Professor Anne Pattel-Grey, Professor of Indigenous Studies and inaugural Head of the School of Indigenous Studies at the University of Divinity, recently reflected on the World Council of Churches (WCC) Indigenous People’s Pre-Assembly, which is currently taking place in Karlsruhe, Germany.
The indigenous pre-assembly seeks to challenge and critique notions of reconciliation that are too eager to gloss over the wrongdoings and violations of the past without addressing the ongoing systemic and structural causes of oppression and injustice of the past and present. Reconciliation is an intentional commitment to restoring wholeness in all creation. Indigenous peoples bring many insightful perspectives, wisdom, and knowledge from their experiences, cultures, and contexts that will enrich the ecumenical dialogue on reconciliation and the broader assembly theme, with the hope that we can continue to reimagine a just and equitable future together.
In the interview, Professor Pattel-Grey talked about what spoke to her during the assembly, the main message Indigenous people will carry to the gathering, and her hopes and prayers for the event. She reflects:
“The solutions to the growing concern of global climate change must include the ancient wisdom and knowledge of First Nations people as we have and continue to live with the whole of creation since time began. This is a resource that has not been recognised or embraced. The healing of creation must come through the First Nations people. Indigenous people from all over the globe bring a rich insight and theological perspective that have not been given the respect and credit that they should. We hold an ancient knowledge and relationship with the Creator that the western churches need to listen to”.
The full interview can be accessed here.