FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                                    March 12, 2018


Mississauga, Ontario – Canadian Baptist Ministries (CBM) is excited to announce the appointment of award-winning singer, songwriter and educator Dr. Cheryl Bear of the Nadleh Whut’en First Nation, as a Strategic Associate, effective April 1. Cheryl will serve as CBM’s Indigenous Relations Specialist with a focus on providing leadership and education to Canadian Baptist churches seeking to be more engaged with First Nations communities.

Cheryl has had a significant association with CBM over the past year. She has served as the spokesperson for the She Matters campaign, helping to raise awareness around global gender inequity, with a particular focus on gender-based violence in Indigenous communities. She has performed several She Matters concerts throughout Alberta, Ontario, New Brunswick and Manitoba. As part of her new role as Strategic Associate she will continue to inspire and educate through music and dialogue.

This appointment marks an important step forward for Canadian Baptists in the road to reconciliation with Indigenous people in Canada. CBM Executive Director Terry Smith feels that “The appointment of Cheryl Bear is vital to having Indigenous voices shape and guide how Canadian Baptists can journey on with First Nations people in this country. Cheryl understands the challenges and has years of experience walking alongside individuals and congregations wherever they are at in the conversation. This appointment is a natural follow-up to the apology we offered in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report. We know that Cheryl will be a great resource to our churches who wish to learn how best to build authentic relationships with Indigenous people in their own communities.”

In addition to her work as a recording artist, Cheryl has travelled to over 600 Indigenous communities in Canada and the United States sharing her songs and stories. She is also one of the founding board members of the North American Indigenous Institute of Theological Studies (NAIITS). Cheryl has a Doctorate from The King’s University in Los Angeles, and Master of Divinity degree from Regent College. Her doctoral work presented an approach to First Nations ministry from the foundations of Indigenous worldview and values.

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