I join the Rt. Rev. Mark McDonald and the Most Rev. Fred Hiltz in receiving with respect and humility “Reclaiming Power and Place,” the final report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. I honour the courage of many, including the 2,386 family members, survivors, knowledge keepers, elders and experts who gathered at the 24 hearings across the land to tell their stories.
We have just observed Indigenous Peoples Day of Prayer in the Anglican Church of Canada. As we reflect on that day, may we pray for the winds of change and fire of the Spirit to blow across this land and transform unjust webs of violence and racism, that the sanctity of Indigenous women, girls and Two-Spirit people would be recognized at all levels of society.
May we pray for the loving presence of our Creator, to hold all those who grieve lost loved ones.
May we pray for all those who contributed their tears, wisdom and sacred truths to the National Inquiry: may their seeds bear fruit in this land, transforming hearts, minds and structures of power.
May we pray for the safe return of all who are missing from their homes, families and circles of love, and all separated from community by prisons, child apprehension, borders and long distances.
May we pray for safety, friends and the Spirit to circle all those who are vulnerable.
May we pray for all those whose stories are unspoken, those whose pain is too great share and those whose experience feels unseen.
May we pray for the naming, undoing and unlearning of racism, sexism, ignorance, homophobia and transphobia in our cultures, Church and communities (Call for Justice 15.5).
May we pray for access to abundant healing resources, safe housing, clean water, cultural ceremonies and celebrations, and access to health care for all Indigenous peoples across this land.
May justice roll like a river, and righteousness as an ever-flowing stream. Amen.
I commend to you “Reclaiming Power and Place” and encourage you to pray through the Calls to Justice, especially section 15.1-15.8, the Calls for All Canadians. I invite you to join me in committing ourselves to the work of healing and responding with our lives and faith to this final report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
Yours in Christ,
The Rt. Rev. Andrew Asbil
Bishop of Toronto