eSpirit April 8

Reconciliation

We are pleased that Michael Etherington is returning to Beach United Church on Sunday April 8 to continue the conversation about what reconciliation & building relationships really mean. His experience as Cultural Program Manager of the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto, and trainer for the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres, have garnered Michael personal and professional recognition as a valued speaker.

Michael grew up in poverty and saw many social issues such as addictions, violence and suicide. However, his family instilled within him a strong belief of being a leader to change the stories people tell themselves. Direct lived experience allowed Michael’s capabilities to embody compassion, empathy and a strong resiliency. His strong voice and profile at institutional levels have raised his recognition as a leader yet Michael remains grounded with his community.

With family roots and heritage from James Bay, ON, but growing up in the urban setting, Michael is a proud yet humbled Indigenous speaker and representative of Omushkego-Culture. Michael attributes his speaking messages to his experiences growing up both on-reserve and off-reserve. Having developed a unique perspective by being able to see conditions in both remote communities and urban spaces, Michael is able to share insight of the barriers, misconceptions, and assumptions within communities that can perpetuate a narrative not reflective of Indigenous peoples. Michaels presentations challenge the status-quo to break down barriers, by identifying opportunities to enhance representation of Indigenous peoples, build leadership capabilities and encourage meaningful engagement.

Hope you will be able to listen and engage with Michael this Sunday.

Blessings, Karen