Monica Gibson-Pugsley is hoping to educate about the declaration and Call to Action on Aboriginal culture.

All Saints Parish responds to Call to Action

An Agassiz church group is hosting a six-month book study on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

An Agassiz church group is hosting a six-month book study on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, with the hopes of educating and sparking debate on the past, present and future of Aboriginal culture.

Book-study organizer Monica Gibson-Pugsley of All Saints Parish has always had an interest in “the plight” of Aboriginal people, she said, stemming back from the 1970s when she lived in England.

Upon moving to Abbotsford, where she worked as a secretary at an Anglican church, she always wondered what she could do to help improve the rights and freedoms of Aboriginals, both locally and nationally.

And when she read that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Call to Action report included how churches can get involved, it just made sense that she do her part.

Call to action item 48 directs churches to formally adopt and comply with the principles, norms and standards of the declaration by respecting and supporting Indigenous peoples’ right to self-determination in spiritual matters, including the right to practice, develop and teach their own spiritual and religious traditions, customs, and ceremonies.

It also calls for churches to engage in ongoing and public dialogue to support the declaration.

Starting Sept. 21, Pugsley and the group will meet the first and third Wednesday of each month to discuss a variety of Aboriginal-related social issues, using the commission’s report and the book Wrong to Rights as guides to debate.

The latter, published by the Mennonite Church of Canada, includes excerpts from a variety of Indigenous people, bible verses and discussion questions.

Topics up for debate and discussion include child protection laws, infusing Indigenous laws in Canadian law, and if artifacts being returned will initiate full reconciliation.

Pugsley will chat the study up as a success as long as it initiates discussion and educates those who attend.

“What I can do to help is educate,” she explained, adding more people need to be aware of the declaration and call to action.

“A lot of bias and prejudice is still out there,” she continued.

Co-sponsored by the parish and the Agassiz-Harrison Ministerial Association, anyone interested can join in on the study which takes place out of All Saints Anglican Church, at 6904 Lougheed Hwy.

The next meeting happens Oct. 5.

The study is free, however participants need to purchase the book, along with the pocket-sized declaration and the call to action report for $20.

To register, contact Pugsley at mgp2000@shaw.ca, or phone the church at 604-796-3553.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Hundreds fill Chilliwack streets for Black Lives Matter march

‘Canada has a problem too,’ reads at least one protester’s sign

IHIT names homicide victim found in the Fraser Canyon this week

Police asking for tips into the suspicious death of 29-year-old Alicia Berg

Chilliwack RCMP heard gunfire en route to suspicous activity

Chilliwack man, 42, sent to hospital after shooting, RCMP have confirmed

Harrison officials carefully monitoring E.coli levels in lagoon

Levels testing unusually high for this time of year, officials say

Flock on vacation

The sun sets over Harrison and its feathered residents

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park at large

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

No charges to be laid against 22 northern B.C. pipeline protesters

Twenty-two people were arrested in February, but Crown has decided not to pursue charges

Plan in place for BC Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

IHIT investigating ‘suspicious’ death of Surrey man

Officers found the body while on foot patrol: Surrey RCMP

Most Read