Saskatchewan elects first diocesan indigenous bishop

"The healing journey continues together," says Archdeacon Adam Halkett the new bishop-elect. Photo: Diocese of Saskatchewan
"The healing journey continues together," says Archdeacon Adam Halkett the new bishop-elect. Photo: Diocese of Saskatchewan
By on July 30, 2012

The Ven. Adam Halkett, archdeacon of Saskatchewan and priest-in-charge at St. Joseph’s, Montreal Lake First Nations, has been elected the first diocesan indigenous bishop of Saskatchewan. He was chosen July 28 by the diocese’s general assembly in Prince Albert.

The election and consecration of a diocesan indigenous bishop is part of Mamuwe Isi Mywachimowin (“Together in the Gospel”), a proposal adopted by the indigenous council and executive committee of Saskatchewan and approved by the metropolitan and executive committee of the province of Rupert’s Land in 2011.

“It’s wonderful to see the vision of the elders fulfilled,” said Bishop-elect Halkett. “The healing journey with the elders, the youth and the whole church continues mamuwe.

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The council of elders nominated Archdeacon Halkett along with two other candidates: Canon Park Buck and the Rev. Beryl Whitecap, who withdrew her name before the assembly met. The election was held in a traditional manner with delegates lining up behind their preferred nominees.

As a sign of the new healing and new beginnings undertaken by the diocese,

the assembly took place at the Senator Allen Bird Memorial Gym-on the very site of the former Prince Albert-All Saints Indian Residential School.

“This is another example of the new and creative ways that the Spirit is leading us on our journey of healing and reconciliation in the Council of the North,” said Archbishop David Ashdown, metropolitan of the province of Rupert’s Land.

Added Bishop Michael Hawkins of the diocese of Saskatchewan: “This general assembly was a profound experience of gospel healing and unity. I look forward to working and walking alongside Adam, together in the gospel.” Hawkins also acknowledged the elders who made the nominations: “The council has been a tremendous source of wisdom and encouragement to me and the diocese.”

He noted that the assembly also elected a new indigenous council. “With a new bishop, council of elders and indigenous council, we are well-equipped to renew the church for gospel ministry and mission in northern Saskatchewan. We are walking the dream!”

Bishop Lydia Mamakwa, bishop of the northern Ontario region of the diocese of Keewatin, was also gratified with the outcome. “I’m so happy for Saskatchewan,” she said.” It’s been a long journey and a lot of work. We give thanks to our creator for taking them this far in their journey.”

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