Edhird's Blog

Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit


1 Comment

John A Macdonald: Nation-Builder

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird 

Every time I spend ten dollars, I come face-to-face with Sir John A Macdonald, our first Prime Minister.  As “the most famous of all Canadian leaders”, Sir John A. was a nation-builder, a man with many flaws who looked beyond himself and saw a great dream.

Recently we celebrated BC’s 150th Anniversary.  Without Sir John A, there is no doubt in my mind that BC would have been lost to Canada.  The vast majority of  BC settlers were Americans drawn from San Francisco by the 1858 Gold Rush.  John A’s promise of the Canadian Pacific Railway won over the hearts and mind of ambivalent BCers.  This extravagant promise almost bankrupted Canada and nearly destroyed Sir John’s A. Macdonald’s political career.   Imagine if the Federal Government in 2010 promised to send Canadian Astronauts to Jupiter by 2020!  A railway all the way to BC was just as unthinkable in 1870.  Some cynics joked that Canada was not a nation, but a railroad in search of a nation

John A was not only a nation-builder but also a bridge-builder.  He commented: “We should accept as men and brothers all those who think alike of the future of the country, and wish to act alike for the good of the country, no matter what their antecedents may have been.”  He saw Canadian Confederation as a spiritual marriage between francophones and anglophones.  Unlike many of his fellow party members, John A could read French, understand it, and speak it reasonably well.”  Sir John A commented: “God and nature have made the two Canadas one – let no factious men be allowed to put them asunder.”

After the tragic death of his first wife Isabella, he married Agnes Bernard, just before the national ‘marriage’ of the Dominion of Canada on July 1st, 1867.  Agnes wrote in her diary: “I have found something worth living for – living in – my husband’s heart and love.”  As a devout Anglican, Agnes had a significant impact on her husband’s life, causing him to cut back on his drinking and start attending church on Sunday.  John A was deeply impressed by the Beatitudes, and made a practice of reading his bible every night before bedtime.

In 1888, during six weeks of Hunter-Crossley renewal meetings in Ottawa, Prime Minister Macdonald had a deep encounter with Jesus Christ.  As one journalist put it, “When the well-known form of the Honorable Prime Minister arose in the centre of the church, many strong men bowed their heads and wept for joy.” After dining at the prime minister’s home several days later, Rev John Hunter confirmed that “Sir John is a changed man.”

May we all, like Sir John A. Macdonald, have the courage to change the things we can.

The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, BSW, MDiv, DMin

– previously published in the North Shore News

-award-winning author of the book Battle for the Soul of Canada

for better for worse-Click to check out our newest marriage book For Better For Worse: discovering the keys to a lasting relationship on Amazon. You can even read the first two chapters for free to see if the book speaks to you.

 

-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback and ebook form. In Canada, Amazon.ca has the book available in paperback and ebook.

It is also posted on Amazon UK (paperback and ebook ), Amazon France (paperback and ebook), and Amazon Germany (paperback and ebook).

Restoring Health is also available online on Barnes and Noble in both paperback and Nook/ebook form.  Nook gives a sample of the book to read online.

Indigo also offers the paperback and the Kobo ebook version.  You can also obtain it through ITunes as an IBook.

To receive a signed copy within North America, just send a $20 cheque (USD/CAN) to ED HIRD, #102-15168 19th Ave, Surrey, BC V4A 0A5.

– In order to obtain a signed copy of the prequel book Battle for the Soul of Canada, please send a $18.50 cheque to ‘Ed Hird’, #102-15168 19th Ave, Surrey, BC V4A 0A5.

For mailing the book to the USA, please send $20.00 USD.  This can also be done by PAYPAL using the e-mail ed_hird@telus.net . Be sure to list your mailing address. The Battle for the Soul of Canada e-book can be obtained for $4.99 CDN/USD.

-Click to purchase the Companion Bible Study by Jan Cox (for the Battle of the Soul of Canada) in both paperback and Kindle on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca 


1 Comment

Chief Joseph Brant: Canadian Hero

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

My wife and I had the privilege of attending the First Peoples Forgiven Summit in Ottawa.  During that time we were able to meet a number of Mohawk believers, including Jonathan Maracle of Broken Walls who led us in remarkable worship music.  Canada’s most famous Mohawk was Chief Joseph Brant.  Recently the Canadian Royal Mint produced a Canadian Loonie with the imprint of Chief Joseph Brant  (1742-1807).  More Canadians need to hear this story of this Canadian hero.  He was described by Mark Jodoin as having the mind of a statesman, the heart of a leader, and the soul of a warrior. Without the military and spiritual support of Chief Brant, Canada would have likely never survived.

