Forging Right Relations

Strategic Objective: Deepen Indigenization and healing in The United Church of Canada towards self-determination and the possibility of reconciliation.

Living our commitments includes enabling an autonomous Indigenous church with vibrant ministry within and alongside the United Church.  Priority activities related to Indigenous pathways include:

GC Proposal Number(s)

Priority Activities

NIC01; GS10

Build consensus towards a governance structure for the Indigenous Church.


Initiate new local Indigenous ministries, with a focus on urban communities.

Reflection on Progress in Quarter 3, 2023

The National Indigenous Spiritual Gathering was held on July 29-30, 2023 at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. The gathering space and time was significant based on the theme” Our Strong Voices” and the placement of the beaver- a teacher of wisdom. The discussions and workshops gave a fundamental time together to search out some wisdom for actions for our suffering Indigenous communities across Canada. Topics of suicide prevention, testamur, sexual orientation within the Two spirited understanding were some of our topics. The youth came together to lead a panel discussion on the state of emergency calls in our communities. We brought discussion on the “Bringing the Children Home” campaign within the United Church, which is a key part of the Strategic Plan’s Justice Objective. And honored our membership, leadership and elders in various ways through the gathering time. We lifted up the new appointed National Indigenous Council and additional members to the National Indigenous Elders Council.

The National Indigenous Council are set to meet in person in Toronto this November to start their work and form some orientation as the new council. With this work they will look to various needs that include the Indigenous church structure, the placement of the current Remit vote and the Strategic plan platform on the Indigenous pathway strategy. At the same time the council will begin their relationship building with General Council Executive in Toronto, as this is the shift and work laid within the process of the Indigenous church structuring as two canoes paddling side by side down the same river.

The National Indigenous Elders Council have continued to meet monthly to invest on their vision of the Indigenous church structure and work within advocacy work on residential school commits of the United church, support to the GCE and the support of our sacred bundle. The council continues to respond to various request from members and groups within the church that come to ask for their support or advice on matters continuously. And will continue to commit their time to support within the structure of the Indigenous church with the National Indigenous Council.

As we look towards the Remit process ending in March 2024, on the General Secretary’s proposal on remit omits to the Indigenous church, the Indigenous church is looking to the platform and placement of the various questions and foundation that will need to be committed to as an Indigenous United church. The work towards the Strategic Plan of the United church is now on the vison and work of the Indigenous church with mandating work on the primary plans placed within the Indigenous pathway projection. Some of this focus will be geared on Youth mentorship and our vision of Ministries and training for the Indigenous church.

Our sacred bundle is now being led into our structure and a spiritual pathway for the Indigenous church. We honored the hand off of our sacred bundle from the late Grafton Antone to the new keeper, the Executive Minister of Indigenous Ministries & Justice office. With the support and guidance of the Elders Council and support from our local traditions and spiritual giftedness, we will ensure our bundle will guide us, befriend us and continue to lead us to what we call ourselves to be on these great lands, people of the Earth.

Further information on the National Indigenous Spiritual Gathering is accessible in this briefing.

For questions on the Strategic Plan, or for a summary of all 2023 Operational Plan Activities, contact .

2023 National Indigenous Spiritual Gathering Concludes on July 30

We give thanks for the opportunity to gather and give room to many strong voices.

With Strong Voices: National Indigenous Spiritual Gathering

The 2023 National Indigenous Spiritual Gathering will take place in Treaty 6 Territory in Edmonton from July 27–30.

Establishing an Autonomous National Indigenous Organization

The 44th General Council has authorized a remit on removing structural barriers so that the Indigenous Church can determine its place and structure… continue reading

Break Us and Mold Us

A prayer for the renewal of the church by the Rev. Karlene Brown-Palmer, St. Paul’s United Church, Tillsonburg, Ontario.

Bringing the Children Home

Community support regarding unmarked burial sites.