Pentecostal Church Apologizes

Chief Snuxyaltwa (left) listens as Pastor Minor apologizes for the Bella Coola Pentecostal Church.

Bella Coola Pentecostal Church Apology – Snow Potlatch – 11 November 2011

I'd like to thank Chief Snuxyaltwa (Deric Snow) for inviting me to address this Potlatch on behalf of our Pentecostal Assembly of Bella Coola. It is an honor and a priviledge.

I want to thank all my Christian brothers and sisters who are standing here with me today. For all their support and prayers.

I want to recognize our Nuxalk elders for their wisdom and knowledge and acknowledge that many of our leading elders have also been strong in their Christian faith. We lift up our hands to you our elders.

We today honor the hereditary chiefs and the elected chief and council. We recognize you as God's established authorities, and that He has set you here to guide and protect the Nuxalkmc people. We lift up our hands to you.

We recognize and honor the potlatch itself as a sacred institution of the Nuxalkmc way of life. We also recognize that the work of reconciliation will never be finished till it takes place within the potlatch.

Our purpose here today is to make a step toward reconciliation and healing. The Pentecostal Assembly of Bella Coola has been asked to come here by Snuxyaltwa to "apologize for giving words that hurt our Nuxalkmc human rights to practice our spiritual ways as human beings here on Mother Earth."

What words are we being asked to apologize for? I believe it is for teachings from various church leaders over the years, aboriginal and non aboriginal, who have made sweeping criticisms of Nuxalkcm cultural traditions. We acknowledge that these judgements have led to the abandonment of cultural practices by individuals, division within families, frustration and pain within individuals, and strife within the community.

We are very sorry for this pain and strife.

Jack Minor


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