How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! (NIV) Psalm 133:1
How do we encourage our children to live in unity with Indigenous peoples?
Do a deep dive, and check out these resources exploring First Nations, Metis and Inuit stories, histories, languages and media. Lead your family in the work of reconciliation and God’s call for healing and renewal.
Talk about reconciliation.
Every September, Canadians observe the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation to both remember the tragic legacy of residential schools in Canada and to encourage continued work toward reconciliation. Similarly, on the second Monday in October, the United States observes Indigenous Peoples' Day, a day to honor the histories, cultures, and contributions of Native American peoples. Both of these holidays are focused on the difficult work of reconciliation and are a good occasion to think about concrete ways we can answer God’s call to the ministry of reconciliation.
The CBC Kids website has some great videos explaining words like indigenous, reconciliation, and land acknowledgement.
Check out the Presbyterian Church of Canada’s Reconciliation Activities for Children.
Explore faith and culture.
Intervarsity Press has published First Nations Version: An Indigenous Translation of the New Testament.
Video from the Jesus Film Project and The First Nations Version, “Retelling the Good Story” brings to life the stories of Jesus or “Creator-Sets-Free” as he feeds the 5,000 and walks on water.
Check out Spotify’s Indigenous Worship Music playlist.
Explore the First Nations belief that all things have a relationship with Creator God, and together read verses like Luke 19:40, Matthew 6:26, and Isaiah 55:12. When talking about how God created all things, share that many First Nations call our planet Mother Earth, because she was created and provides all things for our sustenance.
Spend time learning about Indigenous culture.
APTN (Aboriginal Peoples Television Network and its website) have some great authentically indigenous shows for kids that talk about the First Nations way of life, like Anaana’s Tent.
Check out your library or child’s school to find out about age-appropriate books like The Sharing Circle by Theresa Larson-Jonasson (6-8 years), and The Mighty Muskrats Mysteries by Michael Hutchinson (9-12 years). Coffee table books that depict Native art can be great family conversation starters. Talk with your children about these resources as each explores cultural differences and a different way of walking with God.
Learn a few words in an Indigenous language. In Canada, many First Nations have shared their languages on the First Voices app. The app provides spelling, pronunciation, and games for children. You may also consider using Duolingo to learn the Hawaiian or Navajo languages.
Thanks to Creator God for the amazing picture of “every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb” (Revelation 7:9-12).