Indigenous Right Relations

Any questions on the information below, please contact Tony Snow, Indigenous Minister, Chinook Winds Region.

Indigenous Ministry Video Minute from Tony Snow: We enter the Season of Creation, which is a season of new beginnings and renewed energy to adapt and adjust to the world around us. We bring the wisdom of our ancestors and forebearers to light as we seek justice, harmony and equality in a world beset by antagonism and violence. Let us look into the coming weeks as an opportunity to learn, to listen and to be present as witnesses to the changing world around us that we might learn our part and our task ahead.

Up-Coming Season of Creation Events – Fall 2021

September 22, 2021 – Treaty 7 Day

We commemorate Treaty Day on September 22 in Chinook Winds Region for the signing of Treaty 7. 

  • Online Regional Town Hall (2 pm – 3:30 pm MDT) – We will take a moment to discuss the history of Treaty 7 and the perspectives of Indigenous peoples on the 144th anniversary of the treaty signing. We will also discuss the Ally Toolkit being developed for the Region by grassroots volunteers and your chance to get involved. Register HERE
  • Online Treaty Talk – At 7 PM we will take some time to engage with the text of Treaty 7 and discuss our understandings and information gaps. We will look at what Reconciliation looks like today for our Region and for our communities of faith. Register HERE

Thursday, September 30, 2021 Truth and Reconciliation Day (Also, Orange Shirt Day)

Truth and Reconciliation Day was established in Canada this year in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to commemorate the history and legacy of residential schools and honour the survivors, their families, and communities.

Online Panel with Ecumenical Indigenous Clergy for Truth and Reconciliation Day 7 pm MDT

We gather a distinguished panel of ecumenical Indigenous Clergy voices from various denominations and spaces to discuss the history of residential schools, the impact of intergenerational trauma, the recovery of children’s bodies and the ongoing role of Indigenous ministry in the church’s dialogue about reconciliation today. Representatives from The United Church of Canada, the Anglican Church of Canada, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Calgary and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada among others will join us to discuss the efforts and challenges of reconciliation in their own contexts. Via zoom. Everyone Invited! Register HERE

Other Ways to Mark Truth and Reconciliation Day:

• Individuals and Communities of Faith may want to spend time reading again The United Church of Canada’s 1986 Apology to Indigenous People, the 1988 response and the 1998 Apology to students of United Church Indian Residential Schools and their families and communities. Download the Apologies and Response HERE

• On Sunday, September 26 and 30, communities of faith and individuals are encouraged to wear Orange Shirts and post their photos. Details from the United Church’s Indigenous Ministries and Justice HERE

• As well, you may want to look at the teachings of the Seven Grandfathers. The Town of Orangeville created an orange sidewalk with seven feathers representing the seven principles of wisdom, love, respect, bravery, honesty humility and truth.

A series of events give us an opportunity to commemorate the lives of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two Spirit people and to advocate for change to prevent further tragedies.

MMIWG2ST Day of Wellness – We host our second annual Day of Wellness on October 2 at McDougall United Church in Calgary (11 am – 3 pm) This is specifically for those affected by the loss of Grandmothers, Mothers, Sisters, Daughters, Spouses and Friends. It is a day of spiritual care and gathering to reflect on our journey through arts, crafts, traditional teachings and ceremony. Everyone is welcome. COVID-19 restrictions apply (Health and Safety guidance will be strictly followed including masks, social distancing and other requirements). Register HERE


MMIWG2S+ Memorial Service on Sunday, October 3 (2 pm on Zoom) – We will hold our annual memorial service on Zoom memorializing and remembering the lives of Indigenous Women, Girls and Two Spirit people in our community who have been lost to their families and friends. Register to receive the Zoom link


Sisters in Spirit Day – October 4 (12 PM MDT on Facebook) – We encourage all to connect with community vigils, small gatherings and socially distanced marches in your area that occur on this day to commemorate the lives of Women, Girls and Two Spirit People and advocate for change to prevent future tragedies.

