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Wed June 14: Questioning Canada 150

in Events, Public Updates, Truth and Reconciliation

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. 


Wednesday, June 14, 7PM


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:

  • email hidden; JavaScript is required
  • (902) 542-0156

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

  • email hidden; JavaScript is required

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


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


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


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.





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 email hidden; JavaScript is required 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: email hidden; JavaScript is required”  The event is also on facebook.


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

Truth and Reconciliation Committee Formed

in Announcements, News, Public Updates
The newly-formed Truth and Reconciliation Committee (currently made up of Marilyn, Mylène, and Penni) is pleased to announce that we held our first meeting in January.

Last summer, at Canadian Yearly Meeting‘s national gathering, Quakers across Canada were challenged by Canadian Friends Service Committee (CFSC) to take action for “a paradigm shift, moving from colonialism to a new reality based on respect for Indigenous Peoples’ Human Rights.”

They guide us specifically to
  • Educate Meeting members and attenders
  • Acknowledge traditional territories
  • Support local Indigenous communities
  • Support spiritually the Friends working on this issue
  • Report to CFSC annually

We have begun by educating ourselves and each other.  Two weeks ago we attended Walking With Our Sisters, the art installation commemorating missing and murdered Indigenous women that was hosted by Mount Saint Vincent University.  We are reading, watching and sharing educational resources, which we are excited to share with you in an upcoming newsletter.  We are also educating ourselves about how best to acknowledge the unceded traditional territory of Mi’kma’ki on which our Meeting is located.

We look forward to working with other individuals and organizations that share our purpose.  If you would like to learn more, receive our newsletter, or share your knowledge, please email hidden; JavaScript is required, or contact Annapolis Valley Monthly Meeting.

All My Relations: A Solstice Message

in News, Public Updates, Stories from the people of AVQM

One of our members, who was called to work with the Indigenous Rights Committee  of Canadian Friends Service Committee, writes:

“This is from  the Ennis family. Dan Ennis lives in Tobique First Nation, near Woodstock, NB. He was one of the first Indigenous elders I encountered on my journey of working with Indigenous peoples as a Quaker. One major learning for me is the explanation and implication of the term ‘all my relations’ — the term he uses to end this correspondence. As is stated here, it is a world view that recognizes ALL are connected, not just all humans, but all including the animals and the earth – water, rock,  the rest of the universe, etc.

Please feel free to pass it on – including all as is intended.”


The Peace of Spirit

Once again it is the time when our Mosums (Grandfather) Sun stops his journey south and turns to begin his journey north. It is Winter Solstice. Winter Solstice is the point upon the Great Hoop of Life where the sacred relationship between the Great Mother, and the Great Father becomes more observable to the People. Our original instructions teach The People that we should make special observances of this natural phenomenon through ceremony and through passing on those Original Instructions, which are our Traditional Teachings. We learn through this sacred relationship about how we are to create and maintain similar sacred relationships.

Relationships that are in balance and in harmony and that are loving, equal, respectful and nurturing. Winter Solstice is when our People slow down all of our activities and sit quietly in order to be in the Present, in the Now, in the Beginning.  It is also a time for remembering and honoring our sacred oneness with all of Great Creator’s Creation and our oneness with the Love and the Peace and the Joy that is Great Creator.

The love, joy, peace and compassion which is evident at this time is ever so good for our hearts; and what is good for our hearts is good for our Earth Mother.

To all of our relatives (and we are all related) we send you strong, loving and healing energy so that today your heart, your home, your lives and your spirit are filled with love, peace, joy and forgiveness.

We send strong healing energy to our relatives who are suffering, in pain, in turmoil, or are otherwise in need of love and healing. May the sacred life force of Love bring healing and may it lift heavy hearts.

We share your love, peace, joy and laughter. Your joy and happiness lifts the hearts of Grandmother and Grandfather.

Whenever we are in ceremony you are all carried within the light of our hearts and are lovingly remembered through spirit, through light, through peace and through love.

As human beings, and as the designated protectors of the land, we have a responsibility to all living things, all of creation: the two-legged, the four-legged, those creatures that fly, all creatures that swim, all plant life, the trees, the water, the air, the land – every living thing. It is our responsibility to love, honour, respect and protect all of creation. In doing this we honour our birth rights. We also honour the Ancestors who kept our traditional teachings alive and we honour the Seventh Generation yet to come.

We conclude by recognizing, acknowledging and respecting our sacred relationship to all other living things – past, present and future. Our sacred Earth Mother requires our love and respect if she is to continue to sustain us.

From our lodge to yours we send you light, love, peace and healing.

