2019 at Christ Church in Sagkeeng, Manitoba make the following statement regarding work to be done to support and strengthen Indigenous Spiritual Ministry throughout the area served by the Council.

 We acknowledge the vision of the Elders from the 1960’s to allow God to lead and guide our work in His time, not ours, on the basis of, “fear not, I will protect you” as we continue our “spiritual journey “together.

We further acknowledge the Mission statement of:

  1. working together to strengthen, continue and encourage our work in the Indigenous communities we serve;
  2. To unite our people by the grace of God as we strive for self-determination and self-reliance;
  3. To help our people re-affirm their Christian faith after the scars and pain of residential school;
  4. To restore traditional spirituality based on land and Creation based teachings;
  5. To de-colonize our ministry on the basis of love, compassion and sharing God’s Word:

We further acknowledge that the work to be done includes such things as the “meth crisis” that many of our communities are struggling with, high unemployment, high suicide rates, shortage of clergy workers, shortage of financial resources, and in some communities to restore and rebuild the church buildings further acknowledge that as a Council (and churches).

We must continue to work and pray for the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (and men) across Canada and particularly in the Area served by the Council.

In conclusion, we offer the following “meth story “of Dixie Bird to help restore hope for those who use meth:

“On May of 2003, I thought was ready to settle down. In other words, get married to the father of my kids. I lived a sober life. I had a good paying job. I got a brand-new place and bought a truck. I owned a dog. I played ice hockey. My dream was to represent Canada, I got scouted to play in Europe for a First Nation Hockey Team. In the meantime, the father of my kids was making another family. When I confronted him about this, he lied? So, I asked him to leave. I was devastated and so I took matters into my own hands by getting revenge. I dated his best friend, who happened to be a drug dealer. On our first date, he introduced me to meth at a relative’s place. I was hooked for eight months straight. As you'd probably guess, the drugs were free for me. I eventually lost my integrity and everything I worked so hard to accomplish. I lost my job. I didn't keep my kids and my dog got killed. I did not get to live my dream as a hockey player to represent Canada. The man I dated was asked to leave my community by the Elders. I lost excessive weight and I got severely depressed. I eventually got out of my house to try get my “normal life “back. I joined my family for our yearly gathering. We played soccer but my body over heated from the stored meth that settled in my body. I was having an “over-dose “and didn’t know it. I laid down on the bed as I was going into convulsions. I refused to go to the Health Centre, but my dad got tips from the local nurse to watch over me. The next day, I asked him to pray for me. So, he got a friend from up north to do what is called “hands on “healing. His wife joined us. The process was intense and exhausting, but it worked. I love Bishop Adam, his wife Theresa Halkett and the friend from Stanley Mission Doris Roberts for that healing through God our heavenly father. Sincerely,” Dixie Bird 

What is Jesus calling you to do?

John 14 “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it werenot so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, thereyou may be also. 4 And where I go you know, and the way you know.”5 Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?”Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. 

“May God bless this new vision and give us grace to accomplish it. Amen.” (Covenant Prayer) 

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Oji-Cree Bible Translation Checking

In the complex task of translating the Bible, it is helpful for a translation team to break the process down into manageable and measurable steps. The new Oji-Cree translation team is working on the project chosen by their church and community–that is, the scripture verses contained in the weekly (Epistle and Gospel) lectionary readings used in Sunday Services.

For each passage, the translation team work through steps in order to ensure that the translation in their mother tongue is clear, accurate, natural and acceptable.

  • The first step is the “First Draft“, which includes learning what the original passage means and then expressing that meaning in the translator’s own words.
  • The second step is a “Team Check“, during which the translator reads her First Draft to the other Oji-Cree translators in the translation team, and the team offers suggestions, corrections, or advice. The translator then makes appropriate revisions.
  • The third step is a “Community Check“. The text is printed and distributed in a preliminary form that other members of the community can read (or be read to), and the translator receives feedback and suggestions from Oji-Cree speakers of different ages in the community. The translator again makes appropriate revisions.
  • The fourth step is a “Back Translation“. A team member who did not work on the translation reads the text without referring to the original source, and makes a translation back into English. This English language back translation can now be used to verify whether the translation is complete and accurate.

After the team accomplishes these four steps, the passage is ready for step five, a checking session with a Translation Consultant. A translation consultant is a person trained in linguistics, cross-cultural studies, Biblical languages and content, along with in-depth experience working in minority-language translation programs in the field.

In January 2017, the New Oji-Cree Bible translation team had their first “Consultant Check”.

Travel to Kingfisher Lake

On Monday Morning, January 23, Bill and Norma Jean Jancewicz, our "Bible Translation Facilitators" from Wycliffe Bible Translators drove to Ruth Heeg's house in Waterloo Ontario. Ruth is a translation consultant who has agreed to come out of retirement for a while to help us with our Oji-Cree translation project. The three were driven to the Toronto airport by Ruth's husband Dick.

Meg Billingsley, a "translation consultant-in-training" took the trains from her apartment in Georgetown and met the toher three at the airport. They checked in and were off to Thunder Bay together.

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