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Truth and Reconciliation

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Welcome to the third edition of “Learn and Act,” the newsletter of Annapolis Valley Quakers’ Truth and Reconciliation Committee.  In this issue we invite our readers to attend Acadia’s Mawio’mi and to learn about the issues it raises.  Want to know how rewarding it can be to attend events organized by Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities working together?  See our Update below about Marilyn Manzer’s experiences at Grand Pré 2017.

Act: Oct 4-5 Mawio’mi at Acadia

Circle of Hope Mawio'mi LogoAcadia University is hosting its 8th Annual Mawio’mi (Mi’kmaq for “gathering”) in Wolfville, Wed Oct 4th and Thurs Oct 5th.  The theme is Circle of Hope. The event, co-hosted by Mi’kmaw Family and Children’s Services, intends to raise awareness of and honour missing and murdered Indigenous women, men, children, and two-spirit people.

The Truth and Reconciliation Committee will be there – please join us!

There are many events happening during the two-day Mawio’mi, including ceremonies, feasts, a reading by Mi’kmaw poet laureate Rebecca Thomas, a restorative justice workshop, and a storytelling evening. There are also activities aligned with the Moosehide Campaign, and the Sisters in Spirit Vigils co-ordinated by the Native Women’s Association of Canada.  Check out the schedule for a full listing.  All events are free and open to the community, and children are welcome.

Learn: Sisters in Spirit, Moosehide Men

Planning to attend Acadia’s Mawio’mi?  Want to get up to date on some of the campaigns and issues that will be discussed?  Follow the links below to learn more.

Sisters in Spirit

Grandmother Moon logo from Native Women's Association of CanadaSisters in Spirit” is the name of a national movement honouring and bringing awareness to Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG).  It is co-ordinated by Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC), which promotes the “social, economic, cultural, and political well-being of First Nations and Métis women”.  People across the country are invited to organize events on October 4th.  The goals include honouring the memories of those who have been lost, and providing support to families who have lost a loved one.

The Sisters in Spirit campaign started in 2005 as a “research, education, and policy initiative driven by Aboriginal women” about “the alarmingly high rates of violence against Aboriginal women and girls in Canada.” The project supported NWAC in developing a database of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, documenting the experiences and recommendations of their families, promoting families’ effective access to justice, and publishing learning resources and reports.

The campaign uses the Grandmother Moon logo shown above, in connection with a poem of the same name.

Grandmother Moon

You know all women from birth to death
We seek your knowledge
We seek your strength
Some are STARS up there with you
Some are STARS on Mother Earth
Grandmother, lighten our path in the dark
Creator, keep our sisters safe from harm
Maa duu? Mussi cho

-Kukdookaa

Moosehide Campaign

The Moosehide Campaign “is a grassroots movement of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Men who are standing up against violence towards women and children.”  They invite men to wear a square of moosehide to pledge their support, engage in a fast on October 5th, and take action against sexual violence in their lives.

The Moose Hide Campaign was started by Paul Lacerte and his daughter Raven, in 2011.  During a hunting trip along the “Highway of Tears”, a stretch of highway in northern BC where many women have been murdered or gone missing, they “harvested a moose and the daughter was preparing it when they had a moment of inspiration to tan the Moose Hide and cut it into squares for men to wear. The inspiration came from the land, from the loving relationship between the father and the daughter, from the stretch of highway where violence has taken so many loved ones, and from the spirit of the moose.”

Moose Hide Campaign Logo

The Moosehide Campaign invites men to take a stand against sexual assault and harassment by promoting gender equity, healthy relationships, and positive ideals of masculinity.

Moosehide patches are available for order.  The campaign website also has many resources. You can also read more about how they seek accountability to Indigenous women and why men specifically are invited to fast.

Update: Enjoying a Mi’kmaw-Acadian Cultural Celebration

Tipis illuminated by coloured light at Grand Pre 2017In our last newsletter, we encouraged people to attend a Pow-wow, and many did!  Here’s an update from Truth and Reconciliation Committee member Marilyn Manzer, on her experience at the Grand Pré 2017 celebration.

 “In August I attended an amazing celebration honouring the Acadian and Mi’kmaw cultural sharing that began 400 years ago. It was held at the Grand Pré National Historic Site, which commemorates the Acadian settlement that was located there until the British deportation of 1755. I volunteered during two days and attended concerts in the evenings. I loved the event and would have attended even more if I could have! This was part of my effort to facilitate reconciliation with First Nations, along with serving on the Truth and Reconciliation Committee that brings you this newsletter.

