“It has to have action!” says the Reverend Aigah Attagutsiak, our curate and pastor to the Inuit congregation.
A recent study reports there are more than 4,000 Inuit in Ottawa—out of only 65,000 in all of Canada. Men and women, children and elders, encouraged by the federal government, have left northern homes to live where they may access health, employment and education opportunities.
Many find life here to be very hard, with desperately low incomes, frequent moves, language and literacy issues, health setbacks, estranged children, memories of residential schools, and heartbreaking separations caused by suicide and addiction.
The people of St. Margaret’s church in Vanier, supported in ways small and large by the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa, are pushing back.
Friendship, shared meals, family connections and prayer—these are the marks of active hospitality happening in the little stone church on Montreal Road. Weekly services in Inuktitut are followed by a generous hot lunch. Pastoral advice is available by phone or visit. The hall’s computers are turned on and round tables at the ready for Igloo@206 drop-ins.
At St. Margaret’s, Inuit and English members of the congregation stir the soup and steer the ship together. The parish offers practical help and pastoral support not only to those who come knocking but to the frontline Inuit organizations Larga Baffin residence, Ottawa Inuit Children’s Centre and Tungasuvvingat Inuit community centre.
This is not a parish that can survive on the offerings of members. A gift to our parish will help St. Margaret’s reach further into the Inuit community and open its doors even wider. It will be love in action.
To support our ministry, please send a cheque payable to St. Margaret’s Church to 206 Montreal Road, Vanier, Ontario K1L 6C9. Note “Inuit Ministry” on the subject line. A charitable tax receipt will be mailed to you in return. Thank you!