LAND: Three documentary films about colonization and the Doctrine of Discovery

Selected by All My Relations (Ascension), three award-winning documentaries on colonization and the doctrine of discovery. Films begin at 7pm; discussion follows. Popcorn provided, donations appreciated.

Thursday, June 20 at 7pm
Reserve 107: Reconciliation on the Prairies (2016)

For decades, stories have spread throughout the village of Laird, Saskatchewan. It has been said that First Nation descendants of an old treaty have visited shopkeepers and town officials. The First Nations that came to the town, starting in the 1970s, insisted that a treaty signed between their people and the government of Canada states the land of the locals actually belong to an Indigenous First Nation. But when a group of Mennonites and Lutherans in the town of Laird discover that the land they live on is in fact the former reserve of the Young Chippewayan First Nation, they are forced to acknowledge the history that has brought them to their present confrontation. A chief and descendant of the Young Chippewayan Band decide to invite the local community to a meeting at the central site of the former reserve as members in the town remain on edge. But an inevitable encounter at the towns historic site compels the characters into a surprising discovery. Myths, assumptions and fears are shattered as this old injustice is about to provide an opportunity for friendship and renew a fierce determination to repair the wrongs of the past.

Thursday, June 6 at 7pm
Doctrine of Discovery:
Stolen Lands, Strong Hearts (2019)

Doctrine of Discovery; Stolen lands, Strong Hearts is a film about a devastating decision, made over 500 years ago, which continues to profoundly impact Indigenous and Settler people worldwide. Pope Alexander VI ruled that the lands being discovered by European explorers at the time was “empty” land and its millions of Indigenous inhabitants were “non-human.”
Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission released 94 Calls to Action in 2015, with many of them referring to the Doctrine of Discovery and calling for its repudiation.
This film is one of the responses of the Anglican Church’s Primate’s Commission on Discovery, Reconciliation and Justice.  The purpose of this film is to respond to the calls to action by helping to provide education and insight into the racist foundations of many of our property and other laws still in existence to this day.

Thursday, May 23 at 7pm
Colonization Road (2016)

In towns throughout Ontario, there are startling reminders of the colonization of Indigenous territories and the displacement of First Nations people. Anishinaabe comedian and activist Ryan McMahon takes us to his hometown of Fort Frances and down its main drag, which is called Colonization Road. Similar streets have similar names in towns and cities across the province, direct reminders of the Public Lands Act of 1853 and its severe impact on First Nations, their treaties and their land in the name of “Canadian settlement.” On his journey through Ontario, McMahon explores the history of these roads, meets with settlers in solidarity and raises significant questions about “reconciliation” and what it means to “decolonize.”

“Reconciliation is not about being a spectator.”
— Senator Murray Sinclair

Blessing of the Animals

In memory of the love St. Francis had for all creatures, Ascension celebrates a Blessing of the Animals this Sunday. This one time in the year, your fur bundle is invited to church to receive a special blessing! No bundle, no problem: Stuffed pets, pet photos, and memories of pets are also most welcome. House trained appreciated.

All My Relations

Learning from home: The history and legacy of residential schools

Education has gotten us into this mess, and education will get us out

Hon. Senator Murray Sinclair, Former chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission

The purpose of this program is to deepen our understanding about the impact of residential schools on the lives of Indigenous peoples; the Anglican Church’s role in the schools and; the ongoing commitment of the Anglican Church to reconciliation and justice.

The program is also a continuation of Church of the Ascension’s ongoing efforts to bring to life the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) Call to Action #59 as we agreed at our 2017 Vestry:

#59. We call upon church parties to the Settlement Agreement to develop ongoing education strategies to ensure that their respective congregations learn about their church’s role in colonization, the history and legacy of residential schools, and why apologies to former residential school students, their families, and communities were necessary.

The program consists of two online learning sessions to be experienced at home; a 3.5 hour workshop was presented at Church of the Ascension on March 17, 2018. The online sessions contain a variety of materials. You may find it most convenient to select articles/media of interest, and come back to others later.

Access the Introduction here.

Access the First Learning Module here.

Access the Second Learning Module here.