Magazine article Anglican Journal

'What Do They Want Now?'

Magazine article Anglican Journal

'What Do They Want Now?'

Article excerpt

OFTEN, AS I travel across Canada, I hear Anglo-Canadians (even Anglicans!) speak of indigenous peoples with great impatience (and barely hidden hostility), "What do they want now?" Much is implied in the question; a frustrating web of misunderstanding and misperception, creating a cultural gap that is astonishing in its tenacity and deadliness. Yet, the answer to the question is sure to surprise, maybe even bring joy.

What I hear most often from indigenous peoples are phrases like, We want spiritual food, a life of the spirit that will lead us to a better way. I want to hear the Gospel in all its fullness. Everywhere, the answer appears in clear and simple expressions, though voiced in different languages, words, and idioms. What is desired is the Word of God made flesh, pitching its tent, becoming living and real in home, family, and community. The priority here is the spiritual substance that allows for a meaningful life. So, the pearl of great price, the answer to the question, is, um, The Pearl of Great Price.

Wasn't the spiritual message always here? Absolutely, it was the sustaining factor for indigenous peoples over these past few dismal centuries. …

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