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Remit to Remove Structural Barriers to Developing and Sustaining an Autonomous Indigenous Church

Town Hall Info Session

A town hall information session was held on Tuesday, September 19, 2023 where we gathered on Zoom with our friends from Shining Waters Regional Council. A recording was made of the town hall meeting, where we reviewed and discussed the remit to remove structural barriers to developing and sustaining an autonomous Indigenous Church (also known as Remit One). Special guest speaker was the Rev. Michael Blair, General Secretary.


Canadian Shield members will be voting on this remit at our November regional meeting.

This is a Category 3 Remit, and so requires a vote by every regional council and each pastoral charge’s governing body. If a regional council or a pastoral charge does not register a vote, that is considered a vote against the proposal.

There is one question to be voted on, as follows:

Does the regional council agree to amend the Basis of Union to reflect:

  1. That The United Church of Canada will be organized as follows (1) a three-council structure, consisting of communities of faith, regional councils and a Denominational Council*; and (2) an autonomous National Indigenous Organization; and
  2. That once the new autonomous National Indigenous Organization is established within The United Church of Canada, it will have its own mechanisms to make any future changes to its structure and processes, and, therefore will not be subject to the remit process under section 7.4.1 of the Basis of Union**; and
  3. The changes required for the establishment of the autonomous National Indigenous Organization.


Once the regional vote has been completed we will submit the regional response form to the General Council Office.


General Council 44 Background Information

general council 44 logo

The 44th General Council met virtually between February 2022 and August 2022.

At that meeting, the General Council approved an amendment to the Basis of Union in The Manual of The United Church of Canada to establish an autonomous National Indigenous Organization. It also authorized a Category 3 Remit to test the will of the church with respect to this change.

For background information about this remit, a study guide, response forms and more, please see the General Council 44 website. Questions can be e-mailed to remits@united-church.ca.

To read the proposals click the links below:

Responding to Questions


Since launching the Category 3 remit about removing structural barriers to developing and sustaining an autonomous Indigenous Church in March 2023, the General Council Office has received a number of questions about the remit process, as well as about the remit itself.

Some of these questions have asked: What is this remit about? Where did this remit come from? Why is a remit process needed? What is the voting process? What will the new Indigenous Church look like? How will it be funded? How will this Indigenous organization be in relationship with the regional councils and wider United Church?

In this video, Adele Halliday, Anti-Racism and Equity Lead, and Sara Stratton, Reconciliation and Indigenous Justice Animator, of the General Council Office respond to these questions and others that have been raised about the current Category 3 Remit on establishing an autonomous National Indigenous Organization within The United Church of Canada. 


Educational Video Resource


Remit Preparation – The United Church of Canada and its Relationship with Indigenous Members

Presentation by Rev Dr Teresa Burnett Cole regarding Remit NIC-01 Establishing an Autonomous National Indigenous Church. For more details on the remit, including a study guide and response forms, please see https://generalcouncil44.ca/council/remit-1-establishing-autonomous-national-indigenous-organization

Other Resources






United Church Apologies to Indigenous Peoples



The Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP) Final Report is a huge document. If you wish to take a glance, here is the link: https://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/aboriginal-heritage/royal-commission-aboriginal-peoples/Pages/final-report.aspx

Nov 21, 2021 was the 25th anniversary of the final report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples  (RCAP)



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Peter Hartmans

Peter Hartmans

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Melody Duncanson-Hales

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Susan Whitehead

Susan Whitehead

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