Press "Enter" to skip to content

Indigenous Social Housing Program Celebrates Half Century of Community Service

Healing Retreats with Canoe Journeys

Vancouver halfway house program rooted in Indigenous cultural practice commemorated with BC-Filmed documentary

Indigenous people represent 5% of the total population across Canada, yet representation of federal incarnation at new historic highs surpassing 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 years old. The Indigenous non-profit wasn’t able to share its official 50th anniversary in 2020 due to the pandemic. Instead, on May 27, 2022 it will host a fundraiser alongside a special screening and live streaming of its award-winning documentary, “Circle of Eagles” – Soaring for 50 Years”.

Circle of Eagles Lodge Society operates Halfway Houses in Vancouver, BC on the Coast Salish territory to assist Indigenous Brothers and Sisters Canada-wide who are leaving Canadian federal institutions. They provide supports to reintegrate their clients into communities by providing housing, cultural healing, employment readiness, and life skills.

Over 1,240 people have resided with their halfway homes. On average 50 people reside every year and an additional 150 people are helped by assisting other Community-Based Residential Facilities and Residential Treatment Facilities. Typically, 55 people go through 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 elders and people experiencing homelessness.

A major barrier to our ability to help more people is ‘Not in My Back Yard’ syndrome where people are not against halfway homes, but they’d prefer if they weren’t in their neighbourhood,” shared Merv Thomas, CEO of Circle of Eagles Lodge Society. “It’s our hope that when people watch this powerful documentary it will give them a glimpse of the positive impact our work has on communities just like theirs. We need community support to pave the way for us to add more beds, in more back yards.”

The Society also operates the Circle of Eagles Trading Post, an online and retail artisan craft store that creates career opportunities for their clients to participate in the local economy. Learning traditional artisan skills is also a vehicle for the maintenance and transmission of culture, along with instilling a sense of purpose, developing self-confidence, and an identity other than as an individual with justice history.

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


About Circle of Eagles Lodge Society (COELS)

Circle of Eagles Lodge Society (COELS) is an Indigenous non-profit providing Indigenous Community-Based Residential Facilities (Halfway Houses) in Vancouver, BC on the Coast Salish territory to assist Indigenous Brothers and Sisters leaving Canadian federal institutions and those dislocated from society. For over 50 years, the Society has provided supports to successfully reintegrate them into communities by providing respectful wholistic services and culturally safe spaces. This includes men’s and women’s residences, pre-employment programming, cultural healing and life skills.

About COELS Trading Post

Circle of Eagles Trading Post is an Indigenous artisan craft retail and online store owned and operated by not-for-profit, Circle of Eagles Lodge Society. Together they create career opportunities for Brothers and Sisters who are re-integrating from the justice system, as well as others in the community, to participate in the local economy by introducing their artwork into new markets at fair value.

Circle of Eagles Lodge Society 50th Anniversary & Film Screening

Indigenous cultural celebration honouring 50 years of service. The evening will include live music, a silent auction, dignitaries & special surprise guests. Includes premiere screening of award-winning documentary ‘The Circle of Eagles’ spotlighting Indigenous journeys from prisons to communities. Tickets by donation or free live-stream.

Where: York Theatre – 639 Commercial Drive, Vancouver Or Live Stream Online

When: Friday, May 27, 2022 5:00 to 9:00 pm PST


Attendance Special Guests:

• Hon. Melanie Mark, Minister of Arts Culture; MLA Vancouver-Mount Pleasant

• Hon. Jenny Kwan, MLA Vancouver East

• Chief Alan Stager, Mount Currie

• Marjorie White, Founder of Circle of Eagles Lodge Society, Member of the Order of Canada, Member of the Order of BC

Recorded Messages:

• Her Excellency Honourable Mary Simon, Governor General of Canada

• Hon. Davide Lametti, Minister of Justice

• Anne Kelly, Commissioner at Correctional Service of Canada

• Dennis Herfst, Correctional Service Canada

Media Fact Sheet & High Res Images

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

Circle of Eagles Documentary Trailer

Article originally published at

Lifestyle - Trend Magazine originally published at Lifestyle - Trend Magazine