"When the House of Bishops met in Niagara Falls, Ont., from April 13 to 17 , they discussed some contentious issues, including possible amendments to the marriage canon and a call from the Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples (ACIP) for significant changes to church structures. But Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, said there was, nevertheless, 'a spirit of hopefulness' at the gathering". "The bishops discussed the document, 'Where We Are Today: Twenty Years after the Covenant, an Indigenous Call to Church Leadership', in terms of what they thought needed more clarification, what they found encouraging and what they found challenging." "Hiltz observed that what underlies much of these discussions is the question, 'What is everybody's understanding of self-determination ?' This is a conversation that needs to continue, he said. People are not sure what self-determination will mean in terms of concrete changes, said Hiltz". "Bishops also endorsed the #22days campaign calling Anglicans to commit to working toward healing and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. ... Hiltz noted that Bishop Robert Hardwick of the diocese of Qu'Appelle shared plans to ring church bells for murdered and missing women and girls, and other bishops decided that could be done in all of their dioceses".
Issue of IAFN Newsletter included as part of the Anglican World for Trinitytide 2004. An editorial and series of short reports from different agencies and countries assessing and looking back on "changes to family life over the decade" since the 1994 launch conference of the International Year of the Family in Malta. "The articles tell of the increasing number of single parent families and of projects to help them. Another development is the changing role of parents. In Africa, Myanmar and Sri Lanka, as well as in Western countries, some men are becoming more involved with the care of their children and more women are becoming breadwinners -- modifying the traditional demarcation of roles. The global nature of change is again highlighted in the article from Myanmar/Burma, which notes the pressures of modern technology on children, with videos and Superman replacing the transmission of values through storytelling. In Papua New Guinea, the influence of cultural change has resulted in improvements in education and literacy but also noted is an increase in violence within the family. In some countries, changes affecting families reflect the aftermath of civil violence. An article tells of the signs of hope in Rwanda, despite the horrors of the genocide. .... In Northern Ireland, too, there are signs of optimism despite the bitter legacy of the troubles. A major theme underlying many of the changes is the spread of HIV/AIDS. This was raised at the initial IYF [International Year of the Family] conference, but the extent and consequences of the pandemic have vastly intensified during the ten years, bringing heartbreak and poverty to many. The death toll affects all generations of the family, with grandparents having to care for orphans and losing the support of their children in their old age." "The final section of the newsletter tells of action taken by Governments to help families. A point made by many at the Malta conference was that Governments needed to recognise the importance of families as the basic unit of society and do more to help them. It is clear that further Government action is needed, but articles tell of steps forward.
The author considers "the over 600 missing and murdered indigenous women -- women who died because of their vulnerability to violence, women whose deaths seem neither to be mourned nor even noticed by the government of Canada and the majority of the Canadian public. There are close to one and a half million indigenous people in Canada, slightly more than the population of Ottawa. Imagine if 600 women from Ottawa were to disappear in a similar fashion. Would the government -- or anyone -- tolerate their disappearance ? Wouldn't we work urgently and tirelessly until every woman was accounted for, until all women were safe ?" "We are sadly, witnesses of such hideous evil -- certainly, in the growing worldwide poverty, which so disproportionately impacts women and children, but just as really and dramatically in the indigenous women whose tragic lives have been denied justice".
Author is "national indigenous bishop of the Anglican Church of Canada".