The outdoor event included a fabulous art show on a “street” with 58 tents where Acadians and First Nations folks from across Canada were selling their art and crafts. There were concessions selling Acadian and Mik’maw food. Some had free samples of traditional foods like fry bread. There were also organizations giving out information on community programs and projects and places to visit. There were many big tipis where Mik’maw people were demonstrating crafts such as birchbark canoes, quill art, hide tanning, and beadwork. There was a story-telling tipi and others sharing cultural information. Acadian people presented lectures, panel discussions, performances, etc. in a big round “rendezvous” tent.

The huge main stage featured many, many amazing Acadian and Mik’maw performers, both well-known and not-so-well-known, playing in front of an art and light show from noon til 10:30pm daily. My personal favourites were La Baie en Joie, a troupe of young Acadian dancers from Saulnierville NS, Bernie Francis, a Mi’kmaq linguist and singer-songwriter from Membertou First Nation, Edith Butler, a well-known Acadian folksinger from New Brunswick, and Don Amero, a Métis/Acadian singer-songwriter from Winnipeg. The lawn next to the Evangeline statue contained tents and a stage to facilitate Mik’maw cultural demonstrations, including a 5-hour powwow scheduled for Saturday afternoon. Saturday poured with rain and the powwow was moved to the gym at Acadia University, but still was well-attended and very exciting. There were many dances with Mik’maq in traditional regalia (which was highly artistic and beautiful) and a half dozen different singing and drumming groups that took turns playing for the dances. Spectators were invited to join the dancing and many did. The rain stopped in the evening and “The Relatives” were obviously a popular dance band.  I joined many others to dance in front of the stage.

Thousands of people came and I personally recognized only a few – which is unusual for me at local events. I totally loved it.”

Sept 1-2: Join Us at the Millbrook Powwow

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Have you ever wanted to go to a Pow-wow ?  Are you an experienced Pow-wow go-er and want to share the experience?  Want to learn about Mi’kmaq culture, support Indigenous artists and businesses, and join in living the Treaty relationship of Peace and Frienship, but not sure how to start?
 
Annapolis Valley Quaker Meeting’s Truth and Reconciliation Committee will be attending the Millbrook First Nation’s Pow-wow (near Truro) this Labour Day Weekend. This is a free and public event where Mi’kmaq and other Indigenous people from all over, as well as non-Indigenous members of the public, are invited to share in friendship and celebration. We will be co-ordinating drives to the performance series on Friday evening Sept 1 and the Pow-wow drumming and dancing on Saturday afternoon Sept 2 for anyone in the wider community who would like to join us.  No Quaker bonafides required.  Invite your friends!
 

Pow-wow Details

The Pow-wow continues Saturday evening and Sunday as well. Admission is free. There are vendors on site and areas where you can pitch a tent for a multi-day stay.  The organizers shared this message about how to participate respectfully:
 
“The protocols are pretty straight forward. No alcohol and drugs. Only dancers in the dancer arena unless otherwise stated, such as intertribals and etc. There is very little contest that happens at our gathering. This is to entertain the crowd that we have coming to our pow wow. Always ask a dancer for a picture before hand. Most importantly show respect to others and enjoy the day.  Pow wows such as ours and many others … [are] for everyone to enjoy. Come and bring a friend or many. Enjoy the sights and sounds. We have vendors and demonstrations happening also. There is no admission fee!

Trip #1: Friday Evening, Sept 1

Singers, songwriters, storytellers, musicians
  •  6PM: Richard Gloade We’kopekwitk, NS (Singer, Songwriter)
  •  7PM: Gerald D. Gloade – We’kopekwitk, NS (Finger Style Guitar)
  •  8PM: Gerald R Gloade – We’kopekwitk, NS (Storyteller, Night Sky)
  •  9PM: Tia Wood — Saddle Lake Cree Nation, AB (Singer, Miss Manito Ahbee)
Departing Wolfville 4:30PM (and other points as arranged).  
Return time to be arranged by participants.
 

Trip #2: Satuday Afternoon, Sept 2

Pow-wow Drums and Dancers
1PM: Grand Entry
Afternoon: Drums and Dancers (return time flexible)
Optional: 2 hr break during afternoon to visit Mi’kmawey Debert Interpretive Trail
 
On Saturday afternoon, we will arrive in time for the Grand Entry of drums and dancers at 1PM.  
 
For those who are interested, we will also arrange for a side trip during the afternoon to the Mi’kmawey Debert Interpretive Trail.  This is a 75-minute interpreted walking trail located a short drive away, at the site the oldest known human habitation site in the northeast of the continent.  The ancestors of today’s Mi’kmaq lived there over 10,000 years ago. You can learn more in this episode of Land and Sea: The Mi’kmaq journey.
 
Departing Wolfville 11:00AM (and other points as arranged).  
Return time to be arranged by participants.

To Join Us

Arrange transportation by Friday at Noon by 
  • emailing  or 
  • calling Mylène at 902-582-1771
  • Let us know whether you need a drive or can offer a drive
  • Don’t forget to pack a lawn chair or picnic blanket!

