The following was read recently by EFC President Bruce Clemenger at the gathering of EFC affiliate leaders known as Presidents Day.
I would like to acknowledge that the land on which we gather is the traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee and Anishnaabeg peoples. This territory is covered by the Upper Canada Treaties.
By acknowledging this traditional territory, we enter into a form of reconciliation with the Indigenous Peoples of Canada – a process in which we were greatly assisted by Dr. Wendy Peterson (née Beauchemin).
Many attending Presidents Day will remember Wendy for her leadership over a period of 20 years in the EFC’s Aboriginal Task Force and later the Aboriginal Ministries Council. Most recently she played a leading role in the development of our Indigenous Relations Working Group.
Some of you may know already that Wendy died very suddenly on September 28. Because of all that Wendy has meant to many of us, we wanted to take this opportunity to honour Wendy’s work with the EFC and especially her friendship with many of us.
Wendy lived with her husband, Ed, in Steinbach, Manitoba, and contributed to her local and church communities in many ways. She was a part-time instructor at Providence College & Seminary and, out of her unique Red River Métis perspective, gave much of herself to the ongoing development of NAIITS: An Indigenous Learning Community.
Wendy completed her Ph.D. studies in June of this year, having defended her thesis, A Gifting of Sweetgrass: The Reclamation of Culture Movement and NAIITS: An Indigenous Learning Community.
Wendy will be deeply missed by us and by her husband, their three children and eight grandchildren, and by her many friends in NAIITS and far beyond.