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Evan Noodin Smith & Jesse Swance

Indigenous Teachers

The Reverend Evan Noodin Smith Rev. Evan Smith is ordained in the United Church of Canada and is the minister at Toronto Urban Native Ministry in Regent Park, Toronto. Evan is Queer, Two-Spirit, Anishinaabe, and Turtle Cla​n. Evan completed an undergraduate degree from the University of Toronto specialising in Women and Gender Studies and Sexual Diversity Studies and graduated from Emmanuel college with a Master of Divinity. Evan works on the front lines doing pastoral care and harm reduction with sex workers, Indigenous LGBTQ2A youth, families, people who are incarcerated and street-involved folks. Passionate about encouraging people’s spiritual health, Evan serves Indigenous people living on the margins through the practice of both Traditional Spirituality and Christianity as part of the ministerial work at Toronto Urban Native Ministry. Evan serves on the Office of Vocation Indigenous Candidacy Board and is serving their second term as the moderator’s appointee to The United Church of Canada Foundation Board. In addition to ministry, Evan also works as a Birth Centre Aide at the Indigenous-led Toronto Birth Centre. Evan lives with their partners, children and a grandchild. As a family they enjoy fishing, camping, hunting, and dance parties in their kitchen.

Jess Bimwidoon Waazkon Swance-Smith Jess is in their third year at Emmanuel College (University of Toronto) studying in the Master of Divinity program. Jess is President of the Emmanuel College Student Society and member of the Victoria University Board of Regents. Jess studied English and Sociology at Nipissing University and Thanatology at King’s College. They are passionate about supporting marginalised people, especially children, through the grief and bereavement process. Jess puts their training to use by serving on the Board of Toronto Urban Native Ministry where they regularly volunteer. Jess is Otter clan and traditionally adopted into the Toronto Anishinaabe Community. Jess identifies as a queer Two-Spirit person and lives in Toronto with their polyamorous family including children and grandchildren.