"Anglicans across Canada are being called to demonstrate -- in the 22 days following the closing event of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission -- that this ending is only the beginning of healing and reconciliation with Canada's Indigenous people. Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, and National Indigenous Anglican Bishop Mark MacDonald have issued a call to the whole church today to participate in #22days, a campaign that will stretch from the start of the closing of TRC event in Ottawa on May 31  to National Aboriginal Day on June 21 . 22days was first conceived of by a group of cathedral deans from cities in which a national TRC event was held and was 'heartily endorsed' by the House of Bishops" (p. 10). "The General Synod communications team has created a web page -- 22days.ca -- that will offer resources, including 22 videos featuring former residential school students and staff describing their experiences in the schools. The videos are not the typical 30-second sound bytes people are used to viewing on television, they are about 15 to 20 minutes each, in order to tell the stories in a more whole and sensitive way, said Anglican Video senior producer Lisa Barry. One video will be added daily to the website during the 22-day period and each will be accompanied by a prayer, written by various people in the church" (p. 11).
"Suicide is 'not an easy tea and cookie conversation', Cynthia Patterson told a gathering of about 200 indigenous Anglicans at the Seventh Sacred Circle. However, she added, the pandemic among aboriginal people can no longer be ignored. In Nunavut, the suicide rate is 15 times the national average -- which is 15 per 100,000 people. In the Arctic, it is 11 times the national average. Families need to talk about suicide instead of sweeping it under the rug, said Patterson. 'We have kids, aunts and uncles who die and the pain is so great .. We don't talk about them .. It's as if they've disappeared'. For its part, the Anglican church has moved oversight of the suicide-prevention program to the indigenous ministry department, noted Patterson. The aim is to 'extend its reach into every nook and cranny', said National Indigenous Anglican Bishops Mark MacDonald. Suicide prevention will now be part of training for clergy, catechists and other church workers, he told the Journal". [Text of entire article.]
"During the first weekend of April  on Opaskwayak Cree Nation (OCN), Anglicans and others from across the country gathered to celebrate the 175th anniversary of the Devon Mission. A colourful procession of Cree dancers, led by a crucifer and a pole covered with eagle feathers, marked the importance of the area as a gathering place for Cree and settler people alike. In many ways, the land -- now divided between the town of The Pas and OCN -- exemplifies the breadth of Indigenous-settler relations in Canada". Henry Budd, a young Cree convert, returned to his home in the north in 1840 "to open the mission, where he spent his life teaching the gospel to his people in their native Cree. In 1853, the first bishop of Rupert's Land, David Anderson, ordained Henry Budd, making him the first Indigenous cleric in what is now Canada. The Henry Budd College for Ministry, opened in his honour in 1980, trains Indigenous catechists and spiritual leaders to this day". "For some, the celebration of Indigenous expressions of Christianity marked a return to the days of their ancestors, when the gospel was expressed through Cree culture and language". "National Indigenous Anglican Bishop Mark MacDonald affirmed a sense of hope for the future. 'We do not have two cultures', he said. 'We are Indigenous Christians'".
Author is "chaplain at St. John's College, Winnipeg, and editor of 'Rupert's Land News'".
From 23 to 27 February 2015, an Anglican "eco-bishops conference" was held in Cape Town, South Africa. National Indigenous Anglican Bishop Mark MacDonald and Bishop Jane Alexander of Edmonton, joined 15 other bishops at the conference which "was hosted by the Anglican Communion Environmental Network, which is dedicated to fighting climate change. On Good Friday, April 3 , the bishops -- representing 15 provinces of the Anglican Communion -- issued a declaration urging Anglican worldwide to recognize climate change as 'the most urgent moral issue of our day'" (p. 10). Bishop Jane Alexander "admitted to being particularly struck by the difficulties illustrated in a story told by the bishop of Fiji, Apimeleki Qiliho, whose diocese includes a number of small islands that, it is predicted, will be submerged within a generation". "But there were challenges inherent in such a diverse meeting as well. Much work still needed to be done to bring everyone onto the same page, according to Ncumisa Ukeweva Magadla, one of the conference organizers. 'I felt like they were coming from two different worlds, the Indigenous churches and the Western churches', she said. 'I really did think that some of the bishops -- especially the ones coming from the Western side -- did not understand the issues that were going on in those Indigenous countries like Fiji, like the Philippines, where they face water literally at their doorstep'" (p. 10).
The Rt. Rev. Mark L. MacDonald will assume office as the Anglican Church of Canada's first National Indigenous Bishop after serving 10 years as Bishop of the U.S. Episcopal Diocese of Alaska where he was consecrated bishop on Sept. 13, 1997.
He is far from unfamiliar with Canada, having attended Wycliffe College in Toronto and served as a priest in Mississauga, Ont.
Bishop MacDonald was born on Jan. 15, 1954, the son of Blake and Sue Nell MacDonald. His formal education includes a B.A. in religious studies and psychology at the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, an MA in Divinity from Wycliffe, and post-graduate work at Luther-Northwestern Theological Seminary in Minneapolis.