June 2017 Learn and Act: Protocol and Powwows

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Welcome to the second edition of “Learn and Act,” the newsletter of Annapolis Valley Monthly Meeting’s Truth and Reconciliation Committee. Each quarter, we plan to share ideas about how we can learn and take action together toward true reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Peoples. Please join us in opening ourselves to the journey of reconciliation. Any questions or suggestions? Please submit your suggestions on our Committee’s page, or the committee.

You can also download the newsletter in PDF format.

Learn: Native Protocol, by Cathy Grant Gerrior

How can good intentions go wrong, when settlers try to enter into right relationship with Indigenous people? Have you ever been in a group that tried to be supportive, yet somehow ended up with an even more strained relationship than you had before?

Cathy Grant Gerrior, a Mi’kmaq Ceremony Keeper, shared an essay with specific guidance on approaching Native Protocol:

“My hope is to create some … opportunities for discussions to happen between yourselves before you even invite a native person in. I have learned that assuming everyone is on the same page can lead to disaster and then to cultures colliding rather than collaborating.”

She goes on to share concrete ideas and approaches that non-Indigenous people can consider. For example:

Many of us do not consider ourselves Canadian so please don’t assume that we do. Canada was created through racist, violent European imperialism by the dominant society/settlers. We belong to Turtle Island and there are many different territories that are recognized by our people. I believe it is a matter of truth and respect that this be stated one way or another.

As a committee, we’ve been reflecting on this document, especially the section about not introducing ourselves by asking for something, nor expecting that an offered gift will be accepted. “Many ‘gifts’ in the past, well-intentioned or not, did much harm.” You can read the full text of her essay online.

Act: Attend a Powwow This Summer

Map of First Nations in Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq First Nations, from the website of NS Office of Aboriginal Affairs

A Powwow is coming-together of the nation-to-nation relationships that Indigenous Peoples have with each other and with Canada. Non-Indigenous Canadians have a role to play, rather than being spectators, of living into the peace and friendship to which our treaties pledge us. Meeting people, learning about the Indigenous People whose guests we are in Mi’kmaki, and engaging respectfully with Indigenous traditions … all are good reasons to attend a Powwow this summer. Why not choose one and mark it in your calendar now?

Many of the Mi’kmaq communities in Nova Scotia will have powwows this summer; wherever your summer plans take you, there is bound to be one nearby.

Note that, from August 10-13, Grand-Pré National Historic site will host Grand Pré 2017: a “celebration of peace and friendship” between the Mi’kmaq & Acadian people.  This will include both Mi’kmaq and Acadian performances and cultural demonstrations, a lecture series, artisan vendor marketplace, etc. While overall this is not a traditional annual Powwow hosted by a First Nations community, the day of August 12 is set aside for powwow activities.

Details for powwows around NS that are announced so far are below.  You can also find updates as well as dates for NB, PEI, Maine, and NL online, listed by the group Powwow Listings – Eastern Canada.  You can prepare by reading a couple of different perspectives on protocol: 5 Tips for the First Time You Attend a Powwow may be helpful, as well as Millbrook First Nation’s Powwow Protocol.

TBD……Sipekne’katik Traditional Powwow, Indian Brook, NS

Note: the dates shown below are accurate to the best of our knowledge on the date of posting; please check with the host communities/organizations to confirm.

 

 

Name and website

Location

Contact Information

June 21

 

Mawita’jik: Let Us Gather

Halifax Commons

Halifax, NS

June 30 – July 2

Eskasoni 26th Annual Powwow

Eskasoni, NS

  • Michael R Denny
  • (902) 574-5624
  • Event facebook page

July 22-23

Potlotek Traditional Powwow

Chapel Island, NS

website

August 12

Grand Pré 2017 Traditional Powwow

Grand Pre, NS

Note: takes place during Grand Pré 2017 Peace and Friendship Gathering (Aug 10-13)

  • Michael R Denny
  • website

September 1-3

Millbrook First Nation Powwow

Millbrook, NS

website

Sept 9-10

Membertou Traditional Powwow

Membertou, NS

website

Sept 9-10

Gold River Traditional Powwow

Gold River, NS (Acadia First Nation)

Details not available – check Acadia First Nation website closer to the date

Sept 16-17

We’koqma’q Traditional Powwow

Whycocomagh, NS

  • website
  • or call 902-756-2337 for details

Sept 23-24

Paqtnkek Traditional Powwow

Paqtnkek, NS

website

 

Wed June 14: Questioning Canada 150

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Update June 20: All the videos, images, and other resources we used during the event are free online; you can now download the complete list in PDF form, share it on facebook, or scroll to the bottom of this post to peruse.

full-size poster PDF

What does the Canada 150 campaign celebrate?  Whose perspectives are represented? How does it affect the self-image of those of us who see ourselves as Canadians, and how does it affect relationships between the Indigenous and non-Indigenous people of this land?  What are your questions about what this means and what we can do, individually or together?

