This article was originally published by Mennonite World Review

Native Assembly pursues harmony

WINNIPEG, Man. — Harmony with creation was a dominant theme at Mennonite Church Canada’s Native Assembly.

Clarence Nepinak leads a learning tour during Mennonite Church Canada’s Native Assembly in Winnipeg, Man. — Moses Falco/MC Canada
Clarence Nepinak leads a learning tour during Mennonite Church Canada’s Native Assembly in Winnipeg, Man. — Moses Falco/MC Canada

About 250 people gathered July 28-31 in Winnipeg under the theme “Ears to Earth, Eyes to God,” which focused on the many references in Scripture that tie people to creation and to the land they occupy and the implications this holds for people of faith.

Workshops included education about Indigenous worldviews, a “blanket exercise” developed by Mennonite Central Committee that explores the loss of land and culture, and Vince Solomon’s workshop, “Where Do Aboriginal Beliefs and Teachings Intersect with Scripture?”

“We see creation in everything. This does not mean animism, monism, polytheism or pantheism,” he said. It was the Creator’s intention for First Nations people to understand God through attributes revealed to them through the land.

Clarence Nepinak led a learning tour of the Forks area in downtown Winnipeg, where the Red and Assiniboine rivers meet. Many tribes used this location as a meeting and trading place for thousands of years.

Nepinak said this was no man’s land. Its value as a meeting and trading place made it too important to be held by any one people.

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