Advent and Christmas Calendar 2023

Calendar This Christmas season, you’re invited to join us for a justice-themed Advent. The Spiritual Care team has put together an Advent Calendar to help us start the work of Call for Justice 18.17 from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. Call 18.17 states: “We call upon all governments, service […]

Advent and Christmas Liturgy 2023

Candle Lighting Liturgy This year’s Advent and Christmas Candle Lighting Liturgy is available for download below. The liturgies were prepared by Lauren Sanders, Indigenous Spiritual Care Chaplain for FIRST UNITED (Prairie Band Potawatomi/mshkodeni bodéwadminwen, Kickapoo Nation of Kansas/kiikaapoa, African American/Black), and Rev. Peter Sanders, Pastoral Advisor. Advent and Christmas Candle Lighting Liturgy 2023: You […]

FIRST UNITED Supports Calls to Search the Landfill

The families of Morgan Harris and Marcedes Myran are calling on the Manitoba government to search the Prairie Green landfill for the remains of their murdered loved ones. FIRST UNITED echoes their calls, and stands in solidarity with Indigenous families, activists, and leaders asking for justice for all missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls […]

Celebrating National Indigenous Peoples Day

Guest post by Avery Delaney (Blackfoot), Indigenous Outreach Coordinator for FIRST UNITED National Indigenous Peoples Day is an annual celebration that honors the rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and contributions of Indigenous communities across Turtle Island (what is commonly known as North America). This day provides a platform to showcase the diverse cultures, languages, foods, […]

Revisiting Our Totem Pole Ceremony

Our building at 320 East Hastings is currently being demolished and we’re feeling a little nostalgic. Just a little over a year ago, we were moving our programs out of our old building to prepare for hazardous material removal and demolition. Part of that preparation was safely moving the totem pole that was in our […]

Response to the Pope’s Apology to Residential School Survivors

This morning, the Pope apologized for abuses against Indigenous children at Catholic residential schools. For decades survivors, advocates, and communities have been asking for the Catholic Church’s apology. Though she is on sabbatical, Executive Director the Rev. Dr. Carmen Lansdowne shared a statement: “The Pope’s apology this morning is an important first step towards completion […]

On Residential Schools

Take a moment to read a poem by Dr. Cheryl Bear, First United’s Director of Community Ministry. Cheryl wrote the poem in response to the bodies of 215 children discovered in May 2021 at Kamloops Residential School in Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation territory. CW: residential schools, trauma, grief take your time take days sit […]

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

September 30 is Canada’s first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation – a day we honour the lost children, the 150,000+ children who attended residential schools and those who have died since. September 30 is a now federal statutory holiday and the leadership at FIRST decided to recognize it as well, to enable staff to […]

Truth and Reconciliation, a Living History

This op-ed was originally published in The Tyee on June 14, 2021. You can find the op-ed on The Tyee’s website. By the Rev. Dr. Carmen Lansdowne (Heiltsuk First Nation) Executive Director; Dr. Cheryl Bear (Nadleh Whut’en First Nation) Director of Community Ministry; and Lauren Sanders (Prairie Band Potawatomi and Kickapoo Nation of Kansas) Indigenous Spiritual Care Chaplain.   Reconciliation […]