Magazine article Anglican Journal

First Anglican Indigenous Bishop for Treaty 7 Territory

Magazine article Anglican Journal

First Anglican Indigenous Bishop for Treaty 7 Territory

Article excerpt

On April 22, the diocese of Calgary elected Archdeacon Sidney Black as its first-ever suffragan bishop dedicated fully to Indigenous ministry.

Black, who has long been involved in Indigenous ministry locally and for the national church, was chosen unanimously by a group of Indigenous clergy, laypeople and elders during an election held at Christ Church Anglican in Nanton, Alta.

He will be the first bishop to serve the Indigenous Anglican churches of the Blackfoot Confederacy in Treaty 7 territory. Treaty 7 governs the relationship between members of the Blackfoot Confederacy and the Crown in southern Alberta.

While he has been elected to serve a specific part of the church, Black said his responsibility as a bishop is to the whole church. "I am a servant of the church, and I want to continue being a servant of the church for our Indigenous communities, our Metis communities, our Inuit communities and for the church at large, in whatever way the Spirit calls me," said Black.

Ordained a priest in 1991 and named archdeacon in 1996, he has served the church in many roles over his long career, among them as co-chair of the Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples (ACIP). He is also a member of the Indigenous Leadership Circle, the Primate's Commission on the Doctrine of Discovery, Reconciliation and Justice and the Primate's Council of Elders and Youth.

While he formally retired in 2016, when Black was asked whether or not he would consider standing as Indigenous bishop serving the churches of the Blackfoot Confederacy, he decided he had a responsibility to heed the call. …

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