Master Class on Canadian Indigenous Realities and the Canadian Church with Ray Aldred

September 22, 2021 - December 1, 2021
Be ready to learn every second Wednesday at 2-3:30 PM PDT / 5-6:30PM EDT on Zoom! First Class: Wednesday, September 22 Second Class: Wednesday, October 6 Third Class: Wednesday, October 20 Fourth Class: Wednesday, November 3 Fifth Class: Wednesday, November 17 Sixth Class: Wednesday, December 1

Course Description

The Residential School tragedy highlights the need for senior church leaders to examine the Church’s prevailing Indigenous perspectives and practices. This course aims at helping build a healthy respect for Indigenous identity as “other”, neither vilifying or idealizing, but seeking to become an ally.

Throughout this six-class course, you’ll explore the topics of Indigenous religion and spirituality (Indigenizing theology); treaties, both ancient and contemporary (Indigenous Story and Land and the role of preaching); a brief history of the interaction between the Church and Indigenous Peoples (The Indigenous Christ); finally, the history of reconciliation in Canada (Indigenous conceptions of identity and evangelism). Through this, you’ll develop a healthy respect for Indigenous Peoples to help build a climate of collaboration within your life and community.

This course will help you:

  • Begin to describe Indigenous spirituality in a respectful manner.
  • Examine and critique the questions dominant society has used to explore Indigenous spirituality (i.e. are we being fair?).
  • Develop the ability to compare and contrast Indigenous spiritualities and perspectives.
  • Document the environmental, cultural, and historical influences shaping the relationship between Indigenous Peoples and Canadians.
  • Discuss ways of partnership between Indigenous Peoples and Canadian churches.
  • Integrate and articulate your own views of de-colonizing or Indigenizing identity.
  • Workshop a message series or ministry initiative with collaborative feedback.

Who is this for?

This Master Class is designed for church leaders, with an emphasis on those who lead ministry or engage with preaching and teaching. Though a degree is not required, a Masters of Divinity level of engagement is encouraged. This course offers a safe and hospitable space where we wrestle respectfully with the material together.

Meet the Speaker

Rev. Dr. Ray Aldred is a husband, father and grandfather. He was ordained with the Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada. He is status Cree from Swan River Band, Treaty 8. Born in Northern Alberta, he now resides with his wife in Richmond. Ray is the Interim Academic Dean and Director of the Indigenous Studies Program at the Vancouver School of Theology, whose mission is to partner with the Indigenous Church around theological education.

Formerly Ray served as Assistant Professor of Theology at Ambrose Seminary in Calgary. He is a former chairperson and board member for Indigenous Pathways. He is former Director for the First Nations Alliance Churches of Canada, now a committee member, where he works to encourage Indigenous churches.

Why a Master Class on Canadian Indigenous realities?

Food for the Hungry believes in the importance of addressing the colonial perspectives and practices that oppress Indigenous peoples around the world. Through our international development work, we walk alongside global Indigenous populations to work through the issues of poverty and justice that stem from oppression. Ending poverty is no easy feat. It takes all of us, locally and globally, which is why we’re eager to support this conversation in Canada too. We’re excited to partner with Ray Aldred, a leading expert in Canadian Indigenous realities. Ray’s unique voice not only aligns with our work of ending poverty in all its forms, but will also equip church leaders to alter perspectives and practices to be more in line with God’s Kingdom.

Have questions? Contact Jim Heuving, National Church Engagement Lead, at 778-836-1841 or [email protected].