Indigenous Leadership Week
What is Indigenous Leadership Week?
Indigenous Leadership Week is a one-week, conference-style retreat program that combines continuing education with spiritual formation. The event gathers 40+ Indigenous leaders from across Canada and is held each spring in consultation with Canada’s Indigenous bishops, in partnership with Wycliffe College. It is hosted by Wycliffe, on the downtown campus of the University of Toronto. Indigenous Leadership Week aims to equip, encourage, and empower Indigenous leaders as they perceive their unique gifting within both their home communities and the larger Church.
The theme for Indigenous Leadership Week 2019 is Indigenous Traditional Culture and the Bible.
What happens at Indigenous Leadership Week?
Each year, the program changes to respond to current needs. Here are just some of the activities proposed for this year's event, from May 5-11, 2019:
- Building friendships over an opening banquet and daily meals onsite
- Daily morning worship, through Gospel-Based Discipleship
- Daily Bible-focused teaching sessions with Indigenous & Wycliffe teachers
- A Gospel Jamboree, sharing God’s Word through song & healing prayer
- Supper at a local church, engaging in conversation with their congregation
- Visits to local Indigenous sites and/or a nearby reserve
- Attending a Blue Jays game
- Going sightseeing on the Saturday at the end of the program (optional)
- A closing Eucharist & sharing circle
- A closing banquet catered by an Indigenous restaurant
Who's the typical participant at Indigenous Leadership Week?
Participants come from a wide diversity of life situations and backgrounds. In 2018, participating leaders represented:
- First Nations, Métis and Inuit cultures - including Cree, Naskapi, Gwich’in, Mohawk, Mi’kmaq, and others
- Rural and urban areas
- 7 of 10 Canadian provinces, and 2 of 3 territories
- On- and off-reserve communities
- 16 out of 30 Canadian dioceses
- East, West, North and South – from Newfoundland to British Columbia, and from the Arctic to southern Ontario
- Both women and men in leadership
- Clergy and lay leaders
- A variety of educational backgrounds
- Many ages and stages of life, from young adults to great-grandparents
Who teaches at Indigenous Leadership Week?
Both Indigenous and non-Indigenous teachers provide interactive learning opportunities. Here is a sampling of this year’s teachers:
- The Rt. Rev. Dr. Stephen Andrews - Principal and Helliwell Professor of Biblical Interpretation at Wycliffe College
- The Rt. Rev. Mark MacDonald – National Indigenous Anglican Bishop
- The Rt. Rev. Lydia Mamakwa – Bishop of the Indigenous Spiritual Ministry of Mishamikoweesh
- The Rev. Dr. Ephraim Radner - Professor of Historical Theology at Wycliffe College
- The Rev. Andrew Wesley - Indigenous Elder
- The Rev. Dr. H. Daniel Zacharias - Associate Professor of New Testament Studies at Acadia Divinity College, and faculty member with NAIITS - An Indigenous Learning Community
What does it cost to attend?
Wycliffe College is delighted to offer Indigenous Leadership Week for a fifth year, once again due to the generous sponsorship of Jim and Edna Claydon. They have provided funding for nearly all aspects of the program, including: travel, room and board, course fees, field trip costs, class materials, and other costs.
To ensure that all costs are covered this year, Wycliffe asks that sending dioceses (or parishes, if appropriate) partner with each participant by providing $500 per person, once they are accepted into the program.
What is the program’s impact?
What better way to find out, than to listen to Indigenous leaders themselves? They say:
- “Transformative.” – The Rt. Rev. Mark MacDonald, National Indigenous Anglican Bishop
- “I was so happy to know I’ve been selected. I…have happy tears.” – Greta, Gwich’in, Arctic
- “I just want to thank you for thinking to help other Indigenous people out for learning from each other.” – Aigah, Inuit, Ottawa
- “It’s a chance of a lifetime in getting to experience the wider communion of the Anglican church and resources it has to offer.” – Cameron, Cree, Brandon
- “The whole experience was really good for me personally…It also inspired me to work at Cursillo.” – RJ, Blackfoot, Calgary
- “My circle of brothers & sisters in Christ has grown immensely.” – Norm, Cree, Moosonee
- “The Indigenous Leadership Week gave me valuable insight into the various native ministries throughout Canada.” – Vivian, Cree/Chipewyan, New Westminster
How do I apply to attend Indigenous Leadership Week?
Indigenous Leadership Week is coming right up: May 5-11, 2019.
If you are an Indigenous person and a church leader or potential leader (clergy or lay), you are invited to apply. Please let your bishop know of your interest. For more information, please contact:
The Rev. Julie Golding Page, Director of Indigenous Training Programs, Wycliffe College
Email: Julie Golding Page
Phone: (647) 233-4210 (cell)
Application Deadline: Monday, March 4, 2019