Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, has called for a nationwide meeting to assess the progress made since Indigenous Anglicans first declared their intention to work toward self-determination in the 1994 Covenant.
“It is time, I think…for us to convene some kind of a gathering in , which will really bring together people from all across the church who are interested in and committed to Indigenous Anglican ministries,” he said, adding that he hopes to organize the gathering jointly with National Indigenous Anglican Bishop Mark MacDonald.
According to Hiltz, the gathering would be an opportunity for Anglicans to share about the work that is being done across the country, and perhaps learn from what has worked and what hasn’t.
The announcement was made at the September 22-27 meeting of the House of Bishops, in Winnipeg.
It comes on the heels of an Indigenous ministries presentation at July’s General Synod outlining some of the features and qualities of a self-determining nationwide Indigenous “confederacy.”
Hiltz reported that while the House of Bishops is supportive of the direction Indigenous ministries is going in, “nobody is really clear as to what the model will be” for such a confederacy.
For this reason, he wants the consultation to be as broad and practical as possible.
“I want to bring together people from all across the church-bishops clergy and laity, Indigenous and non-Indigenous-who have a heart for this, and not only have got a heart for it, but have a hand, to say: ‘So what are we going to do about this in our diocese?’ ” he said.
He noted that while funding has not yet been secured for such a gathering, he has spoken with General Synod’s general secretary, Archdeacon Michael Thompson, about the matter.