Together Ann and Murray O’Coin serve as directors and chief agents of Dancing Waters. Coming from very dynamic and different backgrounds they met, and were married, during their theological training. Their complementary skills have been one of the mission’s greatest assets.
Ann, originally from Vancouver Island, came to her work in Christian mission from an office assistant background. Her interest in Christian mission rose while working in various settings across the country. From Youth Worker in Victoria, BC to Hospital Chaplaincy in Saint John, NB to Street Outreach Worker in Toronto, her time has been spent reaching out to the most marginalized and bridging the gap between rich and poor. Her time in theological college and three years of employment hereafter, focused on service development and assessment. These experiences have been foundation for the pioneering work of Dancing Waters.
Murray, a Bear clan Mohawk from Tyendinaga, grew up working with his Grandfather’s construction business. He left Tyendianga to attend Bible College where his training focused on “high risk youth” including native youth serving time in detention centres. After three years of serving as Youth Pastor in Scarborough and volunteering downtown Toronto with the homeless Native population, Murrays desire to see Aboriginals living life to their fullest potential led to his return home. His life’s testimony of a broken family, poverty and addiction and firsthand knowledge of his culture’s struggle to survive in today’s world, fuel his drive for positive change in Aboriginal communities.
Ann and Murray work as the minds and hands of Dancing Waters, pulling their skills, experiences and shared love for Aboriginal communities as a means to affect real positive results in their community. It is their faith that precipitated acknowledgment of a need, and their drive that brought Dancing Waters to meet that need. It is their shared hope that through their efforts families will be encouraged and community strengthened, all towards the best possible tomorrow for aboriginal people.