Meet some of our active members here. To see all of the posted testimonials, click here.

To read about some of our members who have been recognized as Unsung Heroes or Lifetime Members, click here.

Bruce McIvor attends UCV with his family.

Dr. Bruce McIvor, Lawyer and Historian, Principal, First Peoples Law Corporation. Dr. Bruce McIvor is principal of First Peoples Law Corporation, a law firm dedicated to defending and advancing Aboriginal title, Aboriginal rights and Treaty rights. His work includes both litigation and negotiation on behalf of Indigenous Peoples across Canada. Bruce is dedicated to public education. He recently published the third edition of his collection of essays entitled First Peoples Law: Essays in Canadian Law and Decolonization. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of British Columbia’s Allard School of Law where he teaches the constitutional law of Aboriginal and Treaty rights. Bruce is a proud Métis from the Red River in Manitoba. He holds a law degree, a Ph.D. in Aboriginal and environmental history and is a Fulbright Scholar. Bruce, a member of the bar in British Columbia and Ontario, is recognized nationally and internationally as a leading practitioner of Aboriginal law in Canada.

First Peoples Law: Essays on Canadian Law and Decolonization, Bruce’s collection of essays, can be
downloaded for free from our website. Bruce also regularly holds free workshops for Indigenous people
throughout Canada on current issues in Aboriginal law.
Bruce is recognized nationally and internationally as a leading practitioner of Aboriginal law in Canada. He is a proud Métis from the Red River in Manitoba. Bruce holds a law degree, a Ph.D. in Aboriginal and environmental history, and is a Fulbright Scholar.

Scroll down to download his book of essays on First Peoples Law.

Here’s what his website says:

For me, advocacy is bred in the bone.

My ancestors experienced the disloyalty of the French and British, the Acadian Explusion, the conquest of New France, the dispossession at Red River and government’s refusal to honour the numbered Treaties.

I was focused on working for social justice through an academic career in history until I began working in the law with Louise Mandell, Q.C. (Mandell Pinder) and Stuart Rush, Q.C. (Rush Crane Guenther) on what I expected to be a temporary basis. That was over 15 years ago. Louise and Stuart introduced me to a world of principled, high quality legal advocacy that led me back to university for a law degree.

First Peoples Law combines my passions for law, history and social justice. Most importantly, it allows me to work with other committed professionals in supporting Indigenous Peoples’ ongoing struggle for respect and justice.

Email Bruce

Bruce’s Linkedin profile

Download Bruce’s Bio & CV

Click here to download your free pdf copy, order a paperback copy or do both: https://www.firstpeopleslaw.com/public-edu…/publications.php

We have a limited number of free paperback copies available for non-profit Indigenous organizations in Canada available for the cost of shipping–email us for details enquire@firstpeopleslaw.com

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ABORIGINAL TITLE

The Age of Recognition: The Significance of the Tsilhqot’in Decision

The Downside of the Tsilhqot’in Decision

TREATIES

Is Canada No Longer Responsible for Historical Treaties?

Provinces Burdened with Responsibility for Fulfilling Treaty Promises

What Tsilhqot’in and Grassy Narrows Mean for Treaty First Nations

The Piecemeal Infringement of Treaty Rights

THE METIS

A New Legal Remedy for Indigenous People

The Duty to Consult—A Second-Best Alternative

What Does the Daniels Decision Mean?

THE DUTY TO CONSULT

Provinces’ Have Every Right to Set Conditions on Pipelines

A Pipeline Too Far: How to Stop Kinder Morgan

The Inadequacy of Environmental Assessments

Environmental Assessments and the Duty to Consult

Is the Duty to Consult Clear as Mud?

The Duty to Consult—Ignore the Elephant

The Duty to Consult as an Ongoing Obligation

Breathing Life Back into the Duty to Consult

The Duty to Consult—the Groundhog Day Conundrum

Columbus’ Ghost: Past Infringements and the Duty to Consult

The Duty to Consult—A Roadblock to Direct Action

Good News for the Duty to Consult

Negotiate or Litigate?

The Duty to Consult—A Narrow Vision

How to Fulfill the Duty to Consult

TOWARDS DECOLONIZATION

Why Quebec but not Indigenous Appointments to the Supreme Court?

Canada’s Misguided Land Claims Policy

The Case for Denying Indigenous Rights

Colonialism’s Disciples: How Government Undermines Indigenous People

How the Canadian Legal System Fails Indigenous People

Indigenous Identity and Aboriginal Law: A Personal Journey

Download a free copy here: https://www.firstpeopleslaw.com/public-edu…/publications.php

Louise has a particular interest in nature religions, wrote the Unitarian Universalist adult religious education curriculum “Paganism 101”, which is used across the denomination, and recently completed her master’s degree in “Myth, Cosmology, and the Sacred” at the University of Canterbury in the UK.
Read the full testimonial.

Role: Librarian on third Sundays
I enjoy meeting members, helping them make book selections and sharing reading experiences.
Read the full testimonial.

As a third generation Unitarian, I have roots here.
As an artist, I embrace our environment that acknowledges and celebrates our talents as artists, musicians, and writers. Read the full testimonial.

Reverend Laura Imayoshi

laura-friedman

Rev. Imayoshi was raised attending the Unitarian Church of Vancouver. She did her undergraduate work in Religious Studies at UBC and her post graduate work at Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley, California. Laura trained extensively with the Faithful Fools, an interfaith street ministry in San Francisco. She brought their humour, wisdom and inspiration to Vancouver to start serving in the streets as a Unitarian community minister.

What is Laura’s Ministry?

