The session of Prairie has decided to support the Churches for Freedom Road campaign by placing a sign outside our building. The campaign is being supported by many churches across different denominations as a way of supporting the construction of a road for the people of First Nations Shoal Lake 40, and to promote just relations between the City, Province, Federal government and Shoal Lake 40. We take note that the city and province have committed funding for the road and the Federal government has agreed in principle to supply funds as well. We wish to commend the levels of government for the steps they are taking, but also wish to show our support until the time when the funds will actually be in place and construction can begin.
You may be interested to know that the Presbyterian Church has a long history with Shoal Lake. One of the two Presbyterian run residential schools was originally located there. The Presbyterian Church in Canada made a confession to the First Nations people in 1994 and we continue to look for ways to work toward reconciliation, particularly in our support of Winnipeg Inner City Missions and the Kenora Fellowship Centre.
More information about Churches for Freedom Road can be found here: www.churchesforfreedomroad.ca
Other helpful links:
Steve Bell's blog - Winnipeg singer/songwriter, Steve Bell, has been instrumental in raising awareness about the road needed at Shoal Lake 40. He posts regular updates on his blog.
What's with the Sign? - By Stephen Swan, pastor of the King's Fellowship. A very helpful discussion of why their congregation is supporting Churches for Freedom Road. Swan provides good context and some excellent links for learning more. He describes the campaign as "political in the sense of concern for the polis, the city in which we live," something which he argues is part of our Christian imperative to love our neighbour.