Chief Joseph Brant’s Mohawk name was Thayendanegea which means “two sticks bound together for strength”.  Isabel Thompson Kelsay notes that “the most famous (aboriginal) who ever lived, has been for two centuries a virtual unknown.”   I suspect that he is unknown to most North Americans because he chose the side of Canada in the American revolutionary war.  As Canada’s premier First Nations leader, Brant had the privilege of meeting both Georges in person: King George III and President George Washington.

Brant learned to speak, read and write English at a New Hampshire school led by Rev Wheelock. Wheelock described Brant as being “of a sprightly genius, a manly and gentle deportment, and of a modest, courteous and benevolent temper.”  In 1772, Brant was then mentored by Rev John Stuart, being trained in the art of Bible and Prayer Book translation.  During that time, Brant developed a deep prayer life, becoming a committed Anglican Christian.

During the American Revolutionary war, Brant was falsely accused of committing atrocities in locations which he was not present, including the tragic Wyoming and Cherry Valley Massacres.  Those who knew Brant well testified that he often prevented atrocities through the use of his persuasive leadership. As a devout Anglican Christian, he exhibited compassion and humanity, especially towards women, children, and non-combatants. American Colonel Ichabod Alden commented that he “should much rather fall into the hands of Brant than either of them [Loyalists and Tories].”  It was frequently said of Joseph Brant that during the American revolution, he fought with a tomahawk in one hand, a copy of the New Testament in the other.

Joseph Brant’s father was one of the sachem/chiefs, known as the Four Indian Kings, who visited Queen Anne in 1710.  These chiefs asked ‘for missionaries to be sent to the People of the Longhouse to teach them more about Christianity.”  Queen Anne sent this request to the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury, promising to build them a chapel. In 1711, Queen Anne’s Royal Chapel was built in the Mohawk Valley in New York State.  When the Mohawks relocated to Southern Ontario, the Mohawk Royal Chapel was rebuilt there in 1785.  Joseph Brant’s grave is located right next to the historic Mohawk Chapel, the oldest protestant church in Ontario. Just this past July, Queen Elizabeth, while visiting Ontario, presented the Mohawk Chapel with a set of eight silver hand bells engraved ‘The Silver Chain of Friendship 1710-2010’.

On each side of the Mohawk Chapel pulpit are two tablets in the Mohawk language of the Lord’s Prayer and the Ten Commandments.  Joseph Brant was a brilliant linguist translating the Bible and Anglican Prayer Book into Mohawk (of which there are microfiche copies at Simon Fraser University).  He also wrote a concise history of the Bible and a Mohawk language catechism. Brant spoke at least three and possibly all of the Six Nations’ languages.  When the Chapel was dedicated in 1788, each person was given a Mohawk book containing the Gospel of Mark and the Anglican Prayer Book.  At that celebration, sixty five Mohawks were baptized and three couples were married.

When Joseph Brant first visited England in 1775, he was described by a British commander as ‘His Majesty’s greatest North American subject.’, and painted in full aboriginal regalia by George Romney.  Receiving a captain’s commission, Brant met with the King on two occasions, with a dinner being held in his honour. Brant was honoured by the English leaders in the arts, letters and government, including James Boswell, the famed biographer of Samuel Johnson.

In 1779 Brant was commissioned by the King as ‘captain of the Northern Confederate Indians’ in recognition of his “astonishing activity and success’. Brant was described as “the perfect soldier, possessed of remarkable stamina, courage under fire, and dedicated to the cause, an able and inspiring leader and a complete gentleman.”

Joseph Brant’s Six Nations were tragically driven out of their homeland in Central New York.  Brant was hurt that in granting their Mohawk homeland in Central New York State to the Americans, England had ‘sold the Indians to the US Congress’.  Writing to King George III, he reminded the British that “we, the Mohawks, were the first Indian Nation that took you by hand and invited you to live among us, treating you with kindness…”  The Six Nations were eventually resettled by Governor Frederick Haldimand in the Grand River area around modern-day Brantford.  The British realized that locating the Six Nations in the Grand River area would be a natural protection against any future American invasion.  Initially the Mississauga First Nation resisted the concept of having their former foes on their land.  One Mississauga Chief Pokquan however persuaded his other chiefs by arguing that other aboriginals would be better neighbours than European settlers, and that Brant’s knowledge of the British could prove useful.

The term Brantford comes from Brant’s Ford, the shallow part of the Grand River that could be forded.  The first years at Brantford were difficult as there was a drought with game being hard to find.  Throughout all the challenges, Chief Brant’s deep faith sustained him.  Chief Brant’s sacrificial love for God and nation should inspire all of us.  He memorably said: “No person among us desires any other reward for performing a brave and worthwhile action but the consciousness of having served one’s nation.”

May all of us be willing to learn from the bravery and loyalty of Chief Joseph Brant.

