Sandy-Saulteaux Spiritual Centre is a place of spirit where both Indigenous and Christian spiritual beliefs are respected, shared and understood. We are located on 36 peaceful acres of wooded parkland beside the Brokenhead River, one mile east of Beausejour, Manitoba, Canada. From the strength of our Elder’s wisdom, SSSC fosters teachings of respect, healing, and wholeness among all peoples and with all of creation. We are a non-profit organization involved in theological and cross-cultural training. “The Earth is Our Faculty” describes our orientation in education. The earth produces our language, our elders read the lessons of the earth and create our cultures. We have lived well for many millennia in this land.
The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples guides our work in leadership development and connection to the land. The educational mandates contained in Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action are taken seriously and are embedded in our curriculum and program work. The Calls to the Church, prepared by the Caretakers of Our Indigenous Circle, expresses our vision for the ongoing development of Indigenous Peoples’ mission and ministry and communities of faith within The United Church of Canada. Our learning circle and community-based education model has led the way in providing an Indigenous approach to learning and has fostered respect and engagement of non-Indigenous people, churches, schools and social agencies.
SSSC trains Indigenous community lay leaders in helping and healing capacities. We also train people for Indigenous leadership roles in The United Church of Canada and other churches. We affirm a style of leadership appropriate to Indigenous culture and the Indigenous church experience. We are constantly testing curricula and approaches to increase our effectiveness in our Indigenous context.
UCC Foundation – Seeds of Hope Fund
UCC Healing Fund
UCC Justice and Reconciliation Fund
UCC Faithful Foot Prints Fund
Dorothy Jenkins Estate Fund
Mennonite Church Canada and Mennonite Central Committee – Jubilee Fund
Women’s Inter-Church Council of Canada
New England Company
Manitoba Metis Federation Summer Employment Program
Government of Canada/Service Canada – Canada Summer Jobs
Rebecca Watson, Keeper of the Centre: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sandi Gendreau, Keeper of the Learning Circle: email@example.com
Deb Versluis, Hospitality & Student Services Co-ordinator: Deb_Versluis@sandysaulteaux.ca
Sandy MacGean, Bookkeeper: firstname.lastname@example.org
Erica Young, Business Assistant: email@example.com
Keepers of the Vision
Donna Kennedy has been involved with the United Church in many capacities, including with All Native Circle Conference. She is a member of Raymond Flett Memorial United Church and speaks her mother language Oji-Cree fluently.
Elenor Thompson is a SSSC graduate, elder and ordained minister in her home community of Oxford House. She is fluent in her language Cree.
Deanna Zantingh is a former Keeper of the Learning Circle and now PhD student at the University of Toronto.
Mary Courtenay is a former Keeper of the Learning Circle and now Honoured Elder.
Grant Queskekapow of Norway House is a member of the UCC National Indigenous Elders Council and is fluent in his language Cree.
Ken Thomas is a certified professional accountant and an ordained United Church minister in Winnipeg.
The Sandy-Saulteaux Spiritual Centre is an amalgamation of the Francis Sandy Theological Centre and the Dr. Jessie Saulteaux Resource Centre.
The Sandy-Saulteaux Spiritual Centre is a religious non-profit organization involving theological training and cross-cultural training, as a training Centre under The United Church of Canada.
The Sandy-Saulteaux Spiritual Centre is a place of spirit where both Indigenous and Christian spiritual beliefs are respected, shared and understood. In the circle, Indigenous women and men are nurtured for leadership roles in the United Church of Canada and Indigenous communities as lay, diaconal and ordained ministers. From the strength of Elders’ wisdom, The SSSC will foster teachings of respect, healing, and connectedness to be shared for the benefit of individuals and for restoring balance and wholeness among peoples and with all of creation.
- To provide culturally specific theological education and preparation for both lay and ordered ministry that respects both Christian beliefs and traditional Indigenous spirituality and values
- To honour the diversity of cultures, languages and traditions of the communities
- To honour elders rooted in community who bring special spiritual gifts
- To use a community-based model for Indigenous Christian ministry preparation in changing contexts
- To honour a learning circle model that enables everyone to have a voice, be respected and included, bring their particular experience and perspective, and to listen
- To find opportunities for students to serve in a pastoral ministry setting in an Indigenous community – both urban and rural – during their studies
- To conduct classes using a learning circle model which enables everyone in the circle to have a voice, be respected and included
- To provide a learning context that addresses healing from the effects of racism, colonization, and inequitable cultural value
- To promote right relations through cross-cultural healing and learning between Indigenous peoples of diverse identities and non-Indigenous peoples and communities
- To deepen local, regional, national, and global ecumenical and interfaith relations, particularly with Indigenous peoples
- To support ministry personnel serving Indigenous communities, with continuing education and support
- To provide a retreat and educational facility that furthers the objectives of the Corporation
Calls to the Church
The Calls to the Church emerged from a process of discernment by the Indigenous Church from 2016-2017. They articulate the Indigenous Church’s vision for the ongoing development of Indigenous Peoples’ mission and ministry and communities of faith within The United Church of Canada. They outline pathways for the whole church to continue to walk in the Spirit of Christ toward justice, healing, and reconciliation.
Read more about the Calls to the Church from The United Church of Canada here: www.united-church.ca/community-faith/being-community/indigenous-ministries/calls-church.