Brenda Suderman

Brenda Suderman

Faith reporter

Brenda Suderman has been a columnist in the Saturday paper since 2000, first writing about family entertainment, and about faith and religion since 2006.

After graduating from Carleton University’s journalism program in 1988, she worked for newspapers in Fort Smith, NWT, Portage la Prairie, MB, and Saskatoon, SK, as well as freelancing for various publications.

She headed back to school part-time two decades later to support her work on the faith page, graduating with a master’s degree in theology from the University of Winnipeg in 2013.

That same year, the Islamic Social Services Association honoured her with the Ihsan Award for her bridge-building efforts among religious communities.

Brenda is the proud mother of two adult children and roams the country each summer in a 1985 VW camper van with her partner Bert.

Raised on a farm near Winkler, Man., she’s a long-time Winnipegger intent on creating community through front-yard gardening and distributing books through her Little Free Library.

Recent articles of Brenda Suderman

Drawing on relationships

Brenda Suderman 4 minute read Preview

Drawing on relationships

Brenda Suderman 4 minute read Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022

What others might see as a diverse exhibit of creative work, artist Ray Dirks envisions as a network of interwoven relationships drawn from years of meeting people around the world.

“What interested me the most was trying to get to know ordinary people,” the 67-year-old Dirks says about a retrospective of his work now showing at the Mennonite Heritage Centre (MHC) Gallery at the Canadian Mennonite University.

“We’re all created in God’s image. We’ve all equal and we should be known and respected.”

The exhibit of 75 paintings, drawings, collages and photographs created by Dirks over five decades runs at the gallery until Jan. 14, 2023.

Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

The MHC Gallery is hosting a retrospective exhibit of the work of the gallery’s founder and curator, Ray Dirks. Dirks retired after 23 years in summer 2021. The show, Thankful: Moments, Memories and Some Art, runs until Jan. 14, 2023.

Faith in the face of war

Brenda Suderman 4 minute read Preview

Faith in the face of war

Brenda Suderman 4 minute read Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022

As the new primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada formally takes office today, he plans to encourage parishioners across the country to keep the faith in challenging times.

Despite declining membership and slow recovery after pandemic restrictions, Metropolitan Ilarion finds hope in the response of Canadians to Ukrainians displaced by war.

“We see the evidence of God’s love in how people in the world, and particularly in Canada, are responding to the plight of Ukrainian people that are affected by war and are seeking refuge here in Canada,” he wrote in an email exchange.

“This is a sign and a reminder that God is with us; He works through each and every one of us. “

Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022

Supplied

Metropolitan Ilarion, formerly of Edmonton, is taking over the highest office of the Winnipeg-based Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada.

Ukrainian scholar spending year in Winnipeg

Brenda Suderman 4 minute read Preview

Ukrainian scholar spending year in Winnipeg

Brenda Suderman 4 minute read Saturday, Sep. 24, 2022

Prevented by the war in Ukraine from undertaking historical research closer to home, a Ukrainian scholar studying Mennonite history is spending a year at a Winnipeg archives instead.

For her research into Mennonite life during czarist Russia, world history professor Nataliya Venger is scrolling through rolls of microfilm housed at the Mennonite Heritage Centre on the campus of Canadian Mennonite University.

“This place is exactly where I should be,” the professor at Dnipro National University explains during a break from her research.

“I have friends, I have community, I have the archives, I have my life here.”

Saturday, Sep. 24, 2022

Birdwatching, fruit foraging, cool trails help make most of fall

Brenda Suderman 6 minute read Preview

Birdwatching, fruit foraging, cool trails help make most of fall

Brenda Suderman 6 minute read Sunday, Sep. 18, 2022

On Thursday, Sept. 22, we mark the fall equinox, the time of year when days and nights are roughly equal. In Manitoba, this is a sign that winter will follow soon, but there’s still lots of time to enjoy the autumnal splendour of colourful foliage, late blooming plants, and nightly displays of migrating birds. Here’s a few suggestions on how and where to check out natural shows in or near Winnipeg.

Geese dropping inMore than a stop on the way south, Winnipeg is a prime staging area for migratory birds each fall, beginning in late August and stretching to early November.

Although many species of birds visit during the flight south, Canada geese are far and away the most common, said Barret Miller of FortWhyte Alive.

“We’re a major stop. We have very few predators for geese, and we have lots of water and food,” said Miller, group and corporate program manager.