The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, BSW, MDiv, DMin

-previously published in the Deep Cove Crier/North Shore News

-award-winning author of the book Battle for the Soul of Canada

for better for worse-Click to check out our newest marriage book For Better For Worse: discovering the keys to a lasting relationship on Amazon. You can even read the first two chapters for free to see if the book speaks to you.

 

-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback and ebook form. In Canada, Amazon.ca has the book available in paperback and ebook.

It is also posted on Amazon UK (paperback and ebook ), Amazon France (paperback and ebook), and Amazon Germany (paperback and ebook).

Restoring Health is also available online on Barnes and Noble in both paperback and Nook/ebook form.  Nook gives a sample of the book to read online.

Indigo also offers the paperback and the Kobo ebook version.  You can also obtain it through ITunes as an IBook.

To receive a signed copy within North America, just send a $20 cheque (USD/CAN) to ED HIRD, #102-15168 19th Avenue, Surrey, BC V4A 0A5.

– In order to obtain a signed copy of the prequel book Battle for the Soul of Canada, please send a $18.50 cheque to ‘Ed Hird’, #102-15168 19th Avenue, Surrey, BC V4A 0A5.

For mailing the book to the USA, please send $20.00 USD.  This can also be done by PAYPAL using the e-mail ed_hird@telus.net . Be sure to list your mailing address. The Battle for the Soul of Canada e-book can be obtained for $4.99 CDN/USD.

-Click to purchase the Companion Bible Study by Jan Cox (for the Battle of the Soul of Canada) in both paperback and Kindle on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca 


Leave a comment

Louis Riel: Patriote Canadien ?

par Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

Qui était Louis Riel ? Était-il un patriote, un dissident, ou les deux ?

Louis Riel est né à Saint-Boniface (Winnipeg, Manitoba) le 22 octobre 1844, héritant de son père un mélange de sang français, irlandais et indigène, avec le français comme héritage dominant.

Sa mère, Julie, envoya son fils Louis pour devenir le premier prêtre Metis du Canada. Cependant,  la mort de son père en 1864 pesa fortement sur Louis et entraina une fin abrupte à sa formation au seminaire. Quatre mois avant de devenir prêtre, Louis rencontra une jeune fille de Montréal, en tomba amoureux, et décida de se marier. Il partit de l’université de Montréal sans obtenir son diplome.  Ses plans de mariage se sont alors effondrés quand ses parents de sa fiancée lui interdirent cette union à un Metis. Rendu amer par ce rejet raciste, Riel quitta Montréal en 1866, sans épouse, sans carrière, sans argent.

Retournant chez lui dans la colonie de Red River, Riel constata que les sauterelles avaient dévasté la terre. Avec la cession de l’influence de la Companie de la Baie D’ Hudson, le Canada de l’est et les Etats-Unis semblaient prêts à engloutir la colonie de Red River. Les Metis se sont sentis oubliés, ignorés et abandonnés sur le plan politique.

Sans consulter convenablement les 12 000 habitants de Red River, la Compagnie de la Baie d’ Hudson venda la colonie au Canada de l’est. Louis Riel rassembla les Metis en 1869 pour prendre le pouvoir du fort Garry, le centre nerveux de la CBH. Le but de Riel était de forcer le gouvernement fédéral à négocier l’admission du Manitoba dans la confédération comme province officielle, et non comme territoire. Le nom de la provinceManitoba, plutôt que l’Assiniboia, qui était le nom territorial, vena de Louis Riel lui-même.

Louis Riel a proclamé que le Metis étaient les sujets loyaux de sa majesté, la reine de l’Angleterre.  “Si nous sommes des rebelles”, a dit Riel, “nous sommes des rebelles contre la compagnie qui nous vendue, et qui est prête à nous livrer, et contre le Canada qui veut nous acheter. Nous ne sommes pas en révolte  contre la suprématie britannique qui n’a toujours pas donné son approbation pour le transfert final du pays. Nous voulons que les habitants de RedRiver soit un peuple libre”.

Les Américains ont observé la rébellion de Red River avec beaucoup d’intérêt. Ignatius Donnelly, un ancien lieutenant-gouverneur du Minnesota, dit : “Si les revolutionnistesde Red River sont encouragés et soutenus, nous pourrions dans quelques années, peut-être même quelques mois, voir les étoiles et les raies brandir de Fort Garry, des eaux du détroit de Puget Sound, et le long du rivage de Vancouver”. A l’été1870, Nathanial F. Langford et l’ex-gouverneur du Minnesota Marshall ont visité Riel au Fort Garry. Ils ont promis à Riel quatre millions dedollars, des pistolets, des munitions, des mercennaires et des approvisionnements pour se maintenir jusqu’à ce que son gouvernement ait été reconnu par les Etats-Unis. Riel refusa.

