In 2022, at General Council 44, the National Indigenous Council proposed that the church identify and remove any structural barriers that would prevent the development and sustaining of an autonomous National Indigenous Organization within The United Church of Canada. When any requested change in church structure will alter the Basis of Union of The Manual, as this will, a Category 3 Remit is required.
This remit asks if the church will agree to remove these structural barriers so that the Indigenous Church can determine its place and structure within the United Church. The 44th General Council authorized this remit to test the will of the church with respect to this change.
Approval of this remit will enable the creation of an autonomous National Indigenous Organization within The United Church of Canada. This would acknowledge Indigenous peoples’ rights to their own spiritual identities and to self-determination, and would be consistent with the Caretakers of our Indigenous Circle’s Calls to the Church and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
The remit requires a vote by every regional council and each pastoral charge’s governing body. Information about the remit, as well as voting cards, were sent to every regional council and each pastoral charge on March 10, either through email or Canada Post. Voting will take place between March 15, 2023, and March 31, 2024. Abstentions are considered a vote against the remit.
The results will be reported to the Annual Meeting of the General Council of the United Church in October 2024.