Toronto Urban Native Ministry

Indigenous Spiritualities and Christian Traditions Walking Together Since 1996

Click HERE for more information about our COVID-19 frontline resonse

The Toronto Urban Native Ministry (TUNM) is unique in Ontario. Working out of our office at Church of the Holy Trinity in downtown Toronto and in the community, we support both Traditional Indigenous Spiritualities and world-views as well as Christian Spiritual practices, showing that they can walk together in harmony.

Founded in 1996, TUNM interacts with more than 8,000 lives each year. We reach out to Indigenous people on the street, in hospitals, in jails, shelters and hostels, providing counseling, Ceremony, spiritual care and referrals to community services.

TUNM also participates in sacred gatherings of Indigenous people, leading and participating in Baptisms, Weddings, Funerals, Sacred Fires, Sunrise Ceremonies, Sweat Lodges, Pipe Ceremonies, Sunday Cervices, Sharing and Healing Circles, Spirit Namings and Feasts.

Importantly, TUNM facilitates the reconciliation process between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.

TUNM is a shared ecumenical ministry between the United Church of Canada and The Anglican Church of Canada.

Since it's inception, TUNM has been committed to supporting all members of our communities including Two-Spirit and LGBTTIQ+ people.


We are always looking for financial and physical donations for Toronto Urban Native Ministry's life saving and life sustaining work of emergency relief. Please consider donation to the work of TUNM through our Canada Helps link below.


Any in person donations of new and clean survival supplies for all genders can be brought Monday to Friday to church of the holy Trinity or our offices, 6 Trinity square, 10am-3pm (Please email lkern@toronto.anglican.ca to coordinate)


Rev. Evan Swance-Smith, Rev. Leigh Kern, and Sandra Campbell celebrating after hosting Ontario's first pop-up mobile COVID-19 testing site.

News:

Below is our public letter on the cancellation of "After the Apologies" visit scheduled for May 3rd 2022 with the Archbishop of Canterbury and Survivors of Indian Residential School and legacy institutions


April 30th, 2022


Trigger warning: discussion of church-run Indian Residential Schools


Dear community,


We write to inform our community that the “After the Apologies” visit with the Archbishop of Canterbury has been canceled, after deep consultation and dialogue with Survivors of the Indian Residential School legacy and community members. We offer our support and solidarity with all former Residential School students, those who never returned home or are missing, and intergenerational Survivors, who have been harmed and impacted by the Anglican Church of Canada. While the work of Right Relations is at the forefront of our ministry, we could not in good faith host the visit by the Archbishop of Canterbury. We are writing to inform you that the talking circle and feast have been canceled for May 3rd.


It has come to our attention that the visit to Six Nations has been canceled, as protocols on community engagement were not followed and there was a lack of consideration of how the Survivors of the Mohawk Institute would receive this visit. We have also read the conditions put forward by the Survivors, that for this visit to happen, it:

  • be organized with adequate time for consultation from Six Nations leadership and Survivors;

  • be held in accordance with and honour the protocols of the Nations they intend to visit;

  • honour the request of Survivors to discuss funding and reparations for language revitalization; and

  • honour the request of Survivors and their Nations that all records from the New England Company be released.


We support these above requests, and in consultation with our local community and the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, it is also requested that:

  • A comprehensive imperative be issued to all dioceses to release all records related to Indian Residential School, Indian Day School, missionary work, Indian Hospitals, etc., to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation and the Indigenous communities most affected;

  • Permanent Indigenous-controlled funding be established for housing for Indian Residential School legacy Survivors; and

  • The church work alongside Nations and Survivors, to fund and support investigative work into all church-run institutions related to genocide against Indigenous Nations.


It is vital that the voices, direction, and leadership of Survivors be prioritized in order to continue this journey towards a new relationship. As the conditions set by Survivors of the Mohawk Institute for a visit with the Archbishop of Canterbury were not honoured, TUNM has canceled our gathering in solidarity with all former Residential School Students. We close with the words of a Survivor in our community:


“To be able to continue to speak our voices, to acknowledge that the voice that Creator gave us is powerful. Creator gave us a voice and we need to be able to use it, express our thoughts, and be heard and honoured. As former Residential School students we are afraid to speak out, but we are now. That is part of our healing. Thank you for listening.”


Sincerely,


The Staff of Toronto Urban Native Ministry




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