"In the fullfilment of an aspiration long held by indigenous Anglicans in the north, the ecclesiastical province of Rupert's Land is poised to have a new diocese by 2014. The 47th session of the provincial synod, held in Brandon, Man., June 7 to 10 , unanimously approved a resolution from the diocese of Keewatin to divide the diocese and create a fully independent indigenous diocese from the portion known as the northern Ontario region. 'We have been walking together and now we are dancing together', said the Rev. Wayne McIntosh, rector of St. John the Baptist Anglican Church in Fort Frances, Ont., after seconding the motion at the synod. The region's current bishop, the Rt. Rev. Lydia Mamakwa, will head the diocese. Two-thirds of the diocese lies in First Nations parishes, and five languages are spoken there: Cree, Oji-Cree, English, Ojibway and Dene. Many diocesan clergy and lay people speak at least two languages on a daily basis". [Text of entire article.]
The presentation began with a procession of the Elders, Bishops, diocesan members and Chiefs from the Diocese of Keewatin. Archbishop David Ashdown and Bishop Lydia Mamakwa led the presentation. Rev. Joel Bighead and Rev. Eli Morris lead the Synod in prayer. The Rev. Amos Winter traced the history of the Diocese’s ministry and movements towards self-determination for Indigenous Anglicans. Kenneth Kitchikeesik spoke of how the dream of self determination had been passed down through generations, bringing the diocese to the point of having a self-determining, self-sustaining diocese in northern Ontario and Bishop Lydia Mamakwa. The Very Rev. James Dugan traced the details of the growing ministries in the three distinct regions of the diocese. Bishop Don Phillips expressed the pride and excitement of the people of Rupert’s Land in being involved in the process of moving the southern area of Keewatin into the Diocese of Rupert’s Land. Bishop Michael Hawkins emphasized that self-determination is a theological movement not a political movement.
That this General Synod in response to the unanimous request of the Synod of the Ecclesiastical Province of Rupert’s Land and the Synod of the Diocese of Keewatin and in accordance with Section 107 of the Constitution of the Province of Rupert’s Land and Section 7 b) iii) of The Declaration of Principles of the General Synod gives its concurrence to the division of the Diocese of Keewatin so that the area defined as Northern Ontario Region by the Constitution of the Diocese of Keewatin may become a separate diocese.
The mover and seconder accepted the following friendly amendment moved by The Most Rev. David Ashdown and seconded by The Rt. Rev. Lydia Mamakwa to include “and authorizes COGS to give concurrence to the boundary changes.”
"An election to choose the first native suffragan bishop in Canada has been approved by the synod of the province of Rupert's Land. The synod meeting here [in Calgary] in May , approved an application from the diocese of Saskatchewan for the right to elect a suffragan bishop who will be 'a Cree-speaking Indian'." "Bishop Tom Morgan of Saskatchewan said his diocese was making the request because of its large Cree-speaking population and his own inherent weakness in ministering to these people". "Bishop James Allan of Keewatin, the diocese with the second largest Cree population in the church, opposed the idea. 'I think it's an excellent idea that Saskatchewan is planning to have a suffragan. My concern is that the resolution specified a Cree-speaking India,' he explained.... 'If the diocese is all for an Indian suffragan, all it should be asking for is permission to elect a suffragan, instead of pinning it down'."
"1. The Provincial Synod of Rupert's Land Meeting in Regina, Saskatchewan on December 2, 1970, having separated the Mackenzie Area from the jurisdiction of the Bishop of the Arctic and of the Bishop of Athabasca, and having constituted it the Episcopal District of the Mackenzie under its own Bishop as Suffragan to the Metropolitan of Rupert's Land, hereby officially informs General Synod of the action taken, and under Section 7, 12 (C), of the Declaration of Principles of General Synod, requests ratification of this action by General Synod at this Session. CARRIED
[Recorded as No. 98 in Acts of Synod, p. 70. List of Acts includes actions which are NOT resolutions/acts.]
"2. The Provincial Synod of Rupert's Land requests General Synod to make provision for elected delegates from the Episcopal District of the Mackenzie to be members of General Synod, (and suggests that in addition to the Bishop, there be one clerical and one lay delegate)". CARRIED
[Recorded as No. 99 in Acts of Synod, p. 70. List of Acts includes actions which are NOT resolutions/acts.]