There are places where I must hide my authenticity, bury it behind a mask, places where I am not safe.

Primary Media
Portrait of Shane Goldie
Credit: Shane Goldie
Published On: October 19, 2023


Tansi/Hello, my kin, my relations, my friends.

I offer these words before you, a 22-year-old Two-Spirit Cree/Métis student minister, the sacred song of my ancestors humming in my veins, their whispered prayers guiding my steps. I am in the end zone of becoming ordained within the beautiful and spirited embrace of our United Church of Canada. As I carve out a space for myself within the church’s hallowed halls, I am honoured with a unique opportunity to make our denomination an anti-racist one. The Indigenous Church has appointed me to the Anti-Racism Common Table, a beacon of hope working relentlessly toward crafting an anti-racist denomination.

I am humbled and yet ablaze with a fierce purpose as I explore my journey, sharing only one out of many voices that are often silenced—the Two-Spirit Indigenous youth navigating their faith within our denomination.

Wearing both a minister’s hat and the hat of a Two-Spirit Indigenous person in the world today is not a journey for the faint of heart. Every step is laden with trials, sometimes even within the sacred spaces where one hopes for solace and acceptance. The reality is that I have faced discrimination, been judged, questioned, and sometimes made to feel unwelcome. The hetero cisgender White male standard cast by the colonial lens of our society often fails to acknowledge the rich tapestry of diverse identities that form our community.

Sometimes I feel like I am walking in two different worlds, where one world refuses to see me, to truly see me. There are places where I must hide my authenticity, bury it behind a mask, places where I am not safe—physically, psychologically, or spiritually. Despite the light hue of my skin that often shrouds me in the mantle of privilege, I know the jagged edges of discrimination, the dissonance of not fitting into neatly packaged norms/boxes.

But remember, from the ashes, the phoenix always rises.

As the Indigenous Church blooms, shedding old layers and growing new ones, as more settlers on Turtle Island listen to our stories and understand our traditions and way of life, we are forming a collective, a UNITED way of life if you will, one that is shaping and defining the essence of the church that God wants us to be.

In this journey, I am grateful for the ones who walked before me—Indigenous leaders who were trailblazers in the church and non-Indigenous allies who lifted up and supported us. Thank you. Your tireless efforts have carved a path for me and those who will follow to stand here today and proudly declare: I am a Two-Spirit Cree/Métis in love with our denomination, our members, our Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities of faith, our faith and way of life.

We, each of us across Turtle Island, make the church. Not the buildings we gather in on Sundays, but our diverse, vibrant, interconnected communities, striving to live our faith every day. We are the United Church that God is calling us to be. Hi hi.

Faith Reflection


Great Spirit, Creator of All,

We come before you today to lift up Two-Spirit siblings and youth, those of us who are at the intersection of identities, carrying the strength of our ancestors and the promise of our future. We acknowledge that Two-Spirit people’s struggle and pain are amplified by a world that often does not understand the beauty and unique truth of Two-Spirit people.

We pray with those of us who are weary from battling the echoes of ignorance, those of us who are navigating a path through a world moulded by a perspective that seeks to diminish them. May we find strength in our heritage, wisdom in our journey, and resilience in our spirit.

Spirit of the North, bring us the tranquility of the winter snow. Let us find peace within ourselves, a gentle quietness that drowns the noise of the world and allows us to feel our own heartbeat, our own spirit, echoing the rhythm of life itself.

Spirit of the East, bring us enlightenment as the sun that rises each new day. May we find acceptance in our reflection, understanding ourselves as you do—precious, sacred, and full of potential.

Spirit of the South, warm us with the love that is our birthright. May we remember that love is not limited by the prejudices of others, but is vast and boundless as the open plains. Let us feel it within our hearts, a flame that cannot be extinguished.

Spirit of the West, bring us transformation with the setting sun. May we find within ourselves the courage to change what we can, the strength to endure what we cannot, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Mother Earth, cradle us in your nurturing embrace. Let us be grounded in our identity, standing tall like the sequoia, rooted in the knowledge that we are worthy, that we are loved, that we are enough.

Father Sky, lift our spirits to soar with the eagle. Let us rise above the smallness of narrow minds, touching the Infinite, knowing we are as vast and varied as the starlit universe.

Creator, we ask you to guide Two-Spirit folk and youth, to navigate this world that is often unkind. May everyone in the Two-Spirit community know that we are not broken but beautifully crafted in your Divine image, not sinful but sanctified by our authenticity, not less than but equal and essential to the harmony of our shared existence.

In this prayer, we ask for healing. Healing from the wounds inflicted by prejudice and misunderstanding. Healing for every young heart that questions its worth, every spirit wrestling to find peace in a chaotic world.

May we journey in beauty, balance, and harmony, embodying the resilience of our ancestors and sparking the promise of a brighter, more inclusive future.

In your sacred name, we pray. Aho.

Living It Out

If you are wondering what you can do to help support our mission and goal of becoming an anti-racist denomination, to support those who are marginalized and suppressed, one thing you can do is to say something, to stand firm and call out discrimination when you notice it. To give opportunities to invite people like myself to share their stories and experiences with others. One way we will learn, grow, and change is by creating and giving space to those voices that have been silenced for too long. Reach out, ask questions, and come from a place of love and acceptance, eagerness and compassion. These are ways to continue to learn and grow.

Shane Goldie (he/him), a student minister serving St. Paul’s United Church in Milk River, Alberta, and Knox United Church in Taber, Alberta, hails from the mystical province of Saskatchewan, deeply rooted in Cree and Métis traditions. Born and nurtured in Maple Creek, Shane's journey led him to the esteemed corridors of St. Andrew’s College and the University of Saskatchewan. Engaged in a demanding Dual Degree Program, Shane achieved his Bachelor of Theology, complemented by a minor in English in 2022. He is currently sailing through his Master's program, anticipating his MDiv completion a year early and ordination in May 2024. At the tender age of 17, Shane translated his convictions and experiences into the book The Gay Christian (2018), drawing inspiration from his time at Cypress Hills Bible Camp, where he was kicked out. His path wasn’t without hurdles. Facing prejudice over his sexuality, he found solace and purpose at Camp Shagabec, affiliated with the United Church. With a heart full of gratitude and stories, Shane is weaving his next literary piece, “Embracing the Duality: A Comprehensive Guide to Two-Spirit Theology and Practice.”