It is with Great sorrow we acknowledge the passing of our precious Indigenous Elder Alberta Billy. She challenged the paradigms of the church and made us think of reconciliation long before we were able to know what it was, and today we give thanks for the Apology. The act of an Apology resonates across the decades and the continents. Today, we see and hear a Papal Apology. I remember Alberta Billy and her many talks and discussions these last two years on our Indigenous Lenten Series for the Pacific Mountain Region and Chinook Winds studies and workshops. Alberta Billy supported our ministry to the end with virtual wisdom and we are eternally grateful for her vision.
Let us begin building a legacy of reconciliation and put into action the words of our Elder Alberta Billy, from Quadra Island.
Let us put words to action, reach out and listen to our Elders. Their knowledge of Indigenous teachings is precious to all of creation.
We give thanks to her insight, revelation, and vision. She has left us with instructions in the Calls to the Church. We have just completed sessions reviewing her words to guide our ministry. We have noted that many denominations are listening to the United Church and the Elders Wisdom. We will continue to feed off the words and wisdom of our precious elder for years to come. Let us all review the Calls to the Church and respect the Legacy of Alberta Billy.
“Along the Sacred Fire we walked and talked with our Great Creator, By the Sacred Fire we heard living legends of long ago, beside the Sacred Fire we shared our stories and our dreams. Around the Sacred Fire we stood tall and proud as one people, From the Sacred Fire we felt the warmth and healing energy, in the Sacred Fire we saw new hope for the ages to come. The Sacred Fire will always burn within us as we journey on, The Sacred Fire will always light our path as we blaze new trails. With the Sacred Fire we will Journey on to that final camp a most beautiful place.” (1)
A poem by my late father Rev., Dr., Chief John Snow
(1. Chief John Snow, These Mountains are our Sacred Places, 2005, Fifth House Ltd. P. 234)
Peace be with you all, may Creator take away our sorrow as we journey on….Blessings to all.
Rev. John Snow, Indigenous Minister, Pacific Mountain Regional Council