Alvin Dixon, a respected Heiltsuk First Nation Elder, worked all his life to improve the lives of First Nations people.
Torn from his home near Bella Bella, also known as Waglisla, along the east coast of B.C.’s Campbell Island at the tender age of ten and robbed of the loving care of his family and community and forced to attend a residential school, he didn’t let it break his spirit.
In spite of his earlier traumas, he fought the odds and pursued a degree at the University of British Columbia, as one of only six First Nations students at the school.
He served as a role model and advocate, working with the Native Brotherhood of British Columbia, and the United Church, where he was a member of the general executive council.
And he was one of the founders of the Native Ministries Consortium and the Native Ministries program at the Vancouver School of Theology.
Dixon worked to raise awareness about the residential school system, First Nations youth and First Nations fishermen and women.
Sadly, his life was cut short in 2014, when he died of cancer. But his legacy and work live on through the Alvin Dixon Memorial Fund, which supports initiatives that focus on education for Aboriginal students.
The fund, along with the Endowment Fund for Aboriginal Post-Secondary Education, supports First Nations students who are fighting similar battles as Dixon did, becoming role models to the next generation.
Both are part of the United Church of Canada Foundation’s support of the Church’s work towards truth and reconciliation and serve as a way to put the values and words of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada into action.
The Foundation is a registered charity with tax receipts available. Donations can be made through our safe and secure website.
This July, a run/walk in Dixon’s memory provides a fun way to show support by lacing up your shoes. You can join in Oshawa on Sunday July 22, or organize a run in your own community. All fitness levels are welcome and you can either run 5km or walk 1km.