Message from the CEO

By Merv Thomas,

Many exciting projects are currently underway at the Circle of Eagles Lodge Society and time seems to be flying as we enter February and prepare for another fiscal year end and plan for the next fiscal year.

The Board and staff have been very busy with many projects. Many proposals and projects are being planned.

COELS Naa-na-himyis Renovations

The minor renovations are proceeding at Naa-na-himyis Brothers Healing Lodge and are scheduled to be completed by March 31st, 2020. Minor repairs include fixing a leaking roof, upgrading the hot water boiler, painting the living spaces, fixing the decks, and other minor repairs. Thank you to CSC for providing the resources to make these repairs so that the living space may be safe for the Brothers that live there and the staff that work there.


50th Year Anniversary Gala and Fundraiser

COELS 50th Anniversary flyerWe are currently planning for our 50th year anniversary and we will be celebrating this incredible milestone with a Gala and Fundraiser. Please join Circle of Eagles Lodge Society (COELS) for an incredible fun-filled evening honouring 50 years of service. The evening will include cultural celebration, live music, a silent auction, dignitaries, special surprise guests, fundraising and the premiere screening of ‘The Circle of Eagles’.

This 50th year anniversary celebration highlights the incredible achievements of Board of Directors, Staff and Indigenous Brothers, Sisters, that keep the healing journey going. Please check us out on our website, Eventbrite and Facebook.




The Documentary film:

The Circle of Eagles – From prison to community, embracing Indigenous culture.

‘The Circle of Eagles’ is a fifty-minute documentary telling the story of COELS, from it’s beginning to the present, and looking forward.

The impact of government policies in residential schools, foster care, poverty, and addictions is a story of many Indigenous people; leading to higher rates of incarceration, poverty and educational achievement.

The founding president of COELS, Marge White, received the Order of Canada. She is a tireless advocate for positive change in the lives of Indigenous people. When a request from Indigenous Brothers inside the Federal institutions for an Indigenous halfway house came to her attention, she brought that dream to life.

Healing with culture changes the course of one’s path, making a positive impact on Indigenous brothers and sisters as they leave the prison system. This film hears from various voices. From Indigenous Brothers as they share their powerful stories of where they’ve been to where they are now. Founders, staff, Correctional Services of Canada and Elders tell stories of hope from individuals whose lives and hearts have been touched by the work done by all. Their stories highlight the impact of culture, overcoming incredible obstacles.




Tsetsusem Healing Journey (Camp Potlatch)

Healing Journey coverWe are once again preparing for the spring Tsetsusem Healing Journey which will take place from May 4th – May 8th, 2020 at Camp Potlatch. We are once again providing this healing journey to nine (9) Brothers from the community, three (3) Brothers from Kwikwexwhelp Healing Village, and three (3) Brothers from Mission Minimum. We have updated our resource booklet, and plans are underway with Claire and Jason coordinating this year’s journey.







Circle of Eagles Trading Post

The Circle of Eagles Trading Post will be opening soon, and we continue to plan for its success. We have applied to the Vancouver Foundation to provide the resources and capacity so that we may be able to conduct a feasibility study. The overall goal and some key activities is to provide a space for Indigenous Brothers and Sisters to sell their arts and crafts, as well as providing a space for community to get their medicines. We also want to ensure that all stakeholders are in sync and support this initiative. For example, we want to know how to structure the social enterprise so that the business may become viable and successful.




Newsletter cover Spring 2020
Download Spring 2020 Newsletter pdf