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.




Learn More:

Partners    Staff    Keepers of the Vision/Board


Vision    Mandate    Calls to the Church













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


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Christy Anderson, Keeper of the Circle: christy@sandysaulteaux.ca

Susan McPherson Derendy, Keeper of the Learning Circle: susan@sandysaulteaux.ca

Bruce Neal Kakakaway, Keeper of Learning Pathways: bruce@sandysaulteaux.ca

Robert Smith, Keeper of the Centre: robert@sandysaulteaux.ca

Deb Versluis, Hospitality Co-ordinator: Deb_Versluis@sandysaulteaux.ca

Sandy MacGean, Bookkeeper: sandy@sandysaulteaux.ca

Erica Young, Business Assistant: erica@sandysaulteaux.ca


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Keepers of the Vision


Kelly Selkirk is the post-secondary coordinator for Fisher River Cree Nation where she has worked and lived for over 20 years. She is Metis and grew up in Grand Rapids. She has a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Winnipeg and experience teaching and developing curriculum from Nursery to Grade 12, including adult education and college level.


Eileen Antone was named an Honoured Elder by the Sandy- Saulteaux Spiritual Centre students. She has served in many capacities in Oneida United Church on Oneida Territory near London, ON and in the former Great Lakes Waterway Presbytery and in the former All Native Circle Conference. Eileen has a doctorate in education and has shared much wisdom with our Indigenous community.


Joyce Johnston: “I am from Neyaashiinigmiing (in Ontario) where I serve my community as the Student Minister with Cape Croker United Church. I entered the ministry training program at Sandy-Saulteaux in January 2019 and represent the students to the Keepers of the Vision. I enjoy life and raising my great granddaughter Meadow who I consult regularly about technical matters.”





Ken Thomas: “I am both a certified professional accountant and an ordained United Church minister. I have served on the executive of numerous church and non-profit organizations including chairing the Conference committee for learning sites, committed to the education of clergy. So as Treasurer, I am blessed to be able to use these skills while gaining insight into and supporting the healing and restorative work of the indigenous church.”


Elenor Thompson is a SSSC graduate, elder and ordained minister in her home community of Oxford House.

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.








The Sandy-Saulteaux Spiritual Centre is an amalgamation of the Francis Sandy Theological Centre and the Dr. Jessie Saulteaux Resource Centre.


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The Sandy – Saulteaux Spiritual Centre is a place of spirit where First Nation, Métis, and Inuit and Christian spiritual beliefs are respected, shared and understood. In the circle, First Nation, Métis, and Inuit women and men are nurtured for leadership roles in The United Church of Canada, other denominations, and in First Nation, Métis, and Inuit communities as lay, diaconal and ordained ministers.  From the strength of Elders’ wisdom, the Sandy – Saulteaux Spiritual Centre will foster teachings of respect, healing, and connectedness to be shared: for the benefit of individuals: for restoring balance and wholeness among peoples and with all of creation; and for nurturing a prophetic voice.


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  • To uphold and teach the liberating gospel of Jesus, the Christ.
  • To provide culturally specific theological education and preparation for both lay and ordered ministry that respects both Christian beliefs and traditional First Nation, Métis, and Inuit spirituality and values
  • To warmly welcome people from other denominations into this educational program of the United Church of Canada; to build partnerships with other denominations, and encourage ecumenical participation at the school.
  • To honour the diversity of cultures, languages and traditions of the communities.
  • To develop a strong focus on ministry with, and in, urban First Nation, Métis, and Inuit communities.
  • To honour and carry out traditional ceremonies.
  • To honour Elders rooted in community who bring special spiritual gifts.
  • To use a community-based model for First Nation, Métis, and Inuit 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 First Nation, Métis, and Inuit communities – both urban and rural – during their studies.
  • To provide a learning context that addresses healing from the effects of racism, colonization, the inequitable attribution of cultural value, residential schools legacy, and the “60’s scoop”.
  • to promote right relations through cross-cultural healing and learning between First Nation, Métis, and Inuit peoples of diverse identities and non-Aboriginal* peoples and communities.
  • To deepen local, regional, national, and global ecumenical and interfaith relations, particularly with Indigenous peoples.
  • To support ministry personnel serving First Nation, Métis, and Inuit communities, with continuing education and support.
  • To provide a retreat and educational facility for organizations and individuals desiring time on the land.


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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.

Download the Calls to the Church


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.