Sunday, Sep. 18, 2022

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

The Living Prairie Museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays in September, but visitors can walk the trails any time, aided by a brochure at the trailhead outlining aspects of this now-rare habitat.

Sacred pacts

Brenda Suderman 4 minute read Preview

Sacred pacts

Brenda Suderman 4 minute read Saturday, Sep. 17, 2022

More than a legal arrangement or transfer of property, treaties between Canadians and Indigenous people also include a spiritual aspect that should be familiar to people of faith, says a Winnipegger planning a weekend celebration honouring treaties.

“The treaties are sacred, the relationships are sacred,” says Elaine Bishop, one of the organizers of Sunday’s We Are All Treaty People celebration at The Forks.

“In my Quaker world, nothing is beyond the boundaries of the spirit. It saturates everything.”

Now in its sixth year, the event is being held in-person and open to the public for the first time since 2019 after two years of gathering restrictions due to COVID-19. The 2021 celebration held at the Healing Forest at St. John’s Park was limited to religious leaders and invited guests.

Saturday, Sep. 17, 2022

Duncan McNairnay photo Boh Kubrakovich-Kinew, far right, lead knowledge keeper from Treaty 2, presents the Treaty 2 flag to event organizers at the 2021 celebration. From left: Treaty commissioner Loretta Ross, Elaine Bishop, Elder Florence Paynter, Elder Harry Bone.

Inclusivity hallmark of Winnipeg service for Queen Elizabeth

Brenda Suderman 3 minute read Preview

Inclusivity hallmark of Winnipeg service for Queen Elizabeth

Brenda Suderman 3 minute read Wednesday, Sep. 14, 2022

The birthplace of the Anglican Church in Western Canada will break with 200 years of tradition when a Jewish cantor reads from sacred texts common to both Jews and Christians at next week’s memorial service for Queen Elizabeth.

During the 75-minute evensong service at St. John’s Anglican Cathedral, scheduled for 7 p.m. on Monday, Cantor Tracy Kasner of Congregation Etz Chayim will recite Psalm 90 in Hebrew, with the English version written in the program.

“I am particularly honoured to offer a recitation in the ancient language Hebrew, with the intention of uniting all of us as human beings, jointly mourning, regardless of our faiths,” said Kasner, cantor at the North End synagogue since 2001.

She said the psalm chosen is also used at Jewish funerals and speaks to gratitude for life while acknowledging that all humans return to dust.

Wednesday, Sep. 14, 2022

WAYNE GLOWACKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Faith Page. The St. John's Anglican Cathedral at 135 Anderson Ave. Brenda Suderman. June 29 2017

Coptic church opens doors to former Trappist monastery

Brenda Suderman 6 minute read Preview

Coptic church opens doors to former Trappist monastery

Brenda Suderman 6 minute read Sunday, Aug. 28, 2022

HOLLAND, Man. — A sign in the gap of a tall lilac hedge cautions visitors not to venture further, but these days the doors of a former Trappist cloister are wide open.

Two years after the two remaining French-speaking monks of the Cistercian Order of Strict Observance — known as Trappists — moved to a house in nearby Notre Dame de Lourdes, the former Our Lady of the Prairies monastery now houses another religious group.

“We will use it for all ages of Sunday School and Scouts and elders,” said Rev. Marcos Farag, priest at St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church in Winnipeg. “When we can go, we will go.”

Farag and members of the church will manage the 53-acre property, located about 10 minutes south of Holland on Highway 34. Now known as St. Mary Coptic Orthodox Retreat Centre, the former monastery is officially owned by the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of Mississauga, Vancouver and Western Canada.

Sunday, Aug. 28, 2022

St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church will manage the 53-acre property located about 10 minutes south of Holland on Highway 34. (Gordon Goldsborough photo)

Changing attitudes and action

Brenda Suderman 4 minute read Preview

Changing attitudes and action

Brenda Suderman 4 minute read Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022

Opening the church doors wider means more than just words of welcome, but a change in attitudes and action, says the new staff person charged to work toward diversity and inclusion at a Winnipeg-based Christian denomination.

“My vision would be going to a church and feeling welcome in a place where everyone feels welcome,” says Carmen Ramirez, assistant to the bishop for diversity, equity and inclusion for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada.

“I don’t feel discrimination was ever part of God’s plan.”

Ramirez took on the new half-time position on Aug. 1, working remotely from Mississauga, Ont. The denomination’s head office is in downtown Winnipeg.

Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022

Fond memories, lots of laughter at Interlake Hebrew-immersion camp reunion

Brenda Suderman 3 minute read Preview

Fond memories, lots of laughter at Interlake Hebrew-immersion camp reunion

Brenda Suderman 3 minute read Friday, Aug. 26, 2022

Just days after welcoming her 10-year-old daughter home from summer camp, former Winnipegger Ryla Braemer heads back to Camp Massad to experience a weekend of songs, fun and laughter herself.

“I want to work to make sure it’s there for my kids and I also want to experience some of the camp flavour through the reunion,” said the camp board member who plans to fly in from Toronto for the camp’s 70th anniversary celebrations beginning Friday.

Established just north of Winnipeg Beach in 1953 to promote the Hebrew language and Jewish identity, Camp Massad has been a summer home to school-aged campers for several generations, with former campers often returning as counsellors and program directors.

“We call ourselves ‘Massadniks,’ and we find each other wherever we are,” Braemer said, referring to the bond shared among alumni of all ages.

Friday, Aug. 26, 2022

ETHAN CAIRNS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

The grounds at Camp Massad near Sandy Hook, Manitoba.

Floral farmer adds unique twist to extend operations outside the normal growing season

Brenda Suderman 6 minute read Preview

Floral farmer adds unique twist to extend operations outside the normal growing season

Brenda Suderman 6 minute read Sunday, Aug. 7, 2022

NEAR RICHER — When Lourdes Still surveys her large front-yard garden, ablaze with mid-summer blooms, she sees more than a bounty of blossoms and foliage.

She also envisions ways to grow those flowers into a year-round experience.

“It didn’t really sit with me that flowers only had one use,” said the proprietor of Masagana Flower Farm, recalling her first summer selling bouquet subscriptions and then consigning leftover blooms to the compost heap.

Masagana is the Tagalog word for abundant, plentiful or prosperous, explains the former dietitian who moved to Canada from her native Philippines in 2009.

Sunday, Aug. 7, 2022

ETHAN CAIRNS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Lourdes Still creates a colourful flower print cloth created using harvested flowers to dye at her Masagana Flower Farm in La Broquerie.

Finding the funny in faith

Brenda Suderman 4 minute read Preview

Finding the funny in faith

Brenda Suderman 4 minute read Saturday, Aug. 6, 2022

A Winkler resident who sees the funnier side of her faith tradition wants to share the laughs with a television audience.

Life in the predominantly Mennonite community in southern Manitoba is more than pandemic controversies and protests, suggests Tina Fehr Kehler, but also one of joy and jokes.

“This is not about laughing at anyone,” says the co-writer of the situation comedy Maria and the Mennos, set in the southern Manitoba city.

“We have our foibles. We’re not making jokes at the expense of anyone.”

Saturday, Aug. 6, 2022

Shoring up summer services

Brenda Suderman 4 minute read Preview

Shoring up summer services

Brenda Suderman 4 minute read Saturday, Jul. 30, 2022

A Manitoba priest hopes pent up demand for travel, even if it’s just a few kilometres within the province, may shore up attendance at summer services.

Rev. Jay Korban of Rossburn, Man., developed what he calls the Praznyk Passport to encourage feast day visits to a dozen Ukrainian Catholic parishes located at the southwestern edge of Riding National Park.

“This summer is our homecoming,” says Korban, who took over the Rossburn Greco-Ukrainian Pastoral District in September of 2020.

“This is a time when we all want to get back. If we lose another summer, we will really lose traction.”

Saturday, Jul. 30, 2022

Sophia Korban photo Rev. Jay Korban with his 2022 Praynyk Passport at St. Michael the Archangel Ukrainian Catholic Church, constructed in the community of Olha in 1904.

Mennonite Village Photography exhibition features portraits taken from 1890 to 1940

Brenda Suderman 5 minute read Preview

Mennonite Village Photography exhibition features portraits taken from 1890 to 1940

Brenda Suderman 5 minute read Sunday, Jul. 17, 2022

If you’ve ever wanted to picture yourself in the past, an exhibit of photos from about 1890 to 1940 invites you to do just that, by taking a selfie in front of a century-old backdrop.

That backdrop, decorated with painted curtains and curlicues, is clearly visible in several of the portraits shot by Peter G. Hamm, who died in 1965, leaving a collection of 400 glass and film negatives. Known as the village photographer, Hamm captured early 20th-century life in his Mennonite street village of Neubergthal, now a national historic site.

