On the weekend a small band of IdleNoMore supporters clogged up 14st and marched from Nose Hill to the 14st bridge over the Bow. Traffic was re-routed and weekend commuters were left with huge delays. Calgarians have been largely insulated from the national movement, there are no train blockades or mass mall circle dances to raise the profile and the ire of some onlookers.
Therein lies the emerging issue. Both nationally, and now more so locally, the IdleNoMore movement has both polarized dialogue, and also revealed a deep-seated and increasingly racism in the average Canadian.
What can we learn and how should the church respond?
Calgary Church will be releasing some thoughts over the next few days on this subject. In the meantime, in the very least the positive from IdleNoMore is the conversations that they’ve started. First Nation’s and Canadians are starting to rethink what they took for granted in the past (more so the latter).
What we’re discovering is that our story is not the only story.
The church for their part play a tenuous role. Fully entrenched along with the Crown in the historical attempt to systematically ‘end the Indian’ through, most predominantly the residential schools, it’s hard to emerge with a perspective that doesn’t have this baggage.
Nonetheless, the way of Jesus is crystal clear–participating in the unfolding Kingdom of God in our city and beyond means fully and radically embracing reconciliation. To put it simply, reconciliation is the fixing of broken relationships.
There’s an opportunity for our country to emerge as victors together by working hard to find third ways to age old questions. There’s a role for radical love in the emerging movement.