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forgiven Summitby Teresa Neumann : Jul 20, 2010 : David Carson – Canadian Christianity

“Canada is a healed nation, more healed today than before because of what we were able to sign this morning. Mr. Prime Minister, we forgive you!”

(Ottawa, Canada)—On April 12 of this year, we shared a report from Canadian Christianity entitled, In Prophetic Act, Former First Nations’ Chief on Canadian Cross-Country Tour Urging Tribes to Forgive. Now we can report that from June 11-13 the Journey of Freedom team led by Chief Kenny Blacksmith finally reached Ottawa for the “National Forgiven Summit.”

As reported in Canadian Christianity, thousands gathered at the Civic Centre where a coalition of First Nations, Métis & Inuit responded with forgiveness to Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s apology made in 2008 in which he “sincerely apologized to the aboriginal peoples and asked for their forgiveness for the federal government’s role in the residential schools system.”

According to the report, Chief Elijah Harper shared a vision he had that “the First Nations would be recognized in Canada as full equal partners—and for them to live abundantly in their own country.

Though much work still needs to be done to bring total healing and restoration, Chief Billy Diamond was quoted as saying “full healing came out of the divine order of repentance, forgiveness, reconciliation and restoration,” adding that he believed the First Nations would bring revival to Canada.

Though Prime Minister Harper was unable to attend the event, he addressed the summit via video, affirming the Charter of Forgiveness and Freedom and expressing his support.

In response Chief Kenny said: “Canada is a healed nation, more healed today than before because of what we were able to sign this morning. Mr. Prime Minister, we forgive you!”

AFTER five months of traveling across Canada with the ‘Journey of Freedom,’ the team led by Chief Kenny Blacksmith finally reached Ottawa for the ‘National Forgiven Summit’ – held June 11-13.

On a beautiful sunny evening, thousands gathered at the Civic Centre for an historic occasion: where a coalition of First Nations, Métis & Inuit would, as individuals, respond with forgiveness to the Prime Minister’s apology – which Stephen Harper made exactly two years before.

On June 11th, 2008, the Prime Minister had sincerely apologized to the aboriginal peoples and asked for their forgiveness for the federal government’s role in the residential schools system. For many, now was the time to set Canada free through choosing to forgive — and thereby gain their own freedom from the painful past.

As we entered the atrium lobby, we were welcomed by the sound of worship as Russ Rosen and a team from Vancouver played gently for attendees, and to honour the Lord. The arena had been transformed with vivid lighting and smoke effects; and a wide stage had the outline of both a tepee and an inukshuk with a large screen between them.

Chief Kenny Blacksmith opened with a big smile, saying that we had waited a long time for this moment. He urged us to expect much from our Chief Cornerstone! Chief Kenny was partnered by Pastor Alain Caron from Gatineau, who translated into French.

There was a very warm welcome from the local Algonquin Nation with a reading of Psalm 24 and a prayer that the “King of Glory may come in.” Pastors Ken Hall and Ken Roth also welcomed the summit on behalf of the Ottawa churches. Chief Kenny could now say “that we are free to do whatever needs to be done.”

The nations came together to lead us in worship. An 11-piece, multi-ethnic band, that had never played together before, excelled in leading us in celebration worship to the Lord.

They started with: “The Lord is gracious and compassionate” – which underlined the fact that his love and mercy are the basis of our being able to forgive others.

Throughout the weekend, the worship was vibrant and creative in song and dance. Many First Peoples dancers from across Canada combined with Polynesian Islanders (Island Breeze from Medicine Hat & Winnipeg); the Dance Barn from Langley; and Alliance et Vie from Saint-Hubert, QC.

The drums, energetic and passionate, gave us an experience of Psalm 150 style worship. The Inuit throat singing was also very special.

There were consecutive important addresses by Chief Elijah Harper and Chief Billy Diamond on Friday evening.

Chief Elijah’s vision was that the First Nations would be recognized in Canada as full equal partners — and for them to live abundantly in their own country.

While he was willing to express forgiveness to the government, he was also clearly looking for more apologies and more respect. He noted that the Prime Minister’s apology was only for the Residential Schools issue — and even that had been lacking in one aspect.

He asserted that at the time of the apology in the House of Commons, the Speaker actually left his chair and sat on the floor of the House, thus causing the Commons to officially become a ‘Committee’ instead of a full Parliament. Chief Elijah said the government missed an opportunity to treat the First Nations leaders present in the chamber as equals — and said there was still a lot of work to be done.

Chief Billy Diamond said this conference meant freedom. At the age of seven, he was torn from his parents and became a number: 316. He later experienced joy when he learned about the power of John 3:16.

In the church residential schools, they had misrepresented the nature and love of God. They told him to pray to a God who never answered; and he had felt abandoned and rejected by both his parents and by God.

 He said full healing came out of the divine order of repentance, forgiveness, reconciliation and restoration. The Prime Minister’s apology, he said meant that “the last veil of secrecy over Canada has been torn.” He said he believed the First Nations would bring revival to Canada, and exhorted them not to stay in the prison house of unforgiveness.