Below are some Alberta October 4, 2021 Vigils we have heard about:

Native Women’s Association of Canada Virtual Vigil on Facebook https://www.nwac.ca/event/sisters-in-spirit-virtual-vigil/

15th Annual Sisters in Spirit Vigil, Calgary, AB: https://www.awotaan.org/news/mmiwg/

Sisters in Spirit Vigil, Lethbridge: https://www.facebook.com/LethbridgeSistersInSpirit/

Past Indigenous Ministry Events in Chinook Winds Region

Tony Snow on World Indigenous Day, August 9, 2021
All My Relations Day was held on June 1, 2021 to remember the history and stewardship of Indigenous People in the Banff Parks area. Known to the Stoney people as Minhrpa, Banff is a sacred healing area of sacred waters, vision quest areas and medicinal plants. It is a place of origin for the Stoney Assiniboine peoples. Through its history, Banff became the first National Park in Canada at the exclusion of the Stoney people in order to capitalize on its rich history of healing waters at Cave and Basin and the Banff Hot Springs. This area was known to the Stoney people as a place of healing waters with a naturally occurring sweatlodge.
Under the weight of the 215 Children found at the Kamloops Indian Residential School and the 751 Children at the Marieval Indian Residential School near Cowesses First Nation, the town council of Banff decided to forego their annual observance of Canada Day in favour of an Indigenous Conversation on All My Relations Day. Elders, Community Leaders and Youth were invited to come speak to the townspeople and visitors about the history and importance of the valley to the original peoples.
The talk by Tony Snow, Indigenous Minister for the Chinook Winds Region and member of the Stoney Nakoda First Nation was recorded to share with those who could not be in attendance on this historic day.

On June 20, 2021, Tony Snow, Indigenous Minister for Chinook Winds Region, invited Traditional Knowledge Keepers and practitioners of traditional Indigenous prayers and hymns to commemorate the origin of Indigenous People’s Day, the National Indian Day of Prayer. Throughout Turtle Island, many were invited to reflect upon the journey of the First Peoples of this land through colonization, assimilation, activism and the restoration of connections to traditional wisdom. You are invited to share this space and the goodwill of the voices who call the church into relationship. We were joined by Elder Glenda Crawler, Trudy Wesley, Bruce Wesley-Beaver, Gloria Snow, Rev. John Snow and Kyle Snow. Sponsored by the Chinook Winds Region and the Urban Indigenous Circle.

Prayer for the 215 Kamloops Children

Let us mourn the loss of 215 Children at the Kamloops Indian Residential School, as we remember those who never came home. The legacy of Residential Schools affects all Indigenous people. We see the grief of the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Nation and those families whose children were taken to this school from other lands. It is a recurring story. It is an intentional story, a story of bias and assimilation and intolerance. There is grief at losing a whole generation for the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc people. A deep stain of injustice. A gaping wound that this community bears (like so many across this country) because of intolerance and ignorance and hate. Our call to be an Anti-Racist Denomination, our agreement to live out the TRC Calls to Action, the Articles of UNDRIP and the Calls To The Church necessitate action to aid this community, to be the good neighbour we espouse from our pulpits every Sunday.

We took the time on the second anniversary of the release of the MMIWG and 2SGLTBQQIA+ inquiry final report “Reclaiming Power and Place.” Our panel discuss their responses to the MMIWG national action plan released alson on the second anniversary and the issues that continue to plague Indigenous communities, including the finding of the mass grave at the Kamloops Indian Residential School. Greater action is need, and community support. We continue to support this work in anyway we can.
Hosted by Heather Lucier, with guest speakers Deb Green, Staci Duchene and Rachel Snow. Sponsored by the Urban Indigenous Circle and the Chinook Winds Region of the United Church.

This in-person event was postponed and will take place at a future date. It will also be recorded. It is a free Q&A session on “Monument to a Mission” with Broadview Magazine journalist Gillian Steward and the McDougall Society, hosted by Tony Snow from the Urban Indigenous Circle and Chinook Winds Region. We will discuss the United Church’s journey from treaty to colonization, apology to truth, and the possibility of reconciliation. We are strictly following provincial health guidelines for in-person indoor gathering.