© Mennonite Heritage Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba (Last updated April 7, 2009)
Extent: 11.78 m of textual records
The Native Ministries record series is, in a sense, a continuation of the pre-1971 Mennonite Pioneer Mission (MPM) files. Before 1971 MPM shared an executive secretary with the Board of Missions, but after the restructuring of the Conference, it became an autonomous board with its own executive secretary. In 1974 it changed its name to Native Ministries. By the late 1980s and 1990s it was increasingly involved in cross-cultural ministries. In 1994 it was recreated as the Ministries Commission, reflecting a broader scope of ministry, both with in Canada and internationally, specifically in Europe. The inaugural meeting of the Ministries Commission was held on 30 September 1994. After the Conference restructured, combining the Conference of Mennonites in Canada with the Mennonite Church, Native Ministries became a program of Mennonite Church Canada Witness Ministries. Executive secretaries of Native Ministries were Menno Wiebe (1964-1973), Issac Froese (1974-1978), Malcomb Wenger (1979-1981), John and Vera Funk (1982-1989) and Walter Franz (1990-1999). Walter Franz also served as the first Executive Secretary of the Ministries Commission from 1994 till September 1, 1999 when CMC General Board appointed Walter as Native Ministries Program Director and Associate Executive Secretary of Ministries Commission and Robert J. (Jack) Suderman as the Executive Secretary for the Ministries Commission.
The Native Ministries files contain material dating back to 1965, but the majority of the records were generated in the years 1971 and following. The small amount of pre-1971 material consists of files retained by the Native Ministries Board after reorganization. These files contains the following records: Youth Opportunities Unlimited (YOU) files (including those generated by Roger Groening and Clarence Nepinak during the years 1974-1976), reports from local mission stations (Loon Straits, Manigotogan, Hole River, Cross Lake, etc. ), social issues files (exploitation of Native migrant labours, alcoholism, etc.) and environmental issues files (which relate largely to Hydro development in the North). There are pamphlets from and correspondence with organizations such as Mennonite Foundation, The Mennonite Central Committee, the Manitoba Indian Brotherhood, and the Northern Canada Evangelical Mission.
In 2007 materials created in the 1990s were brought to the archives (accession 2007-079). A few files have much earlier records, usually dealing with porperty issues form the 1950s and 1960. Files deal with topics such as, such as hydro electric dam proposals, Meech Lake accord, Oak crisis, uranium mining, native spirituality, United Native Ministries, native camp, and Walnut Receiving Home. Files on various communites include Bloodvein, Cross Lake, Hole River, Hollow Water, Manigotogan, Matheson Island, Paungassi, Pine Dock and Riverton.
The collection is of interest for Canadian studies. These records could be of considerable use in the study of the conditions of native Canadians and attitudes towards them. The records detail life in several Native communities and how the church worked in these communities. Furthermore, correspondence with a variety of Native organizations pertains to their social concerns. These records, along with the Board of Missions files, provide a case study of the kind of transformation which many denominational mission organizations underwent in the 1960s and 1970s. A researcher working on the history of missions in Canada could find considerable useful materials in these files.
Inventory file list available
MHC Photographs Collections: 52, 53, 322, 628 ; MHC Video collections: 35-51, 56-72, 81 ; MHC Video ½ inch reel collection: 52-55 ; MHC Audio reel to reel collection: 230-238 ; MHC Audio cassettes collections: 32, 1968-1969, 2749 ; Bergthaler Mennonite Church of Manitoba fonds, 2 financial ledgers 1945-1949 vol. 728 files 2-3. The Archives has two periodicals related to the history and development of the Native Ministries Board/Mennonite Pioneer Mission. These are: 1. Mennonite Pioneer Mission Quarterly. Altona, 1945-1961. Quarterly 2. Totemak. Winnipeg, 1972-1979. Frequency varies. Name changed to Intotemack 1980-.
Desscribed by Alf Redekopp, updated by Alf Redekopp Nov. 26, 2007 and Feb. 13, 2008; updated by Conrad Stoesz December 14, 2007, June 30, 2008.
Some restrictions apply
a. Missions (1956)
b. Christian Committment (1956)
c. Theology of Evangelism (1957)
d. Millennialsim (1957)
e. The Meaning of the Temptations for Jesus (1957)
f. Wayne E. Oates Theory on Pastoral Counseling (1975)
g. Introduction to the Ministry of a Minority Group (1975)
h. The Mennonite Pioneer Mission (1956)
Native Ministries / Mennonite Indian Leaders Council / United Native Ministries (NM/MILC/UNM)
NM Advisory Council
/ CMBC L
NM Team (staff)
NM Staff reports
Native Ministries Committee (sub-committee of Ministries Commission)