Rev. Laura Imayoshi has worked with this congregation since 2004, and was ordained here in 2007. Her ministry is about creating meaningful connections between people.  She serves in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, working to build bridges of sharing and understanding between the Downtown Eastside and the Unitarian Church of Vancouver.

Rev. Imayoshi’s ministry has been formally endorsed by the Unitarian Church of Vancouver but she is not paid or employed by the church.

What Is Community Ministry?

In the Thick of Things

A community minister is one who has chosen to build community by working in the community rather than in a parish church. There are four community ministries in Canada, of which two are in the greater Vancouver area.

Community ministry is about taking the values, principles, experience, questioning, and thoughtfulness of Unitarian Universalism and moving  outside of the walls of the church. Community ministers work wherever they are passionate – in hospitals as chaplains, building community gardens, working for legislative change, building a peace movement, running a homeless shelter… the possibilities are as diverse as the people in our congregations.

Unitarians have a rich history of community ministry. One of Vancouver’s community ministers is Reverend Laura Imayoshi.

Is on the CUC Racism Survey team and a lead teacher for religious exploration.

Catherine Stewart, also a member of the Buildings and Grounds Committee and Coffee Service team, is currently having a show of her work at the Beaty Biodiversity Museum at UBC. Read the full testimonial.

Kiersten is our Director of Children’s and Youth Religious Exploration. At the 2018) Hogwarts Summer Camp, Kiersten taught the herbology classes. The kids made echinacea tincture as well as exploring the various herbs and “weeds” around the congregation’s grounds that can be used for salves and “potions”.This year’s Herbology adventures will be mainly on the garden path labyrinth where a variety of herbs are there for anyone to pick: lavender, sage, echinacea, various mints, rosemary, yarrow.

Kiersten was Professor of Herbology and head of Hufflepuff House. The picture of Kiersten in the hat and square glasses was when she played the part of Professor McGonagall.
This will be Kiersten’s fourth year as director of the children’s and youth program. She strives to find the Fun with Meaning and directs our children, youth, and family programs with a focus on building community, exploring what it means to be Unitarian, questioning, and developing personal relationships with stillness and wonder.

Pat’s first memory of making art is of her sitting on the back steps of their family house, drawing at age ten.
Read the full testimonial.

I became a Unitarian in 1962 in Sarnia, Ontario, then, upon arriving in Vancouver, joined UCV before the move to our present location.

UCV is my spiritual home; our principles and sources seem to fit with the conclusions I have drawn from living a long life. Especially UCVers share my concerns and fears about the present climate catastrophe.I like to think that we as a group can accomplish much more than I could do alone.

Diane is a multi award-winning director and actor, and is the long-time Artistic Director of one of Canada’s most resilient and successful independent theatre company’s, Ruby Slippers Theatre. She is the 2017 recipient of the prestigious Bra D’Or Award, a national award annually presented by the Playwrights Guild of Canada, and a 2018 nominee for the Women of Distinction Award, both in recognition of her years of championing works by diverse women. The  principles that guide her work have earned Ruby Slippers Theatre a reputation for radical inclusivity and socially relevant work that illuminates humanity. These Unitarian principles- inclusivity, social responsibility, and a respect for the inter-connectedness of all living things- also guide her personal life, making her an active member of the Unitarian Church of Vancouver, particularly its Environment Committee.

As well as being a casual caretaker and zero waste enthusiast (founder and coordinator of the 4th Saturday Mending Meetup), Marie has now been voted in by the Communications Committee as their new chair.

Here’s what Marie says about her journey at UCV.

I am a UBC Student studying cognitive psychology and moral philosophy. Very soon, I will be doing a combined Masters/PhD in social attention and ethical decision-making using virtual reality technology.

I stumbled on UCV a couple of years ago when I went searching for a farm market near my home on Oak. At the time, UCV had a little farm market and advertised on the website.
I had never heard the word “Unitarian” and had no idea what the church stood for but I was intrigued by messages of inclusivity: from the rainbow scarf worn by the minister to the Unitarian principles about the inherent worth and dignity of all people, democratic respect for our community and protection of the planet.

I was feeling very isolated at the time, and struggling to make social media (the church of my generation) create the type of community and social sharing I needed it to be. I had a hunch that what was missing from my online social world was a feeling of responsibility and service. Facebook wasn’t asking me to do hard work. The hard conversations I was having were with those who looked and sounded like me. And most importantly, there was no showing up in real life. I wasn’t getting any feedback that I was valuable to my community. The “likes” to my perfect politically correct take-downs of injustice felt so hollow and ineffective. Most of my social interactions were missing this crucial component of “living in community” which is a messy, uncomfortable, diverse, collaborative, real process.

I have always been a deeply curious person, and also extremely distrustful of doctrine or claims of ontological certainty. I walked into Sunday service extremely “on guard” for anything remotely prescriptive-religious.

The first sermon I attended was about Helen Keller riding a bicycle. Rev. Steven Epperson incorporated some feminist history of bicycle riding and a general, hopeful message about knowing courage. I walked away feeling spiritually nourished. My academic brain was buzzing. I wanted to tell all my friends that I had found a spiritual place where values lived at the center and everything else – specific beliefs were adjacent within the value of free and open exploration – an invitation to be spiritually curious on your own terms.
It took me a while to join the church officially but I finally reached out to the environment team. I am now a member of the caretaking staff and I am a newly active member of the Zero Waste team!

I am organizing monthly Stitch n’ Bitch gatherings (think: unapologetically drinking, talking and knitting in public) and monthly slow fashion mending workshops where anyone can come to repair or alter their thrifted or worn clothing using hobby machines and sergers, etc.

I am feeling around for my activism through our church but I have boundless gratitude to the people gathered here, who accept me in this space and offer me guidance and belonging. I am here to reciprocate.

Contact Marie email