"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".
"Something is eluding us in the fight against AIDS. When travelling through southern and eastern Africa it is impossible to dodge the dour reality of how AIDS is annihilating the community life of village and neighbourhoods, once the cornerstone and strength of the African way of life". Young men and women who are exposed to the facts about HIV and AIDS from skilled educators are still becoming infected. The author visited and spoke with community workers in South Africa. She also visited SALAMA a PWRDF partner in Nampula, Mozambique, with very explicit education and awareness programs. "Program Coordinator Yolanda Napoleao was quite candid in saying information and knowledge is not enough, Stopping AIDS is about a personal journey that includes changing behaviour. Educators find it hard to know what triggers the change". In Nairobi, Kenya, the author visited Crisis Pregnancy Ministries of Kenya (CPMK), a small faith-based NGO which emphasizes abstinence. "Secular NGOs and governments are doing a great job as they focus on the technical aspects of the problem: treatment, use of condoms, protected sex, rights of women to negotiate safe sex, etc. But as many educators assert, it is behavioural change, specifically young men's behaviour, that will ultimately have a greater impact in the battle against AIDS. CPMK puts the onus on teens to change their behaviour. And an answer to what is eluding us in the fight against AIDS among youth might just be there. Given all the information and options, young teens might be better equipped to choose a life path that leads to change because they respect life and know that AIDS kills".
"This article is the first in a series". The author is "Development Program Coordinator: Africa, Primate's World Relief and Development Fund. She recently returned from a PWRDF partners visit to South Africa, Kenya and Mozambique."
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".