Anglicans and Aboriginal Peoples
Year Published: 1988
The EcoJustice Connection
Resource Type: Article
Abstract: This article by the Rev. Peter J. Hamel, a consultant to the Anglican Church, was printed as a supplement to "Living Message". It focuses on the changing role of the Anglican Church, which Hamel says underwent a fundamental change in 1969, when "the church pledged itself to act__before the fact__in actions affecting native peoples, rather than picking up the pieces after injustice had been done." "The old Anglican style of phrasing its protest so ambiguously and so politely that no one could suffer shock was put on the shelf. Now the Church was being challenged to do the following: Listen to the native peoples; Clarify its basic intentions; Redefine its role; Redeploy its resources; Vitalize its education for the ministry; Develop strategies looking toward basic innovation." From these changes came an understanding of what Hamel calls "ecojustice", which links aboriginal rights to environmental issues. He argues for the entrenchment of native rights in the constitution as one important element in achieving justice for native people, and in working out a just relationship between dominant European societies and the indigenous peoples of the Western Hemisphere.
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