With sadness we express deep sympathies to the family, community, and loved ones of elder, minster, teacher, and knowledge keeper Rev Dr Bernice Saulteaux, who died in the early hours of September 6. In our grief we also celebrate with her that her deep faith and spirituality have carried her home to the Creator on the wings of the powwow and gospel songs she loved so much.

A photo of Elder Bernice in a white shirt, speaking into a mic. We will deeply miss her presence at annual meeting, in leadership in the wider church, and at many workshops and sermons. In so many spaces she shared her wisdom, and with grace and clarity challenged the wider church to live fully into the Apologies and the journey towards truth and reconciliation.

Executive Minister for Indigenous Ministries and Justice, Murray Pruden, writes, “Elder Rev. Bernice Saulteaux of Saskatchewan has been a great contributor to our Indigenous United Church and a member of the National Indigenous Elders Council. We send our deepest prayers and condolences to her family, friends, and community at this time. She was a leader with drive and passion that has given so much in her faith, in her teachings and friendship. She led the vision for so many Indigenous Ministers across Canada, and was a foundation to Sandy Saulteaux Spiritual Centre and the many students and staff who knew her there.

“Bernice was willing to stand for the rights for the many Indigenous nations in the church and in the community, and carried her spiritual and faith perspective with her. A member of the United Church and more importantly a Matriarch, Grandmother, Mom, Aunt, and Sister who always reminded everyone around her to always live in a good way. Peace and rest to Rev. Bernice Saulteaux. Creator has welcomed you home.”

A deep thank you, chi miigwetch, to Starlene Saulteaux, Dallas Saulteaux, Ruth Blaser, and other family members and friends who shared updates with everyone. Full information on wakes and the funeral will be sent when we have confirmed details.