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Submitted by Ivy Clark 

An Invitation to Kinship, Remembrance & Engagement

Edmund Metatawabin CM, a First Nations chief and writer, once said, "There is no concept of justice in Cree culture. The nearest word is kintohpatatin, which loosely translates to "you've been listened to." But kintohpatatin is richer than justice - really it means you've been listened to by someone compassionate and fair, and your needs will be taken seriously."

May 5, Red Dress Day, is Canada's National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two Spirit People (MMIWG2S). The day awakens our attention to the 1200+ missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and two spirit people. Red Dress Day was first commemorated in 2010, inspired by Metis artist Jaime Black's REDress Project: an art installation of hundreds of red dresses hung in public space to raise awareness for the missing women and to give indigenous women "courage, strength and clarity" to "REClaim" their power and place. Why red? According to Jaime Black, red symbolizes vitality and violence; the only colour spirits can see to call the missing and murdered back to their families and loved ones. 

As part of our communal work on reconciliation / building right relations, and to honour the lament and significance the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-Spirit People (MMIWG2S) holds, we, Christ Church Cathedral, have chosen to i) stand in solidarity with prayer, ii) commit ourselves to the redemptive work of listening and learning the multi-faceted injustice perpetually impacting our Indigenous neighbours, iii) participate in communal dialogues with openness and humility; and iv) celebrate the heritage richness, strengths, and diverse talents of the Indigenous people.  

We encourage you to consider taking these next steps as God’s people of reconciliation:

  • Attend the online Cathedral’s 9:30am on-line morning prayer service or the 12:15pm in-person eucharist service on Red Dress Day, Friday, May 5. The 1200+ Missing and Murdered Women and Girls and Two-Spirited People will be remembered at these services with a special collect and other prayers.
  • On May 5th, visit the Cathedral in person and make a non-tax-receiptable cash donation during the collection at the service or in the donations box in the narthex. Donations collected on this day will be directed to programs supporting first nations women and girls. Alternatively, support organizations that work with Indigenous Women and Girls, e.g. the Native Women’s Association of Canada and the Pacific Association of First Nations Women.
  • Read the Executive Summary of The Final Report: Reclaiming Power and Place (Published 2019):
  • Listen to the CBC podcast series that speaks insightfully on MMIWG2S
  • Watch documentaries/movies such as Highway of Tears (a documentary about MMIWG in northern BC), and Rustic Oracle (a film)
  • Join one of the Reconciliation Circles when they may become available at CCC in the hopeful future. (Stay tuned for updates.)