The new National Indigenous Council with firekeeper Ka-Way Yah.
The new National Indigenous Council with firekeeper Ka-Way Yah.
Photo: Sara Stratton/The United Church of Canada

On August 10, 2019, Indigenous members of the United Church attending the National Indigenous Spiritual Gathering elected a new National Indigenous Council. Fourteen people stood for the eight positions. This council will be tasked with carrying forward the decisions of the National Indigenous Spiritual Gathering.

The new National Indigenous Council is:

  1. Russel Burns, Alberta, nominated by Samson United Church, Maskwacis
  2. Beverly Brown, BC, nominated by Grace United Church, Laxwalaams
  3. William Miller, Manitoba, nominated by Youth and Young Adults
  4. Nicky McKay, Manitoba, nominated by Youth and Young Adults
  5. Cathie Cunningham, Ontario, nominated by Betty Lou McNabb and Norma General-Lickers
  6. John Thompson, Manitoba, nominated by Bernice Saulteaux and Joan Martin
  7. John Snow, Manitoba, nominated by Bernice Saulteaux
  8. Tonya Antone, Ontario, nominated by Janet Sigurdson

Two alternates were also selected: Samantha Miller, Ontario, nominated by Youth and Young Adults; and Leeann Shimoda, Ontario, nominated by First United Church, Owen Sound.

Elder Jim Angus prayed for the council, saying, “We are going to take our first steps in our church with authority. It’s about time.”