Walking the Paths: From the Truth of Residential Schools to Reconciliation

Westworth United Church is excited to host a week of learning and relationship-building with Indigenous Elders and youth from Fisher River Cree Nation the last week of September. We warmly invite you and your faith communities to join us for any part of this week.

The week includes:

  • an evening with Cree Elder Gloria Cook called “Our Journey as Cree People”
  • a worship service led by Cree Elder Stan McKay with Walking Wolf Singers and Oji-Cree Singer Keely McPeek
  • complementary lunch prepared by Feast Bistro
  • circle conversations and a Round Dance at the site of the former Assiniboia Residential School with traditional singer and drummer Ray “Coco” Stevenson
  • a week-long exhibit of photographs taken at the former Brandon Indian Residential School.

Our stories and our gathering together as peoples are about collaboration and shared life,” said Fisher River Elder Stan McKay, who made history in 1992 as the first Indigenous person to lead the United Church of Canada and continues to be vocal about how United Church congregations must actively engage in the task of transformation. “I think we’re moving toward an expanded understanding of reconciliation, which includes environmental considerations and caring for the earth. The conversation will be rich from our perspective,” said Elder McKay.

The week’s activities focus on two former residential schools in particular — Brandon Indian Residential School and Assiniboia Indian Residential School. Starting in 1925, the United Church of Canada took over the operation of Brandon Residential School and 11 other residential schools in Canada. Many students who attended Brandon Residential School were from northern Manitoba communities, such as Fisher River, including Elder McKay’s own grandparents.

Schedule of events

Please wear masks for all indoor activities, including worship)

Viewing hours for Brandon Indian Residential School exhibit

  • Sunday, September 18, noon-3:30 pm
  • Tuesday, September 20, 6-8 pm
  • Wednesday, September 21, 6-8 pm
  • Thursday, September 22, 1-3:30 pm
  • Saturday, September 24, 1-4 pm

Saturday, September 24

  • 7-9 pm Cree Elder Gloria Cook “Our Journey as Cree People”

Sunday, September 25

  • 10:00-11:30 Worship led by Cree Elder Very Rev. Dr. Stan McKay with Walking Wolf Singers and Oji-Cree Singer Keely McPeek
  • 11:30-12:30 pm – Lunch prepared by Feast Cafe/Bistro
  • 12:30 – 3:30 Walk to the site of the former Assiniboia Residential School Site and Circle Conversations with residential school survivors and Fisher River facilitators
  • 4 pm – Round Dance with Elder Stan McKay and traditional singer and drummer Ray “Coco” Stevenson.

This event is supported by The Winnipeg Foundation, The United Church of Canada Foundation and 1JustCity.