Along with photographs from three of his contemporaries, Hamm’s work is on display at a summer exhibit titled Mennonite Village Photography at MHC Gallery at Canadian Mennonite University.

The three dozen photos on display — some blown up to life-size dimensions — depict various aspects of village life in these sectarian communities from a time when cameras were not household items. These young camera enthusiasts offered their photographic services to their family, friends and neighbours, also developing the images into postcard-sized photographs for personal display, said Roland Sawatzky, a member of the Mennonite Historic Arts Committee, which curated the exhibit

Sunday, Jul. 17, 2022

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
Curator Sarah Hodges-Kolisnyk and archivist Conrad Stoesz worked on the exhibit of large black and white photographs depicting Mennonite village life a century ago at the MHC Gallery at Canadian Mennonite University

Synagogue synergy

Brenda Suderman 4 minute read Preview

Synagogue synergy

Brenda Suderman 4 minute read Saturday, Jul. 16, 2022

For the next two years, two Winnipeg synagogues will share space in a relationship that’s more than a rental arrangement but not quite a merger.

Beginning Monday, July 18, 15 staff members of Congregation Shaarey Zedek move into temporary offices at Temple Shalom while their building undergoes extensive repairs and renovations.

“We’ve worked with Temple Shalom before in joint programs and we’re familiar with the space,” explains executive director Ran Ukashi.

The rental agreement between the two synagogues grew out of a strong working relationship between their rabbis and follows the example set in the Genesis story of Abraham welcoming three strangers, says Rabbi Allan Finkel of Temple Shalom.

Saturday, Jul. 16, 2022

Everyone wins at summer camp for Ukrainian newcomers

Brenda Suderman 5 minute read Preview

Everyone wins at summer camp for Ukrainian newcomers

Brenda Suderman 5 minute read Tuesday, Jul. 12, 2022

He’s only six and has just arrived in Winnipeg from Ukraine, but Sviatsolav Nakonechnyi proudly made his first Canadian vehicle using a cardboard packing box and construction-paper wheels.

“I’m making a car, a huge car,” he proclaimed in Ukrainian to a group of visitors touring the nursery room at St. Anne Ukrainian Catholic Church Monday, where 20 five- and six-year-olds were building their own cardboard vehicles as part of an English language and life skills summer program.

Down the hall, a group of seven- and eight-year-olds learned about road signs through a bingo game, while elsewhere in the building tweens and teens played games or learned how to marble paper.

Now in its second week, the day camp for about 70 school-aged Ukrainian newcomers — dubbed U-WIN — is a collaboration between the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Winnipeg and N.E.E.D.S. Inc, a non-profit organization that supports immigrant and refugee children and youth.

Tuesday, Jul. 12, 2022

MIKAELA MACKENZIE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Metropolitan Archbishop Lawrence Huculak greets a group of children at a summer camp for school-aged Ukrainian refugee children on Tuesday.

Celebrating families

Brenda Suderman 4 minute read Preview

Celebrating families

Brenda Suderman 4 minute read Saturday, Jun. 18, 2022

Although she always planned to raise her family in the Roman Catholic church, Janelle Vielfaure didn’t expect to have to cope with the fallout of a global pandemic while her children were infants.

“As a newly married couple, we always imagined going to church every Sunday and our kids growing up among other families,” says the mother of three young daughters.

“We didn’t have that at all.”

Instead, Vielfaure and her husband Eric spent most of the last two years at home with their children, now ages four, two and nine months old, rarely attending services because of gathering restrictions to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Saturday, Jun. 18, 2022

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
Janelle and Eric Vielfaure and their three daughters, Milanne, 4, Charlotte, 2, and Raphaelle, 9 months, are back in the pews at their home parish of St. Boniface Cathedral.

Book offers a picture of religious diversity in Manitoba

Brenda Suderman 3 minute read Preview

Book offers a picture of religious diversity in Manitoba

Brenda Suderman 3 minute read Thursday, Jun. 9, 2022

Always keeping an eye out for beauty, two Winnipeg artists who set out to help Manitobans understand the diversity of the province’s religious communities have recently delivered a portfolio full of captivating images and stories.

“We wanted it to be about people, but we also wanted to appeal to the beauty that can be found in these different faiths,” said painter and curator Ray Dirks, who co-authored A World of Faith and Spirituality with painter Manju Lodha.

