Seminary presents talk on water protection

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Photo by Paige Bush

On Monday, Jan. 16 Waterloo Lutheran Seminary presented a talk called Protecting Water Through Prayer and Resistance: Witness from Standing Rock and Line 9.

The featured speakers were Myeengun Henry, Elder and band councillor for the Chippewas of the Thames First Nation and Aboriginal services manager at Conestoga College.

As well as Bishop Mark MacDonald, national Indigenous Anglican Bishop with the Anglican Church of Canada.

Both speakers shared their experience with protest and resistance of Indigenous issues.

We want to continue to look at what’s on the table and what are the issues that are most pressing.

– Allen G Jorgenson, assistant dean and professor of systematic theology

“One of the visions of the Seminary, the public seminary, is to bring public issues and try to bring to bare what kind of insights faith and religious life might help in terms of people like Bishop MacDonald and Elder Myeegun to help us better understand how we can participate take part in making the world a better place,” said Allen G Jorgenson, organizer of Protecting Water Through Prayer and Resistance, assistant dean and professor of systematic theology at Wilfrid Laurier University.

Jorgenson explained that the use of the Seminary is to provide a space for all to receive resources about important social and environmental topics. The Seminary has done significant work to raise awareness of issues such as Standing Rock and Line 9.

As well, they have been following recommendations from The Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

“We have been attentive on some of a calls for action, which is one of the things The Truth and Reconciliation Commission is to engage in these issues. We’ve been doing it for a quite a while,” Jorgenson said.

This is an issue in our own backyard. One of the ways you could be involved is through learning something…Raising awareness.

Allen G Jorgenson, assistant dean and professor of systematic theology

“We want to continue to look at what’s on the table and what are the issues that are most pressing, and how we can help people of faith and in the community to find ways into the questions and into the calls for action.”

The talk with Bishop MacDonald and Henry stressed the importance of consent when it comes to issues surrounding Indigenous land.

“The heart of the issue wasn’t really altogether the oil, in that sense. People misunderstand that. I know I’ve heard from the interviews from people at Standing Rock saying we are not actually against the pipeline, we are against that they were going to build the pipeline without asking us and we think it’s dangerous,” explained Jorgenson.

“The goal of the event was to provide an occasion for people of faith and no faith who are interested in learning from our Indigenous neighbours and how they can be involved and they have an occasion to do that,’’ said Jorgenson.

For those that missed the event at the Seminary, Jorgenson touched on the importance of staying educated about important issues that affect our society and Indigenous community.

“Myeengun Henry brought up the issue that is not just an issue of Standing Rock, but this is an issue in our own backyard,” Jorgenson said.

“One of the ways you could be involved is through learning something … Raising awareness is part of social justice. For people of faith there’s a sense of responsibility to care for the world and just getting people aware of issues.”

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