UAM had its beginnings a few years ago when Vivian Seegers began helping fellow First Nation’s people who she knew were in need. In 2013, this informal ministry was formalized by the formation of the Urban Aboriginal Ministry. The now, Rev. Vivian Seegers, has been joined by volunteers both clergy and laity from her parish of St. Mary Magdalene and from other parishes around the diocese to expand the reach of the ministry. UAM reaches out to First Nations people from across Canada who are living here in Vancouver. These individuals sometimes find themselves in desperate situations and need support and help. The distance between their hometowns and villages and Vancouver causes a disconnect from community and culture and they need a space where they can feel connected and supported. UAM aims to provide a space to meet the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual needs of each individual through a variety of means. These include events throughout the year that help people reconnect with their cultural heritage and native spirituality. UAM also provides practical assistance such as directing people to resources and assisting them to obtain needs like detox facilities, social services, housing and medical assistance as well as occasional “hands-on” help with basic life events like moving into housing, or providing transportation to medical appointments etc.
The need is great, and UAM was chosen as the sole beneficiary of care + share for this 2020 – 2021 cycle to help UAM expand to meet the needs of more of our First Nations brothers and sisters.