From its inception, St. Stephen’s University has been a place of Christian higher education with a vibrant ecumenism, in the spirit of John 17. We aim to be a safe space for people of different cultural and faith backgrounds to gather in the spirit of learning and the pursuit of healthy, just relationships. We have a history of positive, grassroots relationship building activities between SSU and several First Nations communities in Canada. As these factors converge, they provide us a window of opportunity to continue developing genuine, respectful relationships with our Indigenous neighbours and invite students and faith leaders into the growing circle.
|Organization Name:||St. Stephen’s University|
|Location:||St. Stephen, NB|
|Project Name:||Journeying Together: Education for First Nations Reconciliation Project|
|Participating Grantmakers:||Bridgeway Foundation, Redleaf Foundation, River Dali Fund|
|Purpose of Investment:||To expand resources on the indigenous North American experience, both through content added to an experiential library and through a three-day conference for faith and community leaders.|
Executive Summary from SSU:
SSU wants to come alongside existing efforts as we facilitate safe spaces for dialogue and interaction, and we will look to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s (TRC) Calls to Action, specifically 59, 62 and 63. We are proposing two specific outcomes by August 2017.
The first outcome is the creation of an Experiential Indigenous Library which will include a collection of videos, blog posts, testimonials and meaningful reflections from previous and upcoming activities. They will be organized online to provide access to the general public and our extended community of alumni and supporters. We will create 30 digital resources and purchase 40 additional physical library resources. We will also facilitate 10 experiential learning encounters via workshops and field trips to create a living, walking library, complementing the physical and digital components.
The second outcome is to host a three-day ecumenical conference for 40 faith leaders from across the Maritimes and Canada to learn more about Indigenous issues and consider positive approaches for faith groups to respond to the TRC Calls to Action. We have already initiated dialogue with faith leaders who are building relationships with Indigenous communities across Canada and would be willing to partner with us in developing a conference.
- By December 2017, SSU will create an Experiential Indigenous Library: adding 40 pieces of Indigenous content to the university’s physical library, creating 30 digital resources for our media library, and facilitating 10 experiential learning encounters via workshops and field trips.
- From September 28-30, 2017, SSU will host a three-day ecumenical conference for 40 faith leaders from across the Maritimes and Canada, to learn more about Indigenous issues and consider positive approaches for faith groups to respond to the TRC Calls to Action.