Bishop MacDonald has a long and varied ministry, holding positions in Mississauga. Ont., Duluth, MN; Tomah, WI and Mauston, WI; Portland, OR; and the Southeast Regional mission of the diocese of Navajoland. Immediately prior to his ordination to the episcopate, Bishop MacDonald was Canon Missioner for Training in the Diocese on MN [Minnesota] and vicar of St. Antipas' Church, Redby, and St. John-in-the-Wilderness Church, Red Lake, Red Lake Nation.
He has served on the board of The Indigenous Theological Training Institute; the faculty of Leadership Academy for New Directions (Land XXVIII); and, a trustee of the Charles Cook Theological School in Tempe, AZ; and is the Board Chair for Church Innovations, Inc., member of the Episcopal Council of Indian Ministries, Member of the Governor's Council on Suicide Prevention (AK), President of Alaska Christian Conference. He is also a Third Order Franciscan.
Among his published works are "Native American Youth Ministries," co-authored with Dr. Carol Hampton and published in Resource Book for Ministries with Youth and Young Adults, the Episcopal Church Center, New York, NY, 1995: "It's in the Font: Sacramental Strategy for Growth for the Episcopal Church: Joining Multiculturalism and Evangelism, Inter-Cultural Ministry Development, San Jose, CA, 1994. He co-edited "Liturgical Studies" IV, just released  by the Church Publishing Company.
Married on Nov. 11, 1989, Mark and his wife, Virginia Sha Lynn, have three children: daughters Rose May Li (born November 15, 1991) and Brenna Li (born October 23, 1993), and one son, Adrian Blake (born May 21, 2000).
(Adapted from Bishop Mark MacDonald's official biographical sketch as prepared by the Diocese of Alaska.)
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"On Feb. 2 , the Anglican Church of Canada's first National Indigenous Anglican Bishop received the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal at Queen's Park, Toronto. Created to mark the 2012 celebrations of the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth's accession to the throne as Queen of Canada, the medal honours achievements of Canadians who have made significant contributions to the country. MacDonald was recognized for his 'spiritual leadership while serving Aboriginal communities and his contributions to environmental awareness of Canadians', said NDP MP Craig Scott (Toronto-Danforth), who nominated MacDonald. "I am very blessed and surprised to receive this honour and very grateful to Craig Scott for his nomination', said MacDonald in an interview. 'It means a lot at a number of levels to me, some very personal, but, most important, [the award] recognizes and honours the vision of the elders for the future of the People of the Land'. MacDonald was nominated 'for his unique role of leadership on behalf of First Nations and Inuit communities in their work towards reconciliation with, and self-governance within the Anglican Church of Canada itself', an announcement from the national church's indigenous ministries department stated". [Text of entire article.]
"On May 2 , Bishop [Terrence] Buckle performed a confirmation and an ordination at All Saints' church, Anchorage, with the permission of Bishop Mark MacDonald of Alaska. Last November , Rev. James Basinger, rector of All Saints', met with Bishop MacDonald. Three months before, the bishop and the Alaskan delegation had voted at the Episcopal General Convention to approve the election of Bishop Gene Robinson of New Hampshire." "Bishop MacDonald, who is on sabbatical, was agreeable, said the parish priest. 'He recommended Bishop Buckle and gave him written permission (to officiate). It surprised me a little bit that not only did he approve of it but assisted us in doing it. But we have a good relationship with him', said Mr. Basinger." "Last year, Bishop Buckle faced potential disciplinary action when he accepted an invitation to minister to several parishes in the Vancouver-based diocese of New Westminster, where the diocesan synod voted to allow the blessing of gay unions. In that case, the diocesan bishop, Michael Ingham, forbade Bishop Buckle from officiating in New Westminster".
"National Indigenous Anglican Bishop Mark MacDonald and Melissa Green reported to members of the Council of General Synod (CoGS) at its Nov. 14 to 17  meetings in Mississauga, Ont., about their experiences at the 10th Assembly of the World Council of Churches (WCC), which took place Oct. 30 to Nov. 8  in Busan, Korea". "MacDonald attended in three capacities: as part of the WCC group tasked with writing the Unity Statement at the end of every assembly; as a facilitator for a pre-assembly gathering on aboriginal issues; and as a 'consensus candidate' for president of the WCC's North American region, a position to which he was elected". "The WCC has a critical role to play defending the rights of indigenous peoples', [MacDonald] said. 'Indigenous people are going to face not only the dispossession of their land but questions of life itself'. The WCC is, and always has been, poised to help'. [Melissa] Green is from the Anglican Parishes of the Central Interior in B.C. Other Canadian Anglican voting delegates to the WCC were the Rev. Canon John Steele from the diocese of British Columbia and the Rev. Nicholas Pang from the diocese of Montreal".