A decade in the making, the resulting 213-page coffee table book is packed with essays and reflections by some 200 people, reflecting dozens of faith traditions. It also includes 800 photos of sacred spaces and the people who worship there. Most were shot by Dirks, who retired as curator of the MHC Gallery at Canadian Mennonite University last summer.

The project grew out of Lodha’s desire to reflect the diversity of Manitoba’s religious and cultural communities beyond the three Abrahamic faiths of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The book includes contributions from Buddhists, Indigenous Peoples, Hindus, Baha’i, Jains, Sikhs, Unitarian Universalists and Yazidis.

Thursday, Jun. 9, 2022

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
Manju Lodha (right) and Ray Dirks’ new book reflects dozens of faith traditions in Manitoba.

Historic Prairie Dog Central is back on track, going back in time

Brenda Suderman 7 minute read Preview

Historic Prairie Dog Central is back on track, going back in time

Brenda Suderman 7 minute read Sunday, Jun. 5, 2022

Often a supporting character in movie shoots, a vintage locomotive once starred in a real life adventure featuring the escapades of a Canadian politician.

Former prime minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau began his July 1, 1970, trip from Winnipeg on the Prairie Dog Central safely seated in a passenger coach beside Lily Schreyer, wife of former premier Ed Schreyer. When the train arrived at Lower Fort Garry 67 minutes later without making any stops for passengers to disembark, Trudeau was standing in the gangway of the steam engine.

“When the train was in motion, he came from (Coach) 103 and climbed across at great danger” to himself, explains Paul Newsome, general manager of Vintage Locomotive Society, which runs Prairie Dog Central.

“He came across the coal pile and climbed down.”

Sunday, Jun. 5, 2022

Paul Newsome, general manager of Prairie Dog Central, wrote the book on the history of the railway, literally. (Daniel Crump / Winnipeg Free Press)

Major milestone

Brenda Suderman 5 minute read Preview

Major milestone

Brenda Suderman 5 minute read Saturday, Jun. 4, 2022

Well accustomed to pioneering in areas such as sex education, counselling and chaplaincy training, Rev. Gordon Toombs quietly achieved another milestone recently.

At the age of 101, the longtime Winnipegger marks 75 years as an ordained minister of the United Church of Canada, a distinction few, if any others have achieved.

“I have my historical background as a pastor, but I also have my identity as a sexologist at the University of Manitoba, and I never lost my loyalty to Jesus Christ,” says the Saskatchewan-born Toombs, ordained to the ministry in 1947 after graduating with a master’s degree in divinity from Emmanuel College in Toronto.

Currently, he is the only living minister within the United Church of Canada ordained for 75 years, an official at the denomination’s head office confirmed.

Saturday, Jun. 4, 2022

MIKAELA MACKENZIE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
At the age of 101, Rev. Gordon Toombs marks 75 years as an ordained minister of the United Church of Canada, a distinction few, if any others have achieved.

Local Buddhists to unveil monument

Brenda Suderman 4 minute read Preview

Local Buddhists to unveil monument

Brenda Suderman 4 minute read Saturday, May. 28, 2022

A little bit of the Buddha has found a home in a south Winnipeg monastery with the completion of a large monument to his memory.

Under construction since last summer, the 7.5 metre high stupa, consisting of a white cement dome measuring about five metres in diameter and topped with a brass pinnacle, was scheduled to be unveiled at 9 a.m. today (Saturday) in a public ceremony at Mahamevanawa Buddhist Monastery, 2610 St. Mary’s Rd.

“We believe as a Buddhist people when we are worshipping Buddha’s relics and this monument, we are contemplating the Buddha’s qualities and we can make good karma and we can gain merit,” says Bhandthe Samadhi, a monk trained in Theravada Buddhism who has lived at the monastery since 2017.

The dome permanently houses a tiny bone relic of the Buddha, who died about 2,500 years ago (the actual dates are unknown), several replica relics, a tree of life, and other religious objects. The items were placed inside wood-lined chamber inside the structure during a ceremony held last September. The entrance is now permanently sealed.

Saturday, May. 28, 2022

Winnipeg church adopts alternating services to bridge vax divide

Brenda Suderman 3 minute read Preview

Winnipeg church adopts alternating services to bridge vax divide

Brenda Suderman 3 minute read Friday, May. 27, 2022

Months after provincial public health pandemic restrictions were lifted, one Winnipeg church still quietly requests worshipers to identify whether they are vaccinated against COVID-19 before attending services.

