Walking together in a shared future

 on June 1, 2023

Holy Trinity, North Saanich has for over 20 years had a Companion Journeying ministry with our First Nation neighbours. We have hosted dinners for the parish and First Nations, and we have collaborated with First Nation education, health, and community workers to develop a Trinity Time program to provide support for programs and weekly get-togethers for meals. Some of the workshops we have held include Food Safe, Canadian Diabetes Association cooking classes and Safe Church. In 2019, we hosted a Grief and Loss group which held weekly meetings in our church hall. Over the years, we have had many opportunities to listen and learn from our First Nation neighbours and we have developed a respectful, caring and reciprocal relationship.

In 2018, with assistance from the Diocesan Vision Fund, we held two workshops facilitated by the Indigenous Perspectives Society on cultural perspectives. We felt it was important to share our ministry with the wider community and through discussions with our First Nation liaisons. We advertised in the local newspaper and put up many posters throughout the Saanich Peninsula. We hosted two very successful workshops at no charge to the participants. The workshops were attended by First Nations, other churches on the Peninsula and local government and community members.


In 2020, in collaboration with St Andrews and the parishes of Central Saanich, we received another grant from the Vision Fund, and we hosted a workshop called Building Bridges Through Understanding the Village, facilitated by Kathi Camilleri. We were oversubscribed for the workshop and had intended to follow up in March of that year with the second workshop in the series, but things came to a halt with COVID-19. During the three long years of isolation, the Joint Ministry of Central Saanich and Holy Trinity provided weekly meals, Christmas hampers and Easter baskets. We also received money from the New England Grant to help with the costs of our educational programs. That money was held in trust until we could meet in person again.


In 2023 we cautiously started up the Grief and Loss group again, and we are planning to do likewise with the Trinity Time program for families again. We also held the Building Bridges workshop again on May 11, 2023. The response was very positive and we have arranged for two more workshops.

On June 15, we will be holding a workshop facilitated by the Indigenous Perspectives Society entitled Building Local Relationships. Participants explore ways by which both organizations and individuals can build strengths in areas that impact relationships with Indigenous individuals, organizations and communities. The workshop runs from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Those interested can register for this workshop by contacting us at [email protected]. We will share details of the course through our website (www.holytrinityns.org) to other parishes.

On July 6, 2023 we will hold the second Village Workshop series entitled Paddling Together.  Learning outcomes for this workshop include:

  • developing a cognitive and emotional understanding of traditional Indigenous values
  • developing a deeper insight into the depth of and the inter-generational effects of colonization
  • developing a cognitive and emotional understanding of traditional Indigenous values


Further details will be on our website as the date draws closer.

In September 2023, we hope to have the Honourable Stephen Point join us for a discussion. Judge Point was the 28th Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia from 2007 to 2012. Further details will be posted on our website.

We hope that parishioners and community members from the peninsula (and further) can join us for these upcoming workshops. Participants have expressed deep appreciation for the opportunity to attend these sessions and take part in the learning opportunities and discussions that take place. We want to continue our journey of understanding and reconciliation with First Nations and to establish and maintain a mutual spirit of unity with our First Nation communities. These workshops help to broaden our understanding as we walk together in a shared future.

  • Jan Horner

    Jan Horner is a parishioner of Holy Trinity, North Saanich and a volunteer with the Companion Journeying/Trinity Time ministries.

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