The Indigenous Pastoral Councils project (IPC) was established, in 2009, to help the Church in the Archdiocese of Grouard-McLennan better respond to the needs of Catholics among our First Nations and Métis peoples. The IPC has two divisions: one for the southern communities of the archdiocese (those around Lesser Slave Lake) and one for the northern communities.
The archbishop attends the meetings of the councils, twice each year in each division. He has also appointed an Episcopal Vicar for Indigenous Peoples, Rev. Bernard Akum. SDV, to ensure on-going communication and growth for the IPC and the people it serves.
The IPC provides information, advice and expertise on issues that are of concern and interest to Indigenous peoples and communities. Some topics that have been and/or continue to be focused on by the IPC include: Indigenous spirituality; Indigenous rituals during celebrations of the Mass, funerals and weddings; healing and reconciliation in the wake of Residential Schools experiences; pilgrimages; and the Elders’ Dialogue (which takes place among many Catholic Indigenous leaders in western Canada.)