Community service

Indigenous social housing program celebrates half a century of community service – Circle of Eagles

Healing retreats with canoe trips

A Vancouver halfway house program rooted in Indigenous cultural practice commemorated in a documentary filmed in British Columbia

Indigenous peoples represent 5% of the total population in Canada, but the representation of the federal incarnation is reaching new historic heights exceeding 30%.

—Merv Thomas, CEO

VANCOUVER, BC, CANADA, May 11, 2022 / — The Circle of Eagles Lodge Society proudly celebrates half a century of community service as it turns 52. The Indigenous nonprofit was unable to share its official 50th anniversary in 2020 due to the pandemic. Instead, on May 27, 2022, he will host a fundraiser alongside a special screening and live stream of his award-winning documentary, “Circle of Eagles – Soaring for 50 Years”.

The Circle of Eagles Lodge Society operates halfway houses in Vancouver, British Columbia, on Coast Salish territory, to assist Indigenous brothers and sisters across Canada who are leaving Canadian federal institutions. They offer supports to reintegrate their clients into communities by providing housing, cultural healing, employment preparation and life skills.

Over 1,240 people resided in their halfway house. On average, 50 people reside each year and another 150 people are assisted by assisting other community residential facilities and residential treatment facilities. Typically, 55 people attend pre-employment training programs per year and 35,000 meals per year are served through their Bannock On the Run outreach program, which includes feeding seniors and those without shelter.

A major barrier to our ability to help more people is the ‘Not in my back yard’ syndrome where people are not against halfway houses, but they would prefer if they weren’t in their neighborhood,” said Merv Thomas, CEO of Circle of Society Eagles Lodge. “We hope that when people watch this powerful documentary, it will give them insight into the positive impact our work has had on communities like theirs. We need community support to pave the way for us to add more beds, in more backyards.

The Company also operates the Circle of Eagles Trading Post, an online and retail craft store that creates career opportunities for their customers to participate in the local economy. Learning traditional craft skills is also a vehicle for maintaining and transmitting culture, while instilling a sense of purpose, developing self-confidence and an identity other than as an individual with a criminal record. .

Circle of Eagles Lodge Society invites all to RSVP for an in-person event (limited capacity) or to stream a documentary on May 27, 2022


About the Circle of Eagles Lodge Society (COELS)
Circle of Eagles Lodge Society (COELS) is an Aboriginal non-profit organization that provides Aboriginal community-based residential facilities (halfway houses) in Vancouver, British Columbia, Coast Salish Territory, to assist Brothers and Indigenous sisters leaving Canadian federal institutions and those who are socially alienated. For more than 50 years, the Society has offered support to successfully reintegrate them into communities by providing respectful holistic services and culturally safe spaces. This includes male and female residencies, pre-employment programs, cultural healing and life skills.

About COELS Trading Post
Circle of Eagles Trading Post is an Aboriginal crafts retail and online store owned and operated by the non-profit Circle of Eagles Lodge Society. Together, they create career opportunities for siblings re-entering the justice system, as well as other community members, to participate in the local economy by introducing their artwork to new markets at their rightful place. value.

Circle of Eagles Lodge Society 50th Anniversary and Film Screening

Indigenous cultural celebration honoring 50 years of service. The evening will include live music, a silent auction, dignitaries and special surprise guests. Includes the first screening of the award-winning documentary “The Circle of Eagles” highlighting Indigenous journeys from prisons to communities. Tickets by donation or free live stream.

Where: York Theater – 639 Commercial Drive, Vancouver or live stream online

When: Friday, May 27, 2022 from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. PST


Special guests:
• Hon. Melanie Mark, Minister of Arts and Culture; Vancouver-Mount Pleasant MP
• Hon. Jenny Kwan, MP for Vancouver East
• Chief Alan Stager, Mount Currie
• Marjorie White, Founder of the Circle of Eagles Lodge Society, Member of the Order of Canada, Member of the Order of British Columbia

Recorded messages:
• Her Excellency the Honorable Mary Simon, Governor General of Canada
• Hon. Davide Lametti, Minister of Justice
• Anne Kelly, Commissioner at the Correctional Service of Canada
• Dennis Herfst, Correctional Service Canada

Media sheet and high resolution images

Shelley Mantei
Digital mediatonics
+1 604-649-2893
[email protected]

Circle of Eagles Documentary Trailer