The Anglican Church’s Diocese of Saskatchewan will for the first time be electing an Indigenous bishop and a new 12-member Indigenous Council for the province’s north this weekend in Prince Albert.

The Senator Allen Bird Memorial Gymnasium on a Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation urban reserve will be the setting of the diocese’s first general assembly.

Bishop Michael Hawkins says its part of the plan for increased Indigenous self-determination in the diocese:

“It’s a new position in the diocese.  They will be the top spiritual leader for Anglicans and non-Anglican Christians.  They’ll be there to ordain clergy, to confirm the young people, and also to lead the church in addressing the pressing issues in our communities.”

Hawkins says it’s part of the healing that comes out of the residential schools experience, and other colonialistic parts of the church’s history.

The gathering begins tonight with a healing service.

The general assembly starts Saturday morning.