Freemasonry & The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Final Report’s “Calls for Justice”
Recently, this author had a meeting at the Can-Am Indian Friendship Centre in Windsor, ON. As part of this meeting, the Centre directed the author to the “National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Final Report” and, more specifically, the “Calls for Justice” contained therein.
The Final Report contains 231 Calls for Justice, divided into 18 sections. Many of these Calls are directed towards government and governmental agencies. However, two of these calls could relate specifically to Masonic organizations (which could include Lodges).
- 6.1.i — Ensure authentic and appropriate representation of Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people, inclusive of diverse Indigenous cultural backgrounds, in order to address negative and discriminatory stereotypes.
- 6.1.ii — Support Indigenous people sharing their stories, from their perspectives, free of bias, discrimination, and false assumptions, and in a trauma-informed and culturally sensitive way.
- 15.2 — Decolonize by learning the true history of Canada and Indigenous history in your local area. Learn about and celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ history, cultures, pride, and diversity, acknowledging the land you live on and its importance to local Indigenous communities, both historically and today
- 15.7 — Create time and space for relationships based on respect as human beings, supporting and embracing differences with kindness, love, and respect. Learn about Indigenous principles of relationship specific to those Nations or communities in your local area and work, and put them into practice in all of your relationships with Indigenous Peoples.
Masonic groups and organisations could and should engage with with the above calls by, for example:
- Inviting First Nations groups or individuals to speak at a Masonic meeting or event (it can be during refreshment, or even during a virtual event).
- Including Land Acknowledgements as part of Lodge correspondence, or at the start of meetings and other official or unofficial events.
- Inviting First Nations groups to engage in private or public ceremonies (depending on what is most appropriate) before Masonic events (such as, perhaps, smudging).
- Use your “daily advancement in Masonic knowledge” to learn more about the history of First Nations and Freemasonry. One source: Native American Freemasonry.
- Read the The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Final Report’s “Calls for Justice” and also the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Recommendations!
- Recognise National Indigenous Peoples Day (in Canada, June 21st, 2023)! This recognition can be done via social media, a special event, or a mention in Lodge (or a combination of all of the above).
There are so many ways for Freemasonry and Freemasons to engage with the “Calls for Justice.” Do you have any ideas!
All opinions expressed are those of Square & Compass Promotions and the guest(s), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Windsor Masonic Temple and/or any masonic group!