In Reconciliation - Walking Together

215 Children

While it is heartbreaking to hear the news of the 215 children found at the former Kamloops Residential School, for those of us who have been listening, it cannot come as a surprise. As work continues and the public allows their hearts to bear the weight of this confirmation, the numer continues to rise. Brandon. Regina. Cowessess. Lestock. Carlisle. Over 1000 children, with more to come. Wearing our orange shirts, and making public displays of support at our church are small steps in the right direction, but our commitment to reconciliation and building right relationships means that we must follow these symbolic gestures with real, meaningful action. If you are unsure of what to do next, please take a few moments to read here: Non-Indigenous people - here’s what you can do, right now, 7 ways to support Indigenous people grieving in wake of news about 215 children.

Support for survivors and their families is available. Call the Indian Residential School Survivors Society at 1-866-925-4419 for the 24-hour crisis line.


The Path Forward

Have you ever tried to walk along the rail of a railway track? Whether you have tried it yourself or not, you can swing your arms out for balance, but you can only get so far before you fall off. The interesting thing is that if someone is on the rail parallel to yours, and you hold hands in the middle, you are able to walk much further than you were able to go alone. This was an observation first heard from Elder Dr. Wilton (Willie) Littlechild some years ago in the context of reconciliation, and it is in this spirit that you are invited to walk together in your knowledge and understanding of Indigenous Peoples of Canada.

On this page you will find a selections of articles, books, film, stories, news releases, YouTube videos, music and art of Indigenous Peoples. You will hear from Elders and other knowledge keepers about what it means to be Indigenous and what is important culturally, environmentally, and socially in the past, present, and future.

This is an invitation to read, listen to, and watch as many sources as you would like in an effort to really see our neighbours who have felt invisible for so long.

Every few weeks we will add links to the five chosen themes:

  1. Walking with Reconciliation
  2. Walking with Land
  3. Walking with People and Their Stories
  4. Walking with Issues
  5. Walking with Actions
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Walking with Reconciliation

Dr. Pam Palmater takes four minutes to discuss why Indigenous topics cause emotional discomfort

Indigenous educator Eddie Robinson shares 5 minutes explaining why asking “How Can I Help?” is not the right question

Walking with Land

Mary Boyden offers a half hour RedX Talk about “Land and Spirit”

Join the circle for 7 minutes as a group of women share their strawberry teachings

Walking With People and Their Stories

Enjoy a 3 minute sample of pow wow drumming at Siksika to lead you to other links

Elder Doreen Spence shares 11 minutes around leading a woman on her first vision quest

Sisters Rising.  A documentary about 6 survivors fighting to end violence against Native American women.

Walking With Issues

A 14-minute history of Canada’s Indian Residential Schools and their legacy is seen through the eyes of a survivor and her daughter

Dan Levy invites us to learn for an hour with Dr. Tracy Bear and Dr. Paul Gareau from the U of A in the second module of the Indigenous Canada course

Steps We Have Taken Together

Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples has been highlighted as a focus of our social justice work at Scarboro United Church. You will see the territorial aknowledgement on this site and all around our building. We commit to following up that aknowledgement with meaningful action in our journey of reconciliation. Scroll down to see some of the work we have done, and continue to do, here at Scarboro.

"To those individuals who were [...] abused as students of the Indian Residential Schools in which The United Church of Canada was involved, I offer you our most sincere apology. You did nothing wrong. You were and are the victims of evil acts that cannot under any circumstances be justified or excused."

- Excerpt from the 1996 apology to former students of United Church Indian Residential Schools, and to their families and communities, made by The Right Rev. Bill Phipps, former moderator of the United Church of Canada, and former minister at Scarboro United Church

REDress display

For many years, we have been honoured to host the Calgary Women's Memorial March which calls attention to Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls every year on Valentine's Day. Learn more about the history of this march here.

We have adopted the Moosehide Campaign's call to raise awareness of and pledge to stand against violence against women and children, especially Indigenous women and children.

We have added a permanent installation to our Building Better Relations display featuring red dresses to bring attention to Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in solidarity with The REDress Project.

Scarboro United has hosted the Kairos Blanket Exercise, an extremely powerful and emotional tool for coming to understand the history of colonisation in Canada, and the systemic biases that still exist as a result.

We have held several study groups on Indigenous content, including one on The Decolonization Issue of Geez Magazine.

Every autumn we recognise Orange Shirt Day, honouring the story of Phyllis Webstad and her experience of residential school.

We are a member organisation of the Calgary Alliance for the Common Good and support their focus on Truth & Reconciliation. Currently the Truth & Reconciliation Research Action Team is supporting a call for an Aboriginal Liason Officer in every district of the Calgary Police Services. Get in touch to find out how you can support this work.

In 2021 we were honoured to be able to provide space for the Calgary Red Ribbon Skirt Project to support their work of creating red ribbon skirts for MMIWG2S Families.


        Talking Stick Healing Ceremonies       

We give thanks to Marilyn Shingoose for her leadership of the Calgary Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Women's Talking Stick Healing Ceremony. The women's program has now come to an end. The men's program will resume when it is safe to do so.

In response to COVID-19 worship and group ceremonies have been temporarily suspended.
Check here for information about when they will resume.
Private Facebook groups have been set up to keep in touch.
Contact Marilyn Shingoose for more information.

The Calgary Indigenous & Non-Indigenous Men's Talking Stick Healing Ceremony will meet at 1:00pm on the 2nd Sunday of the month to offer a sacred and safe space for men to gather and share their life stories, offering healing, support, and community. When they resume, ceremonies typically run from January to June & September to November.

For more information about registration for these ceremonies, please contact Marilyn Shingoose at 403-667-4863 or [email protected]

Men's Ceremony screen