Wrongs to Rights: How Churches can Engage the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

illust. Matt Veith
Book, 2016, 164 pp
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On December 3rd, 2020, the Government of Canada tabled legislation to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This is significant. According to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the Declaration is “the framework for reconciliation” for Canadian society. But what exactly is the Declaration? What does it mean for the church?

To educate and raise public support, Mennonite Church Canada is making Wrongs to Rights available for free through CommonWord. Short articles, poetry, artwork and a study guide make this resource perfect for individual or (online) group reflection.

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Copies are limited. We encourage folks to organize online reading groups. Orders of over 9 copies will require approval from the Indigenous-Settler Relations program.

Honouring the call of Indigenous peoples from around the world, Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission has specifically summoned, not only the State, but all churches to embrace the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. But what is the Declaration? And how might it gift and reorient Christian faith and practice?

In Wrongs to Rights, over 40 authors from diverse backgrounds – Indigenous and Settler, Christian and Traditional – wrestle with the meaning of the Declaration for the Church. With a firm hold on past and present colonialism, the authors tackle key questions that the Declaration and the TRC’s call to “adopt and comply” raises: What are its potential implications? How does it connect to Scripture? Can it facilitate genuine decolonization, or is “rights talk” another form of imperialism? And what about real life relationships? Can the Declaration be lived out – collectively and personally – on the ground?

Short articles combined with poetry and visual arts provide a rich, engaging and accessible resource for individual and group conversation in 164 pages. A study guide is included.

You may also wish to purchase the TRC Calls to Action and UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: A Resource for Churches booklet, available separately.

Contributors include:

Sylvia McAdam, Walter Brueggemann, Edgar Heap of Birds, Jennifer Preston, Sharon Venne, Kwok Pui-Lan, Joyce Green, Mike Barker, Lowell Ewert, Shannon Perez, Ched Myers, George Littlechild, Mark Brett, Brenda Gunn, Will Braun, Shane Rhodes, Jennifer Harvey, Lorenzo Veracini, Gord Hill, Lori Ransom, Ethna Regan, Adrian Jacobs, Linda Hogan, Dave Driedger, Laurel Dykstra, Chris Budden, Fran Kaye, Harry Lafond, Terry LeBlanc, Melanie Kampen, Laiza Pacheco, Jeff Denis, Adam J. Barker, Emma Battell Lowman, Sheryl Lightfoot, Melanie Dennis Unrau, Sue Eagle, KAIROS, James Perkinson, Ryan Dueck, Christian Peacemaker Teams, Angela Sterritt, Deanna Zantingh, Steve Bell, Romeo Saganash, Steve Heinrichs

The 2-sided poster, found on pages 34-35, 124-125 can be downloaded separately here.

Also see related
podcast and article.

Also see additional reading.

Also see related special Intotemak issues Yours, Mine, Ours and Quest for Respect, both available separately.

Also see review by Citizens for Public Justice.

Note: Intotemak subscribers will have received a free copy as part of their subscription.

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