“Not all missionary effort bring the Gospel of liberation,” declared Robert Granke, as he shared the story of the coming together of three communities in Laird,
Robert Granke, Executive Director of Canadian Lutheran World Relief, represented the North American region during the Global commemoration of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation at Sam Nujoma Stadium on 14 May. The testimony was presented before 10,000 participants.
In 1876, Treaty 6 was signed giving the land in Laird to the Young Chippewayan First Nation. Despite this, in 1897, the government sold the land to Lutheran and Mennonite settlers. In the 1970s, the Young Chippewayans sought to reclaim their land.
“This was met with great animosity, fear and anger,” said Granke.
It wasn’t until 1994 that the Canadian Government Land Claims Commission admitted to the unrightful seizure of the land. Current inhabitants of the sacred land, including
Granke shared how local
In 2006, Young Chippewayans, Lutherans and Mennonites would get together and create a memorandum of understanding despite apprehensions on all sides.
Many questioned after why it took so long to get together. Realizing something bigger than their own interests, a memorandum of understanding was signed and the communities are now working to right past wrongs.
“Creation and peoples are not for sale,” said Granke. “Even where there is a grievance, trust and mutual respect take precedence. We’re in this together. And on this journey, something of God’s immeasurable goodness and reconciliation is revealed.”