Indigenous Ministries

Reflecting on the path to reconciliation

As Canadians prepare to mark the 2nd annual National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on September 30, the Anglican Foundation of Canada (AFC) is pausing to reflect on its ongoing role in the path to reconciliation.

The journey to reconciliation is a long one, and AFC will continue to be guided by the wisdom of Indigenous leaders, seeking to honour and respect Indigenous ways of being and learning and reflecting an unwavering commitment to the process of healing and reconciliation.

Since 2010 AFC has provided more than $450,000 in support of Indigenous Ministries from coast to coast to coast. Grants have included funding for healing and reconciliation initiatives, support for the language revitalization movement, including translation of Scripture and liturgical texts, and numerous urban Indigenous ministry projects.

Recent grants and multi-year funding programs have included:

Indigenous Birth Worker Program, Anglican Diocese of Edmonton

AFC’s spring 2022 grant cycle included $15,000 awarded to the Diocese of Edmonton’s Indigenous Birth Support Worker Program led by the Rev. Lori Calkins. This was the second consecutive year that AFC was able to provide funding for this important program. “Part of my role as a birth worker or auntie is the restoration of ceremony, knowledge and traditions back to our families,” says Calkins. “I am also a helper to our families, often addressing gaps that exist between what health care and social services systems offer, and what Indigenous families need in the community to be well on a day-to-day basis.”


Summer Ministry Internships, Arthur Turner Training School, Yellowknife, NT (Diocese of the Arctic)

With funding from the George and Esther Snell Trust, AFC was able to provide a spring 2022 grant of $8,800 to the Arthur Turner Training School (ATTS) in Yellowknife. “While there is great value in a university-style education, the contextual formation that takes place alongside elders and experienced clergy and lay leaders in the unique communities scattered along the Arctic coast isn’t something that can be learned in a classroom,” says the Rt. Rev. David Parsons, Bishop of the Arctic. “This funding will allow ATTS to support an Indigenous seminarian to experience life, worship, and ministry in two small towns. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a summer internship, and an important milestone in preparing for a long and fruitful ministry.”

The Cree Initiative, Wycliffe Bible Translators of Canada (partnering with the Indigenous Spiritual Ministry of Mishamikoweesh)

In 2021 AFC was proud to support the next three-year phase (2022-2024) of The Cree Initiative, which will support a local translation team in the Oji-Cree Kingfisher Lake community, so that community members can read Scripture and worship freely in their mother tongue. As communities show interest, Indigenous mobilizers will be trained to carry out the expansion of the project in other potential communities such as: Northern Alberta Cree, Plains Cree, Woods Cree, Eastern Swampy Cree, East Cree (Southern and Northern) and/or Mushuau Innu. Project goals include, but are not limited to: Bible translation, liturgy translation, supporting the development of language resources and literacy programs, and equipping local churches with Scripture engagement materials.

Healing Garden, St. John’s College, Winnipeg, MB (Diocese of Rupert’s Land)

With a fall 2021 Say Yes! to Kids grant, St. John’s College (SJC) in Winnipeg has been able to expand its Healing Garden. “As a school with denominational ties, we strongly believe that we need to honour and respect residential school survivors as well as support current Indigenous students,” says Helen Holbrook, SJC Chaplain. “In summer 2021, the idea of a Healing Garden was born. It started small and included sage, sweet grass, and peppermint. We hope to attract college members to help with the garden, especially those international students living in the residence as well as Indigenous students throughout campus.”


$100,000 Request for Proposals for Indigenous Ministries

In 2022 AFC will expand funding support for Indigenous Ministries through a $100,000 Request for Proposals as part of the fall 2022 grant cycle. Category A Grants will be considered based on impact and how they support Indigenous communities in a local context. Category B grants of up to $15,000 will be considered based on how they support the overall mission and service to Indigenous communities in a city, diocese, or region. AFC’s Board of Directors will review proposals in November and announce the grant recipients in early December. The 2022 RFP will fund a wide variety of projects that contribute to the physical, intellectual, emotional, or spiritual well-being of Indigenous communities in Canada. Programs that provide healing and support, respond to emerging needs, and advance reconciliation efforts are strongly encouraged.

To learn more about AFC’s granting program in support of Indigenous Ministries, please contact Michelle Hauser, Communications & Development Officer at [email protected].