The purpose is to give an understanding of the historical background of indigenous people in Canada. To develop a general understanding of Canada first peoples to begin the process of a deeper understanding of the work we do in relationship to the calls to action from the truth and reconciliation commission as we attempt to address the issue of collective and historical trauma.
Explore helping and healing practices that support personal and collective transformation of Indigenous Peoples, families and communities Explore strategies for developing relationships and building trust with Indigenous Peoples, families and communities.
Member of the Chippawas of the Thames First Nation
Joe Elkerton is an Indigenous Torontonian and is a member of the Chippawas of the Thames First Nation. Joe is the youngest of 11 children. Both of his parents are survivors of the Indian Residential School System. Abandoned by his parents and taken into foster care, Joe was eventually adopted by a white couple. His story of reconnection with his Indigenous identity and it’s challenges which led him to life on the streets is one all too familiar for many Indigenous people in Canada. Joe’s life on the streets was forever changed when someone reached out to him and told him about Jesus. In the early 8o’s Joe began working with the Salvation Army and became involved in the street outreach ministries in downtown Toronto. Forging a new path, Joe became the Pastor of an Indigenous church with the Scott Mission, later moving to St. Stephen’s in Field.
Over the following decade, the church would transition into a broader ministry known as Ekklesia International, known in Toronto as Project 417. Through this ministry a diploma program was developed in partnership with Wycliffe College called the First Nation Centre for Urban Ministries. Through Project 417 Joe has developed a weekly Sandwich Run program and regular outreach to sex workers. Joe has worked with survivors of human trafficking, notably starting a safe house for women in need of shelter and protection from their traffickers. He also has a vested interest in the well-being of Indigenous families going through the child welfare system and was the president of Toronto’s Native Child and Family Services for many years. In his extensive community work, Joe has been on the Governance Committee for the Ontario Association of Children’s Aids Society, has served as a Training Officer with the Canadian Forces, Ontario and was a Certified Instructor at the National Native Bible College in Deseronto, Ontario. He holds a Bachelor of Religious Education from Tyndale University, Toronto, a Certificate in Recreational Leadership from Sheridan College and a Certificate from the London School of Business.