On Sept. 16, the Rev. Georgina Bassett made history by becoming the first person of Slavey heritage to be ordained a priest in the Anglican Church of Canada.
Bassett will continue to work at Grace-St. Andrew’s, a joint Anglican-United Church congregation in Hay River, N.W.T., where she assists the Rev. Vivian Smith. Being the first Anglican priest from the Slavey people is “very special,” said Bassett, who is a member of the K’atlodeeche First Nation. The Slavey are Dene people of the MacKenzie River basin.
Andrew Atagotaaluk, bishop of the diocese of the Arctic, ordained Bassett. The church, was jam-packed with members of the community as well as Bassett’s family, some of whom flew in from Vancouver and Yellowknife.
Bassett hopes her ordination will encourage aboriginal people, especially young people, to attend church. While Bassett went to Sunday school as a child, she walked away from the church as a teenager. In 2001, she came back to church with her husband, Steve, and together they raised four “amazing” sons. Her experience proves that “God is always there, waiting for us,” she says.