That this National Executive Council call for a complete halt to all development of the James Bay II project until there has been a full independent and open environmental assessment, and the agreement of the aboriginal peoples of that area for this development has been received; and further
that the Anglican and Roman Catholic communities in Canada and the United States be petitioned not to purchase Hydro Quebec bonds until this has been achieved; and further
that this motion be communicated to the governments of Quebec and Canada and the appropriate committees of the Anglican Church of Canada and others as appropriate. CARRIED #71-11-91
"Published by the Bishop of Moosonee as the 1973 Autumn Issue of The Northland". -- inside front cover.
"Copyright Jan. 17, 1974". -- inside front cover.
"The author, Hugo Muller, was not born a Canadian. He is a native of Holland, coming to Canada over twenty years ago. His first contact with the native peoples of Canada took place as he worked for the Hudson's Bay Company in Northern Quebec. He later studied theology and was ordained a priest of the Anglican Church of Canada. In this capacity he has been in constant touch with the Cree people in Northern Quebec". -- Foreword.
"Following are some songs and stories of what happens when twentieth century progress hits the traditional hunting life of a people known for their passive and gentle ways, their politeness and reticence, which we often find hard to understand. Names have been changed, but all events relate to actual happenings". -- Intro.
Contents: Foreword / J.A. Watton, Bishop of Moosonee -- Introduction dated Spring 1973 / [Hugo Muller] -- Contents -- 25 poems.
THAT General Synod direct the National Executive Council to express its grave concern to the Government of the Province of Quebec, in respect to the position of the people indigenous to the James Bay area affected by the hydro development and request that the Provincial Government pay heed to the desires and claims of these people.
The Anglican Church has taken its opposition to the James Bay II power project to the United States, in hopes that Massachusetts will become the second state to disassociate itself from the project.
Recently, the New York Power Authority cancelled a contract to purchase power from James Bay II. Now, a bill before the Massachusetts legislature would require the state's pension fund to divest its holdings in Hydro-Quebec bonds. The Reverend Peter Hamel, the church's consultant on national affairs, will speak on behalf of the bill today [Wednesday] before the Massachusetts Joint Committee on Public Service. He was invited to participate in an intervention by the Anglican Diocese of Massachusetts.
The church's opposition to the project stems from concern about the effects of the development on the aboriginal people of the region and on the natural environment. It says there should be a moratorium on construction until a comprehensive environmental assessment of the project has been completed, and until an agreement has been reached with the Cree and Inuit.
Mr. Hamel's brief to the joint committee says the Cree and Inuit must play a full part in determining appropriate resource development in northern Quebec. Noting the fishing and harvesting of wildlife are key to the aboriginal lifestyle, the brief says: "The continued viability of the aboriginal economy should be an objective of northern development, not its price."
The Canadian church's actions have been supported by resolutions of the Episcopal Church U.S.A., and by the Diocese of Massachusetts, which has also asked the state's public utilities not to purchase power from the project.
Full text of brief available on request; for further information, contact: Doug Tindal, Director of Communications.
Brief entitled "Comments in Support of Bill H 1978 Before the Massachusetts Joint Committee on Public Service at The State House Boston, Massachusetts" by the Reverend Peter Hamel, Consultant, National Affairs Anglican Church of Canada April 15, 1992. 16 pages (plus 9 pages in 6 appendices) available in General Synod Archives.
The Primate of the Anglican Church has supported a request from Georges Erasmus, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, for Christian churches to make this Sunday (September 23) a National Day of Prayer.
In a letter to selected parishes and committees, Archbishop Michael Peers asks Anglicans "to uphold the native people of Canada and the people of Quebec in your prayers this Sunday, with particular intention for a just and peaceful resolution to the conflict in Oka."
The letter also endorses a call from an inter-denominational group of clergy in Chateauguay asking Canadians to display a white ribbon between now and Thanksgiving, "to symbolize our commitment to work for new racial understanding and humanly richer and wiser Canada." Some church members already have been wearing red arm bands as a symbol of their commitment to work toward justice for Native peoples. The letter suggest people may wish to display both colours.
"I urge you to begin this process of healing with prayer," Archbishop Peers concludes. "Because of the time constraints, this letter is being sent to a limited group of people. I shall be writing to the larger membership of our church soon to bring these matters to their attention."
Two page letter of text follows.
For further information, contact: Doug Tindal, Director of Communications; or The Rev. Laverne Jacobs, Coordinator of Native Ministries.
September 18, 1990
TO: Council for Native Ministries, Diocesan Native Councils, P.S.R.U., Women's Unit, Human Rights Unit, Committee on Justice and Corrections, A.R.C. regional contacts, Native Parishes, Living Waters, National Youth Unit, David Robinson - Youth Consultant, Diocese of Toronto, Canon A.R. Cuyler, Director of Community Ministries, Parishes in Solidarity with Native People
A few days ago we received an open letter addressed to the Christian Community of Canada (all denominations, groups and organizations), from Georges Erasmus, National Chief, Assembly of First Nations.
In his letter he asks for our participation in a "National Day of Prayer" on September 23, 1990 - the day before Parliament reconvenes. I realize that this request gives us very short notice. However I support the call that we have a National Day of Prayer at the time when those responsible for government in this country meet to discuss the situation we have been facing this summer. I am writing to invite you and your parish community to uphold the native people of Canada and the people of Quebec in your prayers this Sunday, with particular intention for a just and peaceful resolution to the conflict in Oka.
This past weekend, six of our national staff travelled to the Peace camp outside Kanasatake. On the way, they stopped in the community of Chateauguay to spend time with local Anglican clergy. They were fortunate to be present at an ecumenical press conference which was called to promote an invitation to display a White Ribbon. Here are some quotes from that press conference;
"As our city of Chateauguay and this part of Quebec gradually try to return to normal life, we know that something deep has changed. Something perhaps has changed for the whole country."
"The real work of rebuilding begins now. Chateauguay and perhaps Canada needs to rebuild our human awareness. We need to repair the destruction of tolerance and goodwill. We need to combat racism. We need to meet each other, understand each other, learn to respect each other."
"In our effort to reconcile with each other and break down the barricades of ignorance, mistrust, and intolerance, we invite everyone to wear a while ribbon between now and Thanksgiving Day...to symbolize our commitment to work for new racial understanding and a humanly richer and wiser Canada."
The Council for Native Ministries also adds to this an invitation to display a red ribbon. "Native people and those who are concerned about Native peoples have worn a red arm band or ribbon as a symbol of their commitment to work toward justice for native peoples." They suggest that you consider wearing both colours together, perhaps woven or intertwined. I believe we must acknowledge that this is not a "Native crisis" but a national crisis. Oka has deeply affected all of us. We are now confronted with a national responsibility for reconciliation. We must commit ourselves to working through the anger, frustration, hurt, apathy and racism which has surfaced in many communities.
I urge you to begin this process of healing with prayer. Because of the time constraints, this letter is being sent to a limited group of people. I shall be writing to the larger membership of our church soon to bring these matters to their attention.
Yours faithfully, Archbishop Michael Peers, Primate