Terms of Reference of the Steering Committee of the
Centre for Indian Scholars, the Wilp Wilxo’oskwhl Nisga’a,
Vancouver School of Theology and the Native Ministries Consortium
A. Mission Statement
The most prominent feature of the First Indian Ecumenical Conference (1970) which emerged clearly to nearly everyone’s surprise and pleasure was the unanimity of purpose and thought of the delegates. Everyone agreed that modern Indian religious life must be a furthering of the historic continuity of time honoured Indian values and philosophical concern; that both modern Indian ceremonies and Indian Christianity must be part of that continuity; and that both native ceremonials and Indian Christianity can be mutually supportive or parallel and cooperative or integrated according to the desire of the particular tribe involved. Source: Report of the First Indian Ecumenical Conference (1970)
B. Assessment of Environment
North American tribal nations and societies have experienced colonization and Christian participation in that process. There is the need to work together to recover what has been lost and to establish an environment for discussion and dialogue between equals.
To foster dialogue, exchange and examination of spiritual and religious beliefs and practices for peace and harmony of all creation.
- To establish a consortium of the partners.
- To develop a centre and studies program in Native American Indigenous Religions, Spiritualities and Cultures.
- To offer joint programs in Indigenous religions, spiritualities and cultures.
- Sustain and develop an on-going inter-faith dialogue between Christians and traditionalists. (to promote understanding and broad ecumenical participation and cooperation.
- To promote learning from within a particular faith or sacred tradition and practice.
- To consult indigenous spiritual leadership.
- To support research: oral, archival or social
- To support the recognition for Indigenous religions and spiritualities.
- To recognize the truth of oppression and to support the right of self-determination of Indigenous nations.
- To study the history of Indigenous Peoples from the perspectives of Indigenous Peoples.
- When appropriate offer degree programs.
E. Composition of Steering Committee
- The Council shall consist of two representatives from each organization. Each organization may appoint alternates.
F. Roles and Responsibilities
The Steering Committee will fulfill the following roles and responsibilities.
- Report on the objectives, work plan, implementation, issues or recommendations through common reports to respective organizations.
- Agree on an information strategy for the preparation of information for distribution.
- Plan functions or events for the implementation of objectives, work plan or other initiatives.
- Share and coordinate fund-raising strategies with member organizations.
The meetings of the Steering Committee will be conducted in the following ways.
- A chairperson for each meeting will be selected.
- A meeting date will be set at a meeting or may be called by two member organizations.
- Special meetings will be called when necessary through teleconferencing.
- Quorum will be at least one representative from each organization.
- Decision-making will be done through consensus. However, if voting took place there will be one vote per member organization.
- Minutes of Steering Committee meetings will be taken and approved by the Committee.
- Financial reports will be presented at meetings of the Steering Committee and a report on fund-raising.
A chairperson and a coordinator of fund-raising will be appointed by the Steering Committee for the purpose of raising funds.