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Senior Leader for Indigenous Justice Hired

April 27, 2022
Adrian Jacobs
Adrian Jacobs

“We are thrilled to announce that Adrian Jacobs has accepted the position of senior leader for Indigenous Justice and Reconciliation in the CRC in Canada,” said Terry Veldboom, acting Canadian ministries director.

Jacobs is a Cayuga First Nation member of the Six Nations Haudenosaunee Confederacy of the Grand River Territory, Ont.

“I am an artist, writer, Indigenous advocate, entrepreneur, and public speaker. I express my passion in graphic art, poetry and prose writing, plenary speaking, mentoring, and group management,” Jacobs stated in his application for the position.

“My personal and professional studies have concentrated Indigenous worldviews, cultures, and health with a view to positive influence through a culturally affirming approach.”

These skills and studies have served Jacobs well throughout his career. He founded and maintained an Indigenous church on his home reserve that is self-governing, self-supporting, and self-expanding.

Jacobs has been involved in spiritual and social service training for Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in various places in the United States and Canada. And he currently serves as Keeper of the Circle/Principal of Sandy-Saulteaux Spiritual Centre, an Indigenous ministry training school for the United Church of Canada, located in Beausejour, Man.

“Adrian is an Elder and founding member of the Board of NAIITS—An Indigenous Learning Community and a frequent leader and contributor to evangelical and ecumenical dialogue on Indigenous justice and rights,” added Mike Hogeterp, director of the CRC’s Centre for Public Dialogue.

“He is a longtime friend and collaborator with CRC Indigenous ministries and justice work, and we look forward to what Creator has in mind as we continue to walk together in this new way.”

The senior leader for Indigenous Justice and Reconciliation is a new position in the CRCNA. It was created after an in-depth strategic planning process for the CRC in Canada. That process identified a commitment to justice and reconciliation as a core ministry.

Pablo Kim Sun was hired to address one aspect of this commitment, and he has convened a national advisory committee related to antiracism and intercultural conciliation. Jacobs’s role will complement this work by focusing specifically on Indigenous justice.

“Adrian is joining us at a critical time in the arc of justice and reconciliation ministry in the CRC in Canada,” said Veldboom.

“The testimony of Indigenous children from unmarked graves is underscoring the political, moral, and spiritual urgency of implementing the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Committee [of Canada]. In addition, Hearts Exchanged is nearing the completion of its first round of learning groups across the country. We believe that Adrian will play a key role in helping us all grow from our current level of understanding and will challenge us to make justice and reconciliation a key aspect of our CRC ministry.”

In this role, Jacobs will collaborate with the Canadian Indigenous Ministries Committee, Indigenous Elders, and senior Canadian CRCNA leaders. He will focus on supporting and empowering existing Indigenous ministry centers. He will challenge the CRC in Canada to hold themselves accountable for their commitment to reconciliation. And he will work within the denominational system to identify and address the legacies and present realities of colonialism that exist and push ministry forward in a way that fosters reconciliation.

Jacobs will transition from his current role in Manitoba by working part-time in this new position from May through October. He plans to move home to Six Nations of the Grand River in Ontario during this time and to begin at full-time capacity with the CRC on Nov. 1.