Upcoming Events

The road we travel is equal in importance to the destination we seek.  There are no shortcuts.  When it comes to truth and reconciliation, we are all forced to go the distance.
– Justice Murray Sinclair, Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Ongoing…Talking Circles

9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays April 28 and June 9 – Please note new times
St Paul’s Anglican Church, 62 Clyde St
(access through lower yellow doors)

  • Bring something for a light Potluck lunch.
  • We encourage you to bring along your own cup, cutlery and plate.

This is an opportunity to listen, reflect and share in a safe, welcoming, non-judgmental environment.
Under the umbrella of Spirits of the Rainbow, Christina Bendevis and her husband Ross Saunders provide a comfortable introduction to cross-cultural awareness and the experience of Native Spirituality.

What you can expect

  • An open circle – you don’t need to commit to coming every time. New people can join as we go along. If your time is limited, try to be present for the opening of the session, and stay as long as you are able. Ideally, plan for the entire 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. session to fully benefit from the experience. Children are always welcome.
  • As we arrive, smudging – we will start with a traditional opening ceremony.
  • The Talking Circle – the feather will be passed around the circle 4 times. We listen and speak from the heart. We can “pass” if we are not feeling prompted to speak.
  • A Light Potluck Lunch Feast – we will end with a time of sharing around a table.

Our Teacher-Facilitators

Ross Saunders, is a Fire Keeper, Pipe Carrier, Sun Dancer, and Sweat Lodge Keeper with over 30 years of experience working with the Sacred Fire, Traditional Medicines, Elders, and Lodge Keepers across the nation. Learning from Elders from different nations including Algonquin, Cree, Ojibway and more, Ross has dedicated three decades to learning traditional practices which he now uses to help others at home and in ceremonies, sessions, and workshops. Ross completed the Cross-Cultural Awareness Training at Red Willow Lodge, Manitoba, with Elder Jules Lavallee. He draws on that experience to create a safe, welcoming, non-judgmental environment for those who come to his Lodge. Growing up in the Ottawa Valley, Ross truly appreciates being able to live on the land of his Algonquin ancestors.

Christina Bendevis, is of mixed decent, including Croatian, Mohawk and French. She has spent the last 6 years dedicated to learning her Indigenous culture and traditions. Christina is a Singer, Fire Keeper, and Pipe Carrier. Under the umbrella of Spirits of the Rainbow, Christina and her husband Ross Saunders provide a comfortable introduction to cross-cultural awareness and the experience of Native Spirituality.

For more information about Talking Circles, consult the Learn Alberta page on facilitated discussions:
www.learnalberta.ca/content/aswt/talkingtogether/facilitated_talking_circle_fact_sheet.html