2017/07/07 A Communication Guide

In keeping with the City’s commitment to respond to the Truth and Reconciliation of Canada’s Calls to Action #57, the City has launched a new resource to enhance our understanding of Aboriginal culture and practices, called ayisīnowak [a/ee/see/ni/wak, Cree for ‘the people’]: A Communications Guide [kâ-isi-pîkiskwâtoyahk, Cree for ‘the people are communicating’] (Guide). 

This Guide is intended to provide individuals with a basic outline of Aboriginal protocol and governance systems in order to facilitate improved relationship building either as co-workers, through business opportunities or through inclusion in specific projects.

The framework for the Guide was made possible, in part, through a summer employment partnership opportunity with the Saskatoon Tribal Council, and was developed through an internal collaboration between the Regional Planning, Aboriginal Relations and Communications Divisions.  The team then partnered with the Saskatchewan Indigenous Cultural Centre (SICC) and the Office of the Treaty Commissioner (OTC) who provided valuable information on First Nation meeting etiquette, protocols and ceremonial traditions.  The content is presented as an adaptive and living document that will continue to develop as our relationships and understanding grows.

A digital copy of the Guide is available on the City’s website, with a limited amount of hard copies available upon request.  

Should you have any questions or require further information, please do not hesitate to contact us.


Click here to read/print the booklet


2017/06/02 22 Days of Reconciliation

The Rev. Samuel Halkett serves as language instructor for the Cree Language Healing Project in Prince Albert, Sask.—one of many community-based language recovery projects supported by the Anglican Healing Fund. Submitted photo from Anglican Church of Canada website.

Learn. Pray. Act. 22 Days for Healing and Reconciliation begin May 31


For 22 Days, the Anglican Church of Canada is calling people to learn, pray, and act for the Anglican Healing Fund, and its support for the recovery of Indigenous languages. 22 Days for Healing and Reconciliation start on May 31 and lead up to the National Aboriginal Day of Prayer on June 21.

This year represents the second occurrence of the 22 Days project, which the church first observed in 2015 to mark the 22 days between the closing ceremonies of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and National Aboriginal Day. Anglicans observed those first 22 days by ringing church bells across the country to draw attention to missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

In 2017, Anglicans are encouraged to mark 22 Days by learning about the Healing Fund and its role in bolstering community-based projects to preserve Indigenous languages; praying for those who seek healing through language recovery; and acting to support the Healing Fund through prayer and donations.

The focus on the Healing Fund and language recovery—both for 22 Days and the annual fundraising campaign Giving With Grace—reflects the crucial role of language as a pillar of Indigenous culture and identity, as the church strives to live out the 94 Calls to Action identified by the TRC.

“When you don’t know your language, you lose your identity,” Healing Fund Coordinator Esther Wesley said.

“When I look at the Healing Fund, and the [Indian Residential Schools] Settlement Agreement coming to an end, I talk to a number of people, including a number of elders from different communities, [about] what they would like to see and what they would value more than anything, and that’s language.”

Over the last 25 years, the Healing Fund has worked on community projects with an estimated 700 different groups across Canada. Since Wesley began her work in 2004, she has observed an evolution in how residential school survivors and their families have grappled with the process of healing from the intergenerational impact of the schools.

The 1990s saw the first community gatherings where survivors began speaking about emotional, physical, and sexual abuse they had endured in residential schools. Later, they attended school reunions with classmates.

During that time, Wesley said, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous churches rarely discussed or mentioned cultural values.

“Over time, it has changed,” she said. “You see more and more communities starting to talk about their traditional values, their traditional practices. You see this sort of climbing of a ladder—people coming back to their traditional ways of understanding, their traditional practices and their spiritual beliefs, coming onboard as time goes on.”

With the growing prevalence of projects based on cultural practices in the wake of the TRC, Wesley hoped that this year’s 22 Days would make people more aware of language loss across Canada.

“There are some strong languages, and there are some languages in some areas that have less than 10 speakers, and that’s where we need to make sure people understand that languages are going fast … and if we don’t help to do anything about it, they’re going to be lost. Many of them are already lost.”

National Indigenous Anglican Bishop Mark MacDonald described the focus on language recovery as “something that Indigenous people have been asking for, hungry for, waiting for, for a long time.”

“This is a critical issue for Indigenous people,” Bishop MacDonald said. “Recovery and revitalization of language is really central to what a livable future will be.”

“Studies have shown that retention of language, the strength of language, has a lot to say about the resilience of people,” he added. “And so the strength of language often is an indication of the strength of a community.”

Archbishop Fred Hiltz, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, noted that this year’s 22 Days coincides with the appointment of Melanie Delva as reconciliation animator, as well as the day of Pentecost—the same day on which, in the Acts of the Apostles, a crowd comes together with each person hearing the Good News in their own language.

“I think people are more conscious than ever of the importance of recovering of language … so I think this has the potential to really, really ignite a lot of interest and commitment from people,” the Primate said.