Toward midnight, David Mainse led a group of pastors in a Declaration of Repentance, kneeling before the aboriginal leaders and asking for forgiveness on behalf of the Church of Canada. In a very moving response, Elijah Harper and Billy Diamond expressed their forgiveness.

The Saturday morning session opened with individual Inuit and Métis also accepting the apology of the pastors. James Arreak said: “I choose to forgive you!” Pastor Eva Deer, of Nunavik, said: “Church of Canada, I forgive you; we are reconciled through Jesus Christ.” Métis Evelyn Lipke said, “I also forgive and release you, O churches of Canada, from any judgments I have had.” A reading of Psalm 126 also summed up for Lipke what she was sensing regarding God’s restoration.

Chief Kenny explained that the Journey of Freedom had encouraged individuals to make a choice, to come together and forgive. They were not speaking on behalf of anyone except themselves. Forgiveness was not political or economic, he said, but rather it was spiritual — and it was for each person individually to make that choice.

We then came to the time of release. Chief Kenny read aloud the lengthy ‘Charter of Forgiveness and Freedom,’ which declared forgiveness for many offences. 24 elders who had survived the Residential Schools then signed the Charter on behalf of the coalition. This was then witnessed by 12 young people with the hope of freedom for future generations: “Let us break the yoke of the past; let us find wisdom and hope together.”

There was then a spectacular Grand Entry of First Peoples in full regalia with feathers, furs and drums. A most moving moment was when a dozen young children from the Flying Dust Reserve in Saskatchewan sang the National Anthem in Cree.

The Charter was then presented to the Minister for Indian and Northern Affairs, Chuck Strahl, who represented the Prime Minister. Due to international commitments, Stephen Harper was unable to attend. However, he addressed the summit by video — affirming the Charter and expressing his support.

In response Chief Kenny said: “Canada is a healed nation, more healed today than before because of what we were able to sign this morning. Mr. Prime Minister, we forgive you!”

Chief Herman Yellow Old Woman then pronounced that Blacksmith and Strahl would be given the highest expression of honour. In an elaborate ritual with a buffalo dance, ancient songs and impartation, they were given the right to wear an impressive headdress — to make them stronger leaders. Other gifts were given on behalf of the Prime Minister, including a hand made paddle symbolizing the healing journey of Canada.

Chief Noel Pootlass (Bella Coola, Nuxalk) anointed Strahl and Blacksmith with eagle down, and the fine filaments were carried out over the congregation for peace and blessings. This was now the time to embrace and celebrate freedom. Jonathan Maracle then led us into loud celebration with his Native Mohawk Fusion Band.

Sunday continued in celebration, and included an extended ceremony of appreciation, honour and highest respect for David Demian and his family. He was presented with a variety of gifts, and it was declared that David’s walk and influence through Watchmen for the Nations had been an indispensible factor in bringing the First Nations leaders into unity. His example of allowing the Spirit to set the agenda in the Gatherings had become the model for their present and ongoing journey.

We pray that the spiritual momentum will increase and that the Lord will continue to surprise us in wonderful ways.

A few days after the Forgiven Summit, the first Truth and Reconciliation national event was held in Winnipeg. The commission was created to talk about all of the experiences and impacts of the residential schools, and to establish an historical account of the system.

This is another step in restoring respect and honour to the First Peoples.

David Carson is one of the key organizers of Hope Vancouver.
 


1 Response to “A Nation Forgiven – Canada”

  1. 1 David T. Msimbe

    Greetings in the Powerful name of Jesus Christ ,

    It is my hope your well and you continue better with God’s work. Also we are together spiritually and freshly. We continue better with God’s work.

    I ‘m pastor David Thomas Msimbe and my wife Georgina we are Founders & Directors of a church of Great Vision Pentecostal and Ministry of People Shipping Centre (by leadership of the holly spirit) since 2003 we started this work of God and now we have seven years in the ministry , but now is already registered by country laws.

    Our registration number is so. 14120. Also we have no permanent place
    for worshiping God. We have some place we pay for every month.

    The purpose of this letter to you servant of God is to need friendship (please read the book of Malachi 2:7) So that to be have benefit together in the body of Christ and God’s work continue forward means all we are unity in body of Christ(1 Corinthians 12:7,12-27) I and My church and I we need Contacts So that we need saving God with you together
    .
    Thank you for your cooperation between you and our ministry.

    We expect you to give us your program and ways how to to do the work of God, And if possible to send kinds of spiritually books and tracts for evangelism. Also we need financial support for church and ministry expenses. We also live with two orphans we give them all basic needs including education.

    So that the work of God can continue well and growth because I know our country is peacefully Greet all believers in the name of the Lord (1 Thess 5:26) first of all we need your prayers.

    You are most welcome to Arusha Tanzania in East Africa

    Have a blessed day

    Senior Pastor David Thomas Msimbe

    Founder & Director

    GVPC & MPSC

    P.O Box 13437 Arusha-Tanzania

    Tel: 255 754 22 84 77
    255 755 56 54 73

    255 787 14 78 33

    Attached herewith please find the following; *Our Faith

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