Introductory Webinar

Local and Global Context

April 11th, 12pm ET


Michael Loft

Michael Loft is a member of the Mohawk community at Kahnawake and has twenty years of experience in Youth Protection and private practice. He began his career at McGill University shortly after graduating with a Master of Social Work degree in 2007. Michael has taught the following courses at the School of Social Work: First Peoples’ Issues and Social Work, as well as Indigenous Field Studies from 2007 until his retirement in 2016. During this time, he was also a part of the Indigenous Access McGill, a support program for Indigenous social work students.

Reverend Doctor Ray Aldred

Reverend Doctor Ray Aldred is a husband, father, and grandfather. He was first ordained with the Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada and is now ordained with the Anglican Church of Canada. He is status Cree from Swan River Band, Treaty 8.  Born in Northern Alberta, he now resides with his wife in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada.  Ray is the director of the Indigenous Studies Program at the Vancouver School of Theology whose mission is to partner with the Indigenous Church around theological education.

Formerly Ray served as the Assistant Professor of Theology at Ambrose Seminary in Calgary, Alberta. He is a former chairperson and board member for Indigenous Pathways. He is former Director for the First Nations Alliance Churches of Canada, now a committee member, where he works to encourage Indigenous churches. Ray also has had the privilege of addressing several college conferences and meetings.  Ray’s passion is to help as many as possible hear the gospel in their heart language.

Reverend Doctor Anthony Atansi

Dr. Chukwuemeka Anthony Atansi is an Igbo Christian theologian. He obtained a Doctor of Sacred Theology (Ph.D. and S.T.D) in 2020 from KE Leuven, Belgium. His doctoral dissertation is entitled “Christ, the Image of Social Transformation: Towards a Transformative Christology in the African Context.” He is a priest from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Akwa, Nigeria and is currently serving as Chaplain for McGill’s Newman Centre and Adjunct Professor in the School of Religious Studies of McGill University. He was a Research Fellow at the Centre for World Catholicism and Intercultural Theology of DePaul University, Chicago, USA, and is a member of the Pan-African Catholic Theology and Pastoral Network. His future research projects include an exploration of Catholic theology and spirituality from an Igbo perspective.

Chung-Chih Hong (Ayah Demaladas), PhD Candidate, McGill University

Ayah Demaladas, also known as Chung-Chih, Hong, is indigenous from the Kasavakan community of the Pinuyumayang tribe in Taiwan. Concentrating on Gender and Women’s Studies, Ayah is a PhD candidate at the School of Religious Studies at McGill University. Her research interest is the relationships between Christianity, Indigenous traditional practices, and the life and spirituality of Indigenous women.

Description of the headshot:

The Pinuyumayan is called a tribe of wreaths, where everyone wears garlands in community gatherings. Flowers remark one’s honesty, harmony with others, and contributions to the community. The more head dresses a Pinuyumayan wears, the more significant contribution/ responsibility/ capacity they have.

Malith Kur, PhD Candidate, McGill University

Malith Kur is a pastor, peace activist, and community organizer. Kur served as the pastor of the South Sudanese community in and around London, Ontario (2001-2015) before joining McGill University in 2016 to pursue a PhD on the role of religions – especially Christianity and African Indigenous Religions – in peacebuilding. His current doctoral research focuses on the situation in South Sudan, with a particular focus on peacebuilding, and social reconstruction of South Sudanese society.