The Office of Race Relations and Canadian Aboriginal Ministry Committee have come together to develop a dynamic and experiential leadership development and reconciliation program for youth attending CRC churches. The program provides the opportunity for CRC young persons to not only respond to the call to “do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with our God,” but also to invite others along in that transformative journey. In short, the program seeks to disciple disciples.
The Youth Ambassador of Reconciliation Program is designed to provide non-Indigenous CRC young people with the tools and opportunity to act as bridges between their church community and a local Aboriginal community. The program is based on these values and principles: experiential, self-directed learning; mutual reciprocity that’s not based on charity; being in relationship WITH and not TO or FOR people; and Asset Based Community Development (ABCD).
The Youth Ambassador of Reconciliation (YAR) will have the opportunity to learn and practice skills related to reconciliation by participating in a week long cross-cultural reconciliation journey in Southern Ontario and then developing a Reconciliation Action Plan within a CRC-affiliated faith community that they are connected to (i.e., local church, campus ministry, school, etc). The week long cross-cultural reconciliation journey consists of a small learning community traveling to critical sites of racism, resistance, resilience and reconciliation. We will meet and hear from different Indigenous and non-Indigenous leaders directly involved in past and present Indigenous justice issues in Canada. Each member of the learning community will be partnered with someone who has a differing racial/ethnic identity than themselves and encouraged to experience and process the journey together, as well as with the group as a whole. The Reconciliation Action Plan is designed to build or strengthen relationships between the YAR’s church community and a local First Nations community (via a reserve or Friendship Centre).
The young adult will be supported by the following people on their reconciliation journey: a Youth Mentor - a leader chosen from their faith-based community (ie; deacon, elder, Pastor, campus chaplain, youth leader) who will assist them with processing their learning and help them with the planning and implementation of a contextualized Reconciliation Action Plan; and a Youth Coach - a CRCNA staff member who will provide training, 1-to-1 support, resources and coaching throughout each step of the process. This program is made possible through partnership with Global Youth Volunteer Network (GYVN). GYVN’s mission is to empower and strengthen Indigenous communities through traditional land-based education, food sovereignty, and solidarity networks.
Please note that these applications are not open until 2019