Tag Archives: First Nations

The Land Where Your Dead Are Buried

The sacredness of the land beyond cultural boundaries

By Joshua Dueck

I remember the first time meeting the post-secondary student advisor from my home reserve of Fisher River Cree Nation, I had never met anyone from here before and I was nervous. I was nervous because for basically my whole life I have struggled with knowing how to identify. I was also nervous because I have never lived on reserve, and I struggled with knowing whether I would be accepted as one of their own or seen as an economic burden.
Those that know me well, know that I am not very touchy and certainly someone who avoids hugs at all costs. Though it feels like I have cried this whole week [Truth and Reconciliation week], probably most people would think I have no emotions either.

However, when I met my advisor, she embraced me; I remember just wanting to hold that hug and wanting to weep. My fears of being accepted were definitively abandoned. After regaining my composure, she said some of the most profound words I had ever heard: “Josh, you are from Fisher River Cree Nation. You are welcome home anytime. It is the land where your dead are buried.Continue reading The Land Where Your Dead Are Buried

Swords into Plowshares

By Peter Fehr

Reshaping My Thinking About the Pain of Indigenous People

He will judge between many peoples and will settle disputes for strong nations far and wide. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore (Micah 4:3; Isaiah 2:4).

The prophets Micah and Isaiah share a vision. Isaiah’s vision was for Judah and Jerusalem; Micah’s was for the last days, where nations cultivated relationships and not strife. It was a God-given vision for his people. For two decades or so this vision has been part of my journey. It is a vision that reshaped my thinking. At times the reshaping was a slow process; in other times it was jolting and painful. Continue reading Swords into Plowshares

‘EMC Needs to Look in its Back Yard’

An Interview with Elvira Cote

With Jennifer Kronelsen and Elvira Cote

Jennifer Kornelsen
Elvira Cote

I (Jennifer Kornelsen) visited with Elvira Cote one rainy day this spring. Elvira is from Cote First Nation in Saskatchewan and she lives in Winnipeg. Elvira serves God with Healing Hearts Ministries, and has been an Evangelical Mennonite Conference missionary for 25 years. Her home church is Braeside EMC. Elvira and I are sharing our conversation with you so that you can hear my questions (I’m a white settler), and Elvira’s wisdom (Elvira is Saulteaux). Continue reading ‘EMC Needs to Look in its Back Yard’

Mentoring and Moose Hunting: Why Relationships Matter

By Joshua Dueck

“We can go here because somebody has gone here before.” These were the words from my Cree friend and mentor as we made our way into the woods of northern Saskatchewan in search of moose. On both sides of the narrow “road” was a treacherous snowbank, one that easily would have consumed the front end of our truck and left us stranded many hours from any actual road.

As we pushed further and further into the forest toward our base for hunting, I would occasionally feel the truck pull out of the tire grooves packed from the previous hunters. Again I would hear him say, “Stay on the path that others have made, we can go here because somebody has gone here before.” Continue reading Mentoring and Moose Hunting: Why Relationships Matter