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Race

Learn more on the Office of Race Relations website.

An (Un)Complicated Whiteness: Privilege, Repentance, and the Work of Justice

Most Thursdays, I spend my afternoons at a local halfway house and healing centre, created to prepare Indigenous men for the transition from federal prison to the street. I walk through two sets of glass doors, up a short flight of stairs, and into the sweet smell of sage grass and fried food. Indigenous parole officers, administrators, and parolees mill around a front desk, filling out paperwork and discussing their plans for the weekend. Of the dozen or so people around me, I am the only one with white skin. Brown skin is the norm here, and my whiteness makes me an outsider.

Learning Service from Freddie the Bus Driver

I believe that God has a plan for everyone, but sometimes that fact alone doesn’t feel very comforting. I came across the Youth Ambassador of Reconciliation Program when I was struggling with God and his plans for me. I had just graduated from university and wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my degree, or if I wanted to work in my degree’s field at all. I had decided to just take a year off to “figure it out” when I heard about this opportunity to go live among the First Nations in Kitchenuhmayoosib Inninuwag (KI), a remote reserve in northern Ontario.

Covenant Breakers

We are a people who deeply believe in the importance of promises, and also, seem, ironically, to not be very good at keeping them.

The Benedict Option: Musings on the Decline of Western Civilization

I always find it amusing when white Christians debate—exclusively among themselves—the fate of civilization. The rest of us can only be outside observers, passengers in sweeping historical narratives in which we are an afterthought. Not only does this erasure obscure what has actually occurred, it falsifies what these storytellers say about themselves, their traditions, and the wider world.

When you hear discussions about the decline of western civilization and the importance of cultural renewal, ask some of the following questions:

150th Birthday Reflections

This past Sunday I had the opportunity to venture to Toronto with two colleagues and sisters in Christ to see Kent Monkman’s exhibit Shame and Prejudice: A Story of Resilience. Monkman is a Canadian artist of Cree ancestry who uses art to take us on a profound and provocative “journey through Canada’s history beginning a hundred and fifty years before confederation” (quoted from exhibit’s brochure).  

I Was a Stranger...

Two weeks ago, refugees who were prepared to enter the U.S. received devastating news. After waiting for years and in some cases decades, they found out they were not allowed to enter the country because the U.S. refugee resettlement system was put on pause. There are 21.3 million refugees in the world. Fifty percent of them are children. Less than one percent of all refugees will ever be permanently resettled to a new country.

2016 Canada Justice Highlights You May Have Forgotten

The Internet has been abuzz lamenting some of the difficult events of 2016. But let’s take a moment to look in the rearview mirror and remember important strides forward that were made in 2016, before focusing on the hills ahead of us. Our Canada justice team staff were moved this look back. May it be encouraging to you too! 

God is in Control but I am Still Hurting

I am heartbroken, scared, angry, and confused.

A Letter to My Church about White Lives Matter

A few weeks ago, we started a journey exploring what I believe is God’s good design for human flourishing; “one diverse and unified family.” We explored our role as human beings in rebelling against that good design. We also explored a few pages of American history to see how racism is America’s “original sin.” In my previous two posts, I have invited the church to explore leading in confessing racism, lamenting racism, and repenting from racism.

Canada, Who Are We?

The great Canadian humourist Stephen Leacock once quipped something to the effect that one of the good things about living in Canada is that you can look over fence at your American neighbours for entertainment and then give thanks for not living there. Leacock’s witticism reveals a smugness to our Canadian psyche. Often enough, we talk about American politics, and we quickly agree that they are simply American phenomena and part of the great American disease.

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