Indigenous-Settler Relations - Overview

Indigenous-Settler Relations helps Mennonite faith communities grow in our awareness of host peoples and nurture justice-based friendships.

Courageous conversation is a big part of this work. To foster deeper understanding and break down walls that keep us apart, we explore basic, but critical questions:

  • Do we know the host people in the particular lands in which we live?
  • What kinds of histories and present relationships do we have?
  • How do we respectfully connect?
  • What are the issues – ‘our’ issues – that keep us apart?
  • How can we learn from Indigenous strengths and walk in solidarity?

Mennonite Church Canada's Indigenous-Settler Relations program works to support interested congregations through prayerful dialogue, sharing of educational and financial resources, and collective action. We help connect constituent communities to indigenous and settler persons, teachers, theological and social justice organizations that can be of help, and who are interested in pursuing peace together.

Critical to this work is indigenous theological learning - theology not simply for native peoples, but for non-natives too. The Mennonite expression of Christian faith is beautiful and has incredible strengths, but it’s been deeply impacted by colonial thinking and practices. Together, we need to re-think aspects of settler Christianity to discover a gospel that is more faithful to both host people and this “home and native” land that we live in.

In all things, the hope of Indigenous-Settler Relations is reconciliation. Reconciliation is a huge word, easily used and abused by the Church. Yet through relationships of growing integrity, we hope to walk a little further towards this dream.