Historic’ ordination

Published October 1, 2006

Six Cree elders from Chisasibi, a Quebec village on the James Bay coast, have been ordained deacons. The ordinations, presided over by Archbishop Caleb Lawrence of the diocese of Moosonee, were described by native Anglicans in the area as “historic.”

Christopher Nash of St. Philip’s Church, Chisabi, noted that it was the first time that “a predominantly non-native institution in Canada” ordained “this many humble servants of God” who are of aborginal descent, who are “not fluent in the mainstream language of the said instituion” and who have not been trained in a seminary. He also said that the ordination ceremony had been conducted in the elders’ own language.

The CBC quoted Eliza Webb, a former teacher who was among those ordained, as expressing the hope that she would be an example for others in her village.

“They never thought that a Cree person could do this. There was always a white person that came to our community as a minister, as a deacon. There were no Crees, so it’s a start for our community,” said Ms. Webb.

Aside from Ms. Webb those ordained were: Samuel Bearskin, Clifford Bearskin, Abraham Cox, Annie Herodier and Stephen Pepabano.


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