Beginning May 29, Grace Lutheran Church will alternate hosting Sunday morning worship services for people who are fully vaccinated with services that are open to all.

“There are a number of highly susceptible congregational members who are scared of being infected,” said council chairman Ron Hermann. “We want to provide them with an environment that is comfortable and safe.”

Since mid-March, the Kimberly Avenue congregation has held two services on Sunday mornings, with the earlier one for vaccinated attendees and the second service open to all. This weekend, the congregation moves to a summer schedule of only one service each Sunday — beginning with a service only open to fully vaccinated people.

Friday, May. 27, 2022

MIKAELA MACKENZIE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
Beginning May 29, Grace Lutheran Church will alternate hosting Sunday morning worship services for people who are fully vaccinated with services that are open to all.

Artist gives new life to old books

Brenda Suderman / Photos by Jessica Lee 7 minute read Preview

Artist gives new life to old books

Brenda Suderman / Photos by Jessica Lee 7 minute read Sunday, May. 15, 2022

Never one to judge a book by its cover, Transcona artist Debra Frances Plett believes the components of a well-made book speaks volumes about what’s inside.

“I really became intrigued with the fact that all of the parts of the book can reflect the contents of the book,” she says of choosing end papers, cover materials and binding techniques in her book making.

Along with blank journals featuring fish leather covers, logbooks actually made from vertically split logs, and leather-covered medieval girdle books meant to carry on the belt of the wearer so they could walk and read, Plett also builds books from the discarded pages or covers of commercially made books.

“I don’t take apart good books,” explained the book artist.

Sunday, May. 15, 2022

Deb Frances, a book artist, finds new life for old books, binding still-readable tomes into long-lasting works of art or repurposing books that can no longer be saved.

A calm and welcoming place

Brenda Suderman 4 minute read Preview

A calm and welcoming place

Brenda Suderman 4 minute read Tuesday, May. 10, 2022

Consider breathing in and out in the company of others on an upcoming Sunday morning, suggests a local Buddhist leader.

“If you meditate in a group of people, it’s a different experience,” explains Sensei Tanis Moore of Manitoba Buddhist Temple.

“There’s a safety and comfort in sharing the experience.”

Moore leads free meditation sessions at the Tecumseh Street temple at 10:30 a.m. Sunday mornings throughout May and June, inviting people into the space on the Sundays her congregation isn’t gathering. The next meditation morning takes place on Sunday, May 22.

Tuesday, May. 10, 2022

Important workshop to be held

Brenda Suderman 4 minute read Preview

Important workshop to be held

Brenda Suderman 4 minute read Saturday, Apr. 30, 2022

Whether worshipping online or in person, each Sunday the people of a southwest Winnipeg congregation hear a statement indicating their building is situated at not only a street address, but also on traditional territories of Indigenous peoples.

“We wish to acknowledge that Charleswood United Church is on Treaty One land, the traditional territory of the Anishinaabe, Cree, Oji-Cree, and Dene people and the homeland of the Metis Nation. Our community is committed to a future of right relations and reconciliation,” reads the statement written by Rev. Michael Wilson.

Known as a land acknowledgement, this type of statement arrives is often spoken at the start of professional sports games, concerts, worship services and other public events.

Yet these public statements need to move beyond a one-breath recitation of Indigenous people who called the land their home before the arrival of European settlers to include an understanding of context and history, says an organizer of a free online worship on developing and renewing land acknowledgements.

Saturday, Apr. 30, 2022

Whether worshipping online or in person, each Sunday the people of a southwest Winnipeg congregation hear a statement indicating their building is situated at not only a street address, but also on traditional territories of Indigenous peoples.

“We wish to acknowledge that Charleswood United Church is on Treaty One land, the traditional territory of the Anishinaabe, Cree, Oji-Cree, and Dene people and the homeland of the Metis Nation. Our community is committed to a future of right relations and reconciliation,” reads the statement written by Rev. Michael Wilson.

Known as a land acknowledgement, this type of statement arrives is often spoken at the start of professional sports games, concerts, worship services and other public events.

Yet these public statements need to move beyond a one-breath recitation of Indigenous people who called the land their home before the arrival of European settlers to include an understanding of context and history, says an organizer of a free online worship on developing and renewing land acknowledgements.