As a church we continue to work toward reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. Mission & Service supports this work through your gifts for the National Indigenous Church.
We are thankful that we have Elders like Alvin Dixon to lead us on the path of reconciliation. Alvin, a residential school survivor, was taken from his community and sent more than 500 kilometres to the Alberni Residential School. Alberni was a United Church of Canada–run school where many children suffered sexual, physical, and psychological abuse. Alvin was beaten when he spoke his Indigenous language of Heiltsuk rather than English.
Alvin survived the school, earned a university degree, and later counselled fellow residential school survivors. He also found comfort in the Christianity he learned at the school. Alvin became a leader in the path of reconciliation. He was a Caretaker of the Indigenous Circle, a Mission & Service–supported program. As an activist in the United Church, he helped guide us to an apology to Indigenous peoples and to becoming a driving force behind the demand for a public inquiry into conditions at the residential schools, which led to the establishment of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Alvin died from cancer in 2014 at the age of 77, but his legacy of activism lives on in the work of reconciliation.
If Mission & Service giving is already a regular part of your life, thank you so much! If you have not given, please join me in making Mission & Service giving a regular part of your life of faith. Loving our neighbour is at the heart of our Mission & Service.
In memory of Alvin’s life and his dedication to The United Church of Canada and to education, the Alvin Dixon Memorial Bursary is an annual award available to Indigenous students enrolled in full-time post-secondary studies.