The Anglican Church of Canada (ACOC) invites you to pray with them for indigenous people.
For 10 years, officially, the ACOC has recognized the National Indigenous Day of Prayer.
Mark MacDonald, National Indigenous Anglican Bishop, says, "When it initially started out, it was one of the only places where the Church recognized the importance of Indigenous people ... For us, it's really a chance for the Church to highlight the position of Indigenous people in the life of Canada and The Anglican Church of Canada."
MacDonald says celebrations vary from church to church. Many churches will have a communion service in which they will use readings that are sent out for the National Indigenous Day of Prayer. Sometimes, they will have a sermon on that or often they will invite Indigenous people to come and speak.
MacDonald says, "It is widely recognized across the church. We're quite happy with the way it has been observed."
5% of our people are Indigenous - meaning that they are First Nations, Metis, and Inuit. We have about 65,000 people who are Indigenous in the ACOC and that's a growing number. It's really not only about the past, recognizing both the pain of the past and some of the good things of the past, it is also looking at a better future for Canada."
Ginny Doctor, Coordinator of Indigenous Ministries says that the Church benefits from acknowledging indigenous culture: "People need to recognize the gift that Indigenous people bring. They bring many gifts in terms of language and in terms of their culture ... Those kinds of things are gifts that were given by the Creator. So I see National Indigenous Day of Prayer as a time to recognize those gifts and also a time to promote reconciliation."
MacDonald sees great growth in the Anglican Church and says, "Indigenous churches are trying to be more self-determining. In the past, decisions were made for Indigenous congregations and most of the leadership was from non-Indigenous people. That is changing rapidly. Indigenous people are playing a larger role in the whole church. ... We have 30 dioceses. At the present time, we have 13 Indigenous bishops.
"We see more and more Indigenous people playing key roles, in terms of leadership in the Church. I think this speaks to their acceptance on one level, but also in some sense that Indigenous ideas and ideals are important for the future of the Church."
Both for MacDonald and Doctor, they see their Christian faith and indigenous heritage as mutually beneficial.
Doctor says, "They do not contradict one another."MacDonald says, "For me, the Indigenous way of life and the Christ way of life are mutually illuminating. They speak a lot to each other in a very powerful way. What I look forward to, in the present and in the future, is to see the Word of God - Jesus - become living and real, to become the Word made flesh in Indigenous culture and communities."