We are Mark and Cheryl Buchanan. Mark is an author, pastor and professor. Cheryl is a spiritual director and recovery coach. We were in pastoral ministry for 24 years, 18 of those in the Duncan, BC, part of the Cowichan Valley. That is where God first woke us up and opened our eyes to our Indigenous neighbours.
That is where our own New Story began.
In those years, through many conversations with Indigenous friends and Elders (for whose patience we are forever grateful), through much reading and pondering, through much trying and failing and trying again, we began to understand both the staggering beauty of Indigenous peoples and cultures, and the deep harm and trauma that many Indigenous people and communities struggle with and we began to see our own role in all of that.
We began to change our minds, and to change our ways. We began to use our voices to raise awareness. We began to get involved – clumsy and misguided at times, but slowly moving toward genuine friendship and partnership with Indigenous peoples. We began to experience real and lasting change in ourselves. Along the way, we fell in love: with the people, with their culture, with their humour, with their wisdom.
all that has led to new Story Community
In September 2021 we launched our first New Story Community on Keats Island, BC. We began with two young women, who courageously began to identify their pain and trauma to name the things they wanted to change, and to open themselves to healing in ; body, mind and spirit. As they looked at their past, they begin to shape and live into a new for their future. They
graduated in April 2022. They are both flourishing.
September 2022, we began our second New Story Community. We welcomed three new participants, as
well as one of the previous year graduates to join us as an intern. Later in the year, we welcomed an Elder, a
residential school survivor, to join us for three months, as she sought a safe place to work through her own pain and to write her own new story.
The second graduation for New Story Community is on April 17th , 2023.
Director of New Story Community
We also have several volunteer and support personnel.
Our board of directors
Chair: Graham Bruce – Settler Canadian - CEO, Granneke Management & Consulting; former Mayor, MLA, & Cabinet Minister
Vice-Chair: Linda Martin – Severn Cree - Muskrat Dam First Nation, counsellor
Secretary: Melissa Lochhead – Settler Canadian – Pastoral Care Director, Barnabas Family Ministries
Treasurer: Rick Martin – Settler Canadian - counsellor
Member: Tal James - Penelakut First Nation – Regional Director of North American Indigenous Ministries
New Story Community is an Incorporated BC Society registered as New Story Recovery Society.
New Story is Registered with BC Assisted Living – Supportive Recovery.