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:
- working together to strengthen, continue and encourage our work in the Indigenous communities we serve;
- To unite our people by the grace of God as we strive for self-determination and self-reliance;
- To help our people re-affirm their Christian faith after the scars and pain of residential school;
- To restore traditional spirituality based on land and Creation based teachings;
- 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?”6 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)