He expressed his hope that the 22 Days would become a standing commitment for the Anglican Church of Canada well into the future.

“I would say it’s really quite a lovely development that the 22 Days has become something of a pattern in the life of our church … I think it’s really good that that’s become a feature of our church’s continuing commitment to reconciliation.”

View a list of resources to observe this year’s 22 Days. Sign up for the event on Facebook at

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2016/09/30 TRC Presentation at Diocesan Synod

Reconciliation Presentation at Synod 2016

Greetings Bishop, Chancellor, Diocesan Clergy, Synod Delegates and guests as you gather on Treaty Six Territory

Working toward genuine reconciliation between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples in Canada is a responsibility we all share.  We as the church and society can’t wait for our governments and administrators to make the change.

Reconciliation is defined as the act of causing two people or groups to become friendly again after an argument or disagreement. Friendly again? What do indigenous and non–indigenous need to do to become friendly again?

It starts with striving for understanding and building relationships.  It is the responsibility of every Canadian to understand the injustices committed in their countries name. 

Every citizen, including Anglicans, are on a journey to learn the history and legacy of Canada’s residential schools and acknowledge the racist and colonial policies of cultural genocide and assimilation continue to this day.

The crisis of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls in Canada is one example.  A second example is Dr. Cindy Blackstock’s writings, Reconciliation Means Not Saying Sorry Twice: explaining  “The number of First Nations children in care outside their own homes today is three times the number of children in residential schools at the height of operation.”

Chronic underfunding of First nations schools and the cultural biases still underpinning much of the educational curriculum policies are more examples of areas that need change.

So what do I need to know?

That the United Nations declaration on the rights of Indigenous Peoples in 2007 was a framework of reconciliation:

Recognize the urgent need to respect and promote the inherent rights of indigenous peoples which derive from their political, economic and social structures and from their cultures, spiritual traditions, histories and philosophies, especially their rights to their lands, territories, and resources,

That The Truth & Reconciliation Commission of Canada Call to Action was released June 2015.  And the section Church Apologies and Reconciliation speaks of developing ongoing education strategies to ensure congregations learn about their role in colonization, history, and legacy of residential schools and why apologies are necessary.

Calls that faiths in collaboration with indigenous spiritual leaders, survivors, schools of theology, seminaries are to develop and teach curriculum for all students and all clergy and staff who work in aboriginal communities on the need to respect indigenous spirituality in its own right, the history and legacy of residential schools and the roles of church parties in that system.  Also the history and legacy of religious conflict in aboriginal families and communities and the churches role to mitigate such conflicts.

So what can you and I do?

We all have different God-given strengths, abilities and areas of influence where we can advocate and collaborate locally and provincially, with metis, first nation groups, Elders, Office of the Treaty Commissioner, church groups, municipalities, provincial agencies, education be it in public, catholic education, universities, health, policing, employment, affordable, accessible childcare, affordable housing.

All of us must consider our role in respecting and learning about inherent Aboriginal title and Treaty relationships.

We need to look within ourselves and see what’s in our own heart and our power to do.

Reconciliation is a process of relationship building.

Like the Treaties, it has to be co-created and acted upon to remain relevant and alive.

Our hope lies in learning and unwavering commitment to tolerance, respect, and inclusiveness in our relationships. A simple quote from Justice Sinclair at Station 20 West stays with me – “you take my back and I’ll take yours”

Are you interested in Reconciliation events?

Emails are sent to each church and events are regularly posted on the Diocesan Website. At this moment you will find Elders Teachings being held at the Saskatoon Police Station, the Sister in Spirit 10th annual walk from White Buffalo and the event TRC Calls Churches to Action at St Andrews College.

At the Saskatchewan National Event in 2012, our diocese placed a Prayer in the Bentwood Box as our commitment to work toward reconciliation.  Let us close with the prayer.

 “We pray that this National Truth and Reconciliation Event in Saskatchewan signals a new day, a new opportunity and a new future for both the Anglican and Aboriginal people. We do not know what the future will look like, but in trusting faith, we turn to God our Creator and pray that He will lead us together”

This presentation was given to the Diocesan Synod  by Mary Ann Assailly on September 30, 2016



2016/05/20 - ongoing Read for Reconciliation


2015/12/20 Information about National Inquiry Planning

The call for a public inquiry into the high rate of missing and murdered aboriginal woman is found In the Truth and Reconciliation Commissions Call to Action:

41. We call upon the federal government, in consultation with Aboriginal organizations, to appoint a public inquiry into the causes of, and remedies for, the disproportionate victimization of Aboriginal women and girls. The inquirys mandate would include an investigation into missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls and links to the intergenerational legacy of residential schools.
Consultations are being organized  and on invitation Anglican SK TRC representative  and Iskwewuk Ewichiwitochik (Women Walking Together) member Mary Ann Assailly will be attending.