||First Nations Indigenousness
to their past
negative experience, the Saanich People are trying to repair the damage
that was done to them by the church and there is a strong pull towards
returning to their traditional beliefs. In the midst of all this there
is still a sense of hope for the future and for the next generations.
They still have a good sense of humor, a strong sense of hospitality
and love hosting events of all sorts. The people have always valued
their families and encourage respect for their elders. With this
positive attitude being nurtured by the Creator (God) the strength of
the people is being restored.
|This ministry led by Muavae and
Marie Va’a, who currently live and work on Tsartlip village.
They are located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island; ministering
to the Saanich people of the Coast Salish nation. The Saanich nations
consist of four villages of which they are actively involved.
Tsartlip village population is approximately 800 people which are the
largest of the four communities. It is known that approximately that 60
to 70 % of the elderly have been through the residential school system
in the early 1920’s to 1960’s. The schools were
organized and funded by the government but run by the churches (Roman
Catholic, Anglican) many of the children were forcefully taken away
from their families and way of life. Many suffered both mental and
physical abuse, some even died in the process of trying to escape from
the schools. As a result their language, culture, identity and personal
well being were almost destroyed. The impact of this experience is
still evident even into the current generations.
experience with the
church has made it difficult for the Gospel to penetrate the heart of
many First Nations people. Our calling to this ministry is to work at
establishing a new relationship with Native people. We believe that as
a Christian we need to change our approach in terms of reaching them
with the love of Christ and be creative and find new strategies in the
way that will bring truth. We are involved both locally and
internationally. It seems that all indigenous people around the globe
share the same struggles within their own Native land.
The Va’a family of
five is currently served with YWAM Victoria B.C Canada with a strong
call to work among the First Nation people.
Muavae (Samoan) met Marie (First Nation Canadian) in the YWAM Cook
Island in the early 1990. Marie was part of the first ever group of
First Nation students that went out from one First Nation community to
take part of the DTS. While Marie was doing her DTS, Muavae continue to
lead local YWAM ministry as a base staff. The two developed a
friendship after Marie complete DTS, while her and one native student
decided to stay back to assist YWAM local ministries to the community.
There Muavae & Marie fell in love and the rest is history
||In 1991, Muavae was part of a
group of few islanders that came to Canada to be part of the ministry
call Second Wave. (This was the early stage of the ministry); it is now called the New Wave International. Marie also joined the team with
the passion to reach her own people. Muavae on the other hand, he had
always known that God had the call in his life for the indigenous
people long before he met Marie.
In April 1992 two cultures became one
for the greater purpose of God when Muavae & Marie got married.
They are now live and work among the First Nation community with their
3 beautiful kids; their name is Fa’atuatua, Alexander and