Indigenous Peoples Pre-Assembly
The Indigenous Peoples pre-assembly is an open invitation to all who seek to join us in committing anew to act with compassion, to practice inclusive and relational justice, and to affirm our unity in Christ whose love moves us to restoring wholeness in all of creation. This is an invitation to a worldwide partnership of Indigenous Peoples and church related networks of peoples dedicated to the self-determination of Indigenous Peoples and to the renewal of creation in dreaming together a continuing vision of a new heaven and a new earth.
Too often reconciliation has been experienced as a process seeking too easily the restoration of harmonious relationships without fully addressing or engaging the sources and actions of oppression in the past and the present. The destructive effect of human sin manifested through varying forms of colonialism, imperialism, and capitalism has destroyed indigenous cultures, communities, and the interconnected web of creation. The process and acts of reconciliation are therefor not only about restoring broken human relationships but also humanity’s broken relationship with creation.
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.
The Indigenous pre-assembly will host approximately 100 to 150 (maximum) participants, including Indigenous Youth. The invitation is open to ecumenical regional networks, delegates to the assembly, visitors, indigenous and non- indigenous participants.
Theme of the Indigenous Peoples pre-assembly will be "Reconciliation: Restoring Wholeness in Creation".
The pre-assembly program will provide the space for:
- Ecumenical Indigenous Peoples Youth Program
- Engagement with the Indigenous Peoples in Europe
- Reflection and testimonies on the learnings from the various Pilgrim Team Visits
- Orientation to German context/issues
- Intentional interaction and reflection with assembly committee members and pre-assembly delegates
The pre-assembly will give participants the opportunity to explore the assembly theme from a contextual, indigenous, and intersectional perspective. Participants will have opportunities to reflect theologically on the theme, by using indigenous Contextual Bible studies, worship, keynote presentations, plenaries, and workshops. The workshop themes are reflective of the contextual issues of Indigenous Peoples of the varying WCC regions. The workshops will explore the following topics: Indigenous women and the Earth, Climate Change/Justice, Indigenous Spirituality, Language Revitalization, Decolonization and Self-determination, Trauma and Healing, Displacement and Youth. There will be joint sessions with the other pre-assemblies. Furthermore, in affirmation and celebration of the rich diversity of Indigenous Peoples’ cultures, there will be exhibitions, performances, arts and crafts in the marketplace.