New Keeper of the Circle and Keeper of Learning Pathways
Sandy-Saulteaux Spiritual Centre is pleased to present our new Keeper of the Circle, Christy Anderson, and our new Keeper of Learning Pathways, Rev. Bruce Neal Kakakaway.
Christy Anderson is from Pinaymootang First Nation (Treaty 2) and she belongs to the wolf clan. She is a proud Anishinaabekwe (Ojibwa Woman) on her ancestral paternal side and her maternal lineage is Mennonite (settler).
Christy is a PhD Candidate in Indigenous Studies at the University of Saskatchewan. Her work is inspired by a firm belief that gender matters in all things. Ms Anderson is passionate about examining social and interpersonal relations from an intersectional perspective that critiques ongoing settler colonialism, racism and gender oppressions, while amplifying and validating human experiences via personal narratives and storytelling.
Christy Anderson has worked in a variety of graduate student roles and academic support roles during her career including: writing seminar instructor, teaching assistant, research assistant, Indigenous recruitment, academic advisor, Indigenous graduate student program coordinator, and university instructor/course developer. She has also worked in community, notably in health research and engagement at Southern Chiefs’ Organization where she worked with the health directors of 32 First Nation communities in Manitoba.
Christy is a SSHRC scholar. She is the proud recipient of the Indigenous Achievement Award for Academic Excellence (University of Saskatchewan, 2020), Leadership Sustaining Our Ways (Full Circle for Indigenous Education, 2020), Aboriginal Graduate Scholarship (College of Arts and Science, 2019), and the NIB Trust Fund (2019, 2020 & 2021). Christy is a Joseph Armand-Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholar (2020-2023).
Christy is a proud hockey, lacrosse, competitive swimming, and cadet mom to her young boys. She pursues holistic wellness according to medicine wheel teachings and is conscientious about caring for her mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical health. Christy enjoys reading, writing, public speaking, CrossFit, hot yoga, and Olympic weightlifting, as well as prayer and meditation. Christy honours both aspects of her spiritual identity where she combines Indigenous spiritual practices with non-denominational Christian principles.
Starting in September, Christy will be sharing her time between Sandy-Saulteaux Spiritual Centre and her doctoral studies. In the spirit of the Canadian Mennonite University and Sandy-Saulteaux Spiritual Centre bundle exchange, Christy will be teaching a course at CMU and working with the Indigenous Initiatives Advisory Committee to advance Indigenous priorities at the institution.
We are thrilled to be welcoming Christy into the role of guiding our circle, working with our students, elders, staff, Keepers of the Vision and partners to share theological and cross-cultural education and hold a space for reconciliation where Christian and Indigenous spiritually can meet. One of the areas Christy is most looking forward to about the role is helping our vision for an Indigenous testamur come to fruition.
Rev. Bruce Neal Kakakaway is Cree/Saulteaux/Nakota from White Bear in southeast Saskatchewan. He graduated from Sandy-Saulteaux Spiritual Centre in 2020. Since then, he has been ordained and served as a minister in a two-point charge in BC: Mountainview United in Hazelton and Gitsegukla United.
Bruce brings a lot of land-based experience. He keeps in touch with his traditions and culture and is willing to share with youth and with others. He believes in learning about our cultures together for continuous learning. As a student minister at Sandy-Saulteaux he shared skills like smoking meat and cutting wood at our Mamawe Ota Askihk gatherings, and at Return of the Buffalo Indigenous Family Wellbeing retreats. In the future he will be tanning hides.
Growing up, Bruce learned from his grandmother, grandfather and mother. From his grandmother, who took him to church, he learned to pick berries and to be loving and kind. She inspired him to become a minister. From his mother he learned to go after things and not be afraid. From his grandfather he learned about physical work and spirituality. From his father he learned about humour. He can find resources about traditional teachings and spirituality if needed where there may be a short fall in his knowledge. He is looking forward to being a teacher and also a continuing student here at the Centre and in his life.
Bruce has 6 daughters who he loves very much.
We welcomed Bruce to our work here at SSSC as Keeper of Learning Pathways as of July 1. Bruce joins Keeper of the Learning Circle Susie McPherson Derendy in the work of overseeing our Indigenous ministry training program. We are thrilled to see him return here, as another fulfillment of our vision that our graduates would carry on our work as staff leaders.