Who Are We?
What is Toronto Urban Native Ministry?
TUNM is an ecumenical ministry dedicated to serving Indigenous people living in the Greater Toronto Area, a population estimated to be more than 95,000.
Established in 1996, TUNM is located at the Toronto Christian Resource Centre (40 Oaks) in the Regent Park area and offers programming both in the downtown core as well as other areas of the Greater Toronto Area.
TUNM reflects a long history of Indigenous involvement with churches. At present we are in partnership with The United Church of Canada and The Anglican Church of Canada. Through these relationships, we assist members of both the Indigenous and non-Indigenous community to enrich their lives and built right relations.
The first position created for TUNM was one for a United Church Minister- The Reverend Grafton Antone, who served in that capacity for nine years. He established a wonderful framework for the ministry which we now conduct with urban Indigenous people. The Reverend Evan Smith has been the current serving United Church minister since 2014.
A second position, for an Anglican priest, was also created and The Reverend Canon Andrew Wesley served in this position until 2015. In 2016, The Reverend Chris Harper joined TUNM as our Anglican Priest in 2017 and then moved on to become Bishop of Saskatoon. Our current Anglican priest is The Reverend Leigh Kern.
A third position for a social and pastoral care worker with a particular focus on the needs of Indigenous women, was added to the ministry. This work is currently being carried out by Sandra Campbell.
TUNM seeks to...
• provide opportunities for Indigenous Christian worship in downtown Toronto;
• encourage personal healing through the use of Christian and Traditional beliefs and counselling;
• provide worship and ceremonies that address healing needs;
• promote principles of restoring right relations, building justice and reconciliation;
• refer individuals to existing resources: government, church, and other community services;
• provide outreach services to the homeless, incarcerated, shut-ins, and to those in hospital and other institutions
• provide services integrating traditional and Christian ways: wedding, baptisms, wakes, funerals, spirit naming, sweat lodge and fasting ceremonies;
• preserve and help to spread the teachings of the Elders, people of wisdom who have earned the trust and respect of their community through their good deeds, cultural achievements, and depth of life experience.
What We Believe About Spiritual Development
Human beings who are supported in a safe, caring, and respectful environment learn to value their lives and the lives of others, including plants and animals and other creations of the Great Spirit.
Song, dance, spiritual ceremonies, and other processes of healing bring wholeness and togetherness, and provide a sense of purpose in the world.
This process creates a sense of identity, and enriches the people’s existence on Mother Earth.
In spiritual development a person's inner state connects with the community and the environment; this inner state longs to reflect inner peace, balance and personal harmony.
TUNM strives to support people and communities on their spiritual journeys.