Connecting with Indigenous Knowledge

October 6, 2021 - November 10, 2021
Wednesdays from 3:00p – 5:00p, October 6 – November 10. (Eastern Time)
$250; "We are currently asking participants to pay a flat fee of $250 per course, per person. We are offering a 20% discount for individuals who have registered for 3 or more courses within the same term, and we are also offering a 20% discount off the total cost for groups of 3 or more persons from the same parish. Where cost would be a sincere financial barrier to enrolment, we may offer a bursary. We do ask, as well, that participants prayerfully consider their ability to contribute above the required fee in order to support the enrolment of those who cannot."

The Venerable Val Kerr and Janice Whiteley

Through prayer, creativity, and reflection participants will be encouraged to be innovative partners on the creative edge of where the Spirit of God is recreating the church and what it means to be a “Missional Church” while keeping the history of Indigenous Peoples in mind. The history of Indigenous Peoples is one important element of the work we do going forward.

Val Kerr Niagara School for Missional Leadership

Val Kerr

Janice Whiteley Niagara School for Missional Leadership

Janice Whiteley

*Registration for this course is open to all participants—lay or clergy, both individuals and groups.

What You’ll Learn

This course will provide the opportunity to learn, internalize, and reflect constructively on learnings, experience, and knowledge regarding the First Peoples of Canada and to explore ways in which the “Missional Church” can contribute to a healing path forward. The learning community will:

  • Explore the history of First Nations Peoples—the diversity, strength, and resilience,
  • Participate in learning experiences such as the mapping exercise and blanket exercise,
  • Learn about the history of the doctrine of discovery, colonization, and its continuing effects, and
  • Explore a missional way forward.


Empowering Reconciliation

We envision this course as a space where we can share relevant, meaningful stories, while delivering information that has contributed to the colonization process of Indigenous Peoples of Canada. We anticipate learning experiences and knowledge sharing that will inform, enlighten, and help create a safe learning environment in which all who are participating can gain knowledge and new skills in going forward, in accordance with many of the recommendations in the Truth and Reconciliation 94 Calls to Action.

How It Works

Join our instructors, The Venerable Val Kerr and Janice Whiteley, and an engaged learning community of fellow leaders live online and in online forums.

  • Participate in six two-hour sessions with the instructing practitioners and the learning community. The learning community will meet weekly on Wednesdays from 3:00p – 5:00p, October 6 – November 10.
  • Practice in your context. During the course you will be encouraged to apply your learning in your context in order to deepen your understanding.
  • Reflect within the learning community. Your new knowledge and experience will become even more meaningful when shared with other learning practitioners like yourself. You will use the online forums between sessions and break-out sessions within learning community gatherings to further integrate your learning.

Meet the Instructing Practitioners

Archdeacon Val Kerr is a member of the Iroquois Confederacy, Mohawk Nation, Wolf Clan, Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte and keepers of the Eastern Door. Val is the Archdeacon of Truth, Reconciliation, and Indigenous Ministry for the Diocese of Niagara. Val has served as the Priest-in-Charge of All Saints, Hagersville; Rector of St. John the Evangelist, Niagara Falls; and Vice-Rector of St. George’s, St. Catharines. Val is well known as a social justice advocate, a participant in the Diocese of Niagara’s Anti-racism Working Group, a member of the Council of General Synod, and its Strategic Planning Working Group. Val also acts as the knowledge keeper for the Step Program at St. George’s, St. Catharines and for CLAY (Conference of Lutheran and Anglican Youth). Val is active in palliative and lifelong care and an advocate of lifelong learning. She is a widow, mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, great grandmother, sister, auntie, cousin, and friend.

Janice Whiteley is a member of the Chapleau Cree First Nation and was born in Chapleau, Ontario. Janice is an experienced educator, and professor of Nursing at Mohawk College, Hamilton. She graduated from the Mohawk College nursing program in 1986 and completed a BScN at McMaster University in 1997. Janice also completed a Bachelor of Aboriginal Adult Education at Brock University in 2009. She has significant experience as a nurse on a post-operative unit at Joseph Brant Hospital, Burlington; the Six Nations Mental Health Clinic, Ohsweken; Director of Health for the Chapleau Cree Health Clinic. Janice resides in Burlington with her husband, Rob. Together they have three adult sons and six grandchildren. Janice is a member of St. Matthew’s-on-the-Plains, where she is a member of Parish Council. Janice is a member of Diocesan Synod and has a strong interest in Indigenous health, education, and culture.