Après que William O’Donohogue ait déchiré le drapeau de  l’union Jack, Riel reposta immédiatement l’union Jack avec des ordres de tirer n’importe quel homme qui oserait le toucher. En dépit de sa réputation de rebelle, Louis Riel s’est montré un patriote canadien qui, à lui seul empêcha le Canada occidental d’être absorbé par les Etats-Unis. Riel a écrit cette prière dans son journal intime : Oh mon Dieu! Sauvez-moi du malheur d’être impliqué avec les Etats-Unis. Laissez les Etats-Unis nous protéger indirectement, spontanément, par un acte de providence, mais sans aucun engagement ou accord de notre part”.  Prophétiquement, Riel a également inscrit dans son journal intime: “Dieu m’a révélé que le gouvernement des Etats-Unis va devenir extraordinairement puissant”.

Les Metis sont une bande de lâches”, vantait Thomas Scott. “Ils n’oseront pas me tirer”. S’il n’était pas pour l’approbation de Riel du tir tragique de l’anglais Thomas Scott parRiel, il auraitpu aboutir au Cabinet fédéral de John A.Macdonald. La mort de Thomas Scott a fait de Riel l’homme le plus détesté du Canada.

Après sa fuite aux Etats-Unis, Riel a été alors élu comme MP du Manitoba.

La législature du Québec en1874 a passé une résolution unanime demandant au Gouverneur-Général d’accorder l’amnistie à Riel. La même année, après la réélection de Louis Riel comme MP, il est entré dans le bâtiment du parlement, a signé le registre, et a juré un serment d’allégeance à la Reine Victoria avant de se échapper pour éviter l’arrestation. La Chambre des Communes, outrée, l’a expulsé avec une majorité 56-vote.

Exilé au Montana, Riel s’est marié et est devenu un bon citoyen américain, respectueux des lois. En 1884, avec l’abattage du bison, plusieurs gens de premières nations et Métis mourraient de faim. Les Metis en Saskatchewan ont convaincu Riel de retourner au Canada. Riel a envoyé une pétition à Ottawa exigeant que les Metis recoivent les titres de la terre qu’ils occupaient et que les districts de Saskatchewan, Assiniboia et Alberta recoivent le statut provincial. Au lieu de cela, le gouvernement fédéral a établit une commission. En l’absence d’action concrète, Louis Riel et ses partisans ont décidé de renouveller leurs révendications en essayant de capturer le fort Carlton.

En raison du chemin de fer du Canadien Pacifique, mon arrière-grand-père Oliver Allen a été envoyé avec la milice de Toronto pour rapidement vaincre Riel à Batoche. Avec des pistolets Gatling américains avec 1.200 séries par minute, la bataille n’a pas duré longtemps. Tandis qu’il était dans l’ouest, Oliver Allen rencontra sa future épouse Mary Mclean, une journaliste de Regina bien disposé à l’égard de Louis Riel. Juste avant la pendaison de Riel, Mary Mclean s’est déguisé en prêtre catholique afin d’interviewer Riel, il a ecrit cette prière dans son journal intime : “Seigneur Jésus, je vous aime. J’aime tout lié à vous… Seigneur Jésus, faites-moi la même faveur que vous avez fait pour le bon voleur ; dans votre pitié infinie, laissez-moi entrer au paradis le jour même de ma mort”.

 

 

Tour Rev. Dr. Ed Et Marc Hird,

Un article pour les nouvelles du Rivage de Nord « Parlant Spirituel » Colonne

-award-winning author of the book Battle for the Soul of Canada

for better for worse-Click to check out our newest marriage book For Better For Worse: discovering the keys to a lasting relationship on Amazon. You can even read the first two chapters for free to see if the book speaks to you.

 

-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback and ebook form. In Canada, Amazon.ca has the book available in paperback and ebook.

It is also posted on Amazon UK (paperback and ebook ), Amazon France (paperback and ebook), and Amazon Germany (paperback and ebook).

Restoring Health is also available online on Barnes and Noble in both paperback and Nook/ebook form.  Nook gives a sample of the book to read online.

Indigo also offers the paperback and the Kobo ebook version.  You can also obtain it through ITunes as an IBook.

To receive a signed copy within North America, just send a $20 cheque (USD/CAN) to ED HIRD, #102-15168 19th Avenue, Surrey, BC V4A 0A5, Canada.

– In order to obtain a signed copy of the prequel book Battle for the Soul of Canada, please send a $18.50 cheque to ‘Ed Hird’, #102-15168 19th Avenue, Surrey, BC V4A 0A5.

For mailing the book to the USA, please send $20.00 USD.  This can also be done by PAYPAL using the e-mail ed_hird@telus.net . Be sure to list your mailing address. The Battle for the Soul of Canada e-book can be obtained for $4.99 CDN/USD.

-Click to purchase the Companion Bible Study by Jan Cox (for the Battle of the Soul of Canada) in both paperback and Kindle on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca