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Me? A Champion?

Two years ago marked the first time I heard the acronym "CAMC." After responding to a posting for the need for camp counsellors to go to a First Nations reserve in Northern Ontario on the ServiceLink website, I became instantly connected to some amazing CRC staff that were passionate about social justice and had their sights set on developing and growing reconciled relationships with their Indigenous neighbours.

When I returned from Northern Ontario, I reconnected with the CRC staff that I had heard about before I left and they explained the acronym CAMC--the Canadian Aboriginal Ministries Committee. They further described the work that CAMC was doing. As I expressed my mixed feelings of confusion, sadness, anger, desperation, joy, and excitement at what I'd learned up north, I was blessed to find people who understood my feelings and who were on a journey of learning from and developing relationships with the Indigenous neighbours in their communities. I knew right away that I wanted to connect with this committee in whatever ways I could. CAMC was committed to similar work that I felt myself called to and provided practical ways for me to walk in reconciled relationships with my Indigenous friends and neighbors. CAMC has also been a great place for me to get resources, hear about upcoming events, and find opportunities to get involved.

Eight months after I first heard of CAMC, I had the privilege of being welcomed onto the committee. On the committee, my eyes have been opened to the passion and heart of CRC members across the county who desire to see relationships restored that have been broken. I have also come to see how much work goes into sharing resources, advertising upcoming events, and providing practical opportunities to church members across Canada to learn from Indigenous peoples and journey down their own road of reconciliation.

As CAMC has talked about ways to share resources with congregations, we have come to recognize the extreme value in having “Champions” for CAMC – people in congregations across Canada that can act as liaisons between CAMC and their congregations and vice versa. In this way, people who are passionate about social justice and who desire to connect people to ways they can walk in reconciled relationships with their Indigenous neighbors have access to and support in sharing resources.

What does this mean for you? Maybe you have attended the reForming Relationships Art Tour, a Day of Encouragement workshop about Walking the Road of Reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, or a conference that has left you with questions about what you can do next. Maybe you are on your own journey of developing relationships with Indigenous peoples where you live, or work, or volunteer. If you are someone who has a heart for Indigenous justice and you find yourself looking for a way to get connected, we invite you to contact one of the members of CAMC so we can add you to our e-mail list and connect you to the resources, events and opportunities you can share with your congregations.

If you would like to respond to this article or you have any questions about how to become a CAMC Champion please contact Yvonne Schenk (, Shannon Perez ( or Christina DeVries (   

[Image: Flickr user arbyreed]

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