Annapolis Valley Quaker Meeting is co-hosting a public event for discussion and reflection on these questions and more — we hope you’ll join us. 

When?

Wednesday, June 14, 7PM

Where?

Theatre Auditorium, KC Irving Centre, Acadia University (building 32 on the campus map — then head downstairs)

33 University Ave., Wolfville 

(nearby meter and street parking is free after hours)

What Will Happen? 

Short films, radio clips, readings, responses, discussion and reflection.  

Light refreshments will be served. 

Who Is Organizing? 

This event is organized by settlers (non-Indigenous peoples) from Annapolis Valley Quaker Meeting and Horizons Community Development Associates, with support from Acadia University’s Community Development Program, in order to help each other unsettle our thinking about the birth of Canada.

Have Questions or Need More Info?

Contact Horizons:

  • (902) 542-0156

Or Annapolis Valley Monthly Meeting’s Truth and Reconciliation Committee:

All are welcome. RSVPs to help us plan for the right amount of food, and donations to help cover costs, are welcome but not necessary. Any surplus will be used to support future Truth and Reconciliation-related events.  

Resource List

Videos

Canada, I Can Cite For You 150 (2:25, Christi Belcourt, 2017)

  • Published by Onaman Collective, Feb 3, 2017

Lament for Confederation (6:15, Dan George, 1967)

  • “Has Anything Changed? Revisiting Chief Dan George’s Iconic ‘Lament for Confederation’”
  • By Janet Rogers, published on CBC.ca, May 5, 2017

What Does Canada 150 Mean for Indigenous Communities? (25:31, CBC, 2017)

  • CBC Radio One, The Current, March 16, 2017 interview with Lilian Howard, Christi Belcourt, and Eric Ritskes

Wabanaki People of the Dawn (25:50)

  • Part 1 of a 3-part documentary published on the website of NS Office of Aboriginal Affairs

Images

Mi’kmaq History and Map

Shame and Prejudice: A Story of Resilience (Exhibition by K. Monkman)

In Halifax in October, 2018

Peace and Friendship Treaties

Originals at the NS Archives; high-resolution scans are on their website

Alternatives to Canada 150 Logo

Jay Soule’s logos are available on clothing, stickers, etc.

“Colonialism 150” logo products available from Eric Ritskes; proceeds to the Onaman Collective’s Indigenous Tattoo Gathering

Documents

United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

 

Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Questioning Canada 150: Event Organizing Collective

Questioning Canada 150 was an event held on June 14, 2017  in Wolfville to discuss and reflect on Canada 150 and the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. The event was organized by settlers (non-Indigenous peoples) to help us unsettle our thinking about the birth of Canada.

 

 

 

 

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in Events, Public Updates, Truth and Reconciliation

Welcome to the inaugural “Learn and Act” newsletter of Annapolis Valley Monthly Meeting’s Truth and Reconciliation Committee.  Each quarter, we plan to share ideas about how we can learn and take action together toward true reconciliation between Friends, others in Canada, and Indigenous Peoples. Please join us in opening ourselves to the journey of reconciliation.  Any questions or suggestions?  Please submit your suggestions on our Committee’s page, or  the committee.

Learn: Decolonization and Land Acknowledgements

One of our favourite resources this month is a 2016 interview with Anishinaabe comedian and writer Ryan McMahon.   In this 7-minute segment on CBC’s “The 180”, McMahon talks about the relationship between decolonization and reconciliation, how well-intentioned kindness can distract us from hard questions about land, and why land acknowledgements are a bit like telling someone you stole their truck.

Act: Discrimination in Child Welfare

Looking for a simple action you can take right now to fight discrimination against First Nations children? This Sunday’s event in Wolfville includes a film screening, talk, and petition to the Canadian government.

“SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 12 1 p.m. Room 241, Beveridge Arts Centre, Acadia University, Wolfville.  Film, speaker. 

Have a Heart! Join the fight to end discrimination against First Nations’ children. Watch Alanis Obomsawin’s compelling documentary HI HO MISTAHEY that explores education as a basic human right. In support of national “Have a Heart Day” guest speaker Darlene Copeland Peters, Prevention Co-ordinator for Mi’kmaw Family and Children’s Services, will share local conditions for Indigenous children. Room 241, Beveridge Arts Centre, 1 pm, Free.  A petition that calls upon the Government of Canada to comply with recent Human Rights Tribunal ruling regarding the systemic shortfalls in First Nations child welfare will be available for signing.  INFO: ”  The event is also on facebook.

 

Edited: Mar 27 to reflect change to a quarterly schedule (from original monthly plan)