All My Relations,

The Ennis‘s

in Events, Introduction to Quakerism, News, Public Updates
Meet the Quakers poster

Click for print-quality version of poster

On World Quaker Day 2016, Annapolis Valley Quaker Meeting invites you to join us for an introduction to the faith and practice of the Religious Society of Friends.


  • October 2, 2016, 3pm – 5pm
  • Manning Memorial Chapel, Acadia University Campus, 45 Acadia St., Wolfville, NS

What’s Happening?

3PM — 4PM: Introduction to unprogrammed Meeting for Worship “in the manner of Friends

4PM — 5PM: Tea, coffee and snacks; time for conversation and questions

Why Go?

Would you like to know more about how Quakers can have a service with no appointed minister? Or what it’s like to be part of a spiritual community that has a 350-year tradition of gender equality, is queer and trans positive, and works to end war, colonialism, and climate change?

Join us to talk about the role of spiritual community, and ask all those questions about religion you’ve never asked — or never gotten a satisfactory answer to. We may not have the answers, but we welcome inquiring spirits to ask those questions together.

Resource people will be available to speak on various topics of concern to Quakers, in keeping with our traditional testimonies:

  • Simplicity
  • Peace
  • Integrity
  • Community
  • Equality
  • Sustainability

You’re welcome to come for either part if you can’t stay for both. Bring snacks to share, or just bring yourself.

If transportation or childcare would be helpful, please contact us to make arrangements.

See or share the event on Facebook

Quakers at Acadia’s Club Extravaganza

in Events, Introduction to Quakerism, News, Public Updates
Mylene standing at the Annapolis Valley Quaker Meeting's table during the Club Extravaganza

Mylene standing at the Annapolis Valley Quaker Meeting’s table during the Club Extravaganza

Bruce Dienes and Mylene DiPenta set up a table at Acadia Student Union’s Club Extravaganza last Wednesday night. The event was well attended, and a number of people stopped by our table to chat. Our new banner was finished in time for the event — you can see it in the photos (photo credits are to Bruce, naturally…). We also have a fresh batch of information packages for new attenders. If you’re a member of attender and would like to have some on hand to give away, contact the email hidden; JavaScript is required. If you’re a seeker or newcomer and you’d like one for yourself… well, contact the email hidden; JavaScript is required!

Our display table, complete with brand new banner.

Our display table, complete with brand new banner… and snacks.

Canadian Yearly Meeting Programme is Available

in News, Public Updates

Canadian Yearly Meeting is fast approaching, this year extending from Aug. 5-13.  The full programme is up: as always, there will be time to share the experience of Spirit in our lives, games, singing, community service, children’s activities, an LGBTQ-themed evening, a family-themed variety show, and of course Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business.  As well, Special Interest and Activity Groups spring up spontaneously or can be proposed in advance by anyone who feels led to organize one. In the programme document, you’ll also find details about financial support, especially (but not only) for families and those 35 and under. To register, fill out and submit this registration form.

Featured presenters and other highlights are below; keep an eye on the CYM 2016 web page for developments.

Aug 5-6: Nurturing Our Community

Retreat: Beverly Shepard (Hamilton Monthly Meeting)

In 2017 we will have a “fallow year”, not holding Yearly Meeting sessions.  We all know how valuable the week of Yearly Meeting is for building and fostering our community from across this vast country.  What will we do when the sessions aren’t happening?  What do we do the rest of any year?  We will explore ways that community is built and fostered and how we can continue to do this even though we won’t be physically together. Bring your ideas as well as your questions! 

Aug. 7: Continuing Revelation: Quaking with Grace and Joy in Modern Times

Sunderland P. Gardner Lecture: Maggie Knight (Vancouver Island Monthly Meeting

MaggieMaggie will explore continuing revelation and the choices Quakers in Canada face as we navigate the second decade of the 21st century. How do we…

  • navigate the opportunities and challenges of new technologies?
  • support Friends of all ages as society’s understanding of consent in sexual and romantic relationships evolves?
  • approach renewal amongst Friends without feeling driven by scarcity?
  • meet the challenges of our time, including climate change and reconciliation with Indigenous communities?
  • choose how busy to be and leave the space we need for reflection and discernment?

Maggie grew up on unceded Coast Salish territory in Victoria, BC. She’s a member of Vancouver Island Monthly Meeting and has sojourned with Meetings in Montreal, Halifax, and Vancouver. A third generation Quaker of British extraction… she has worked on restorative justice and Indigenous rights, and served with organizations including Canadian Friends Service Committee, Canadian Young Friends Yearly Meeting, CYM Determining Priorities and Envisioning Change Working Group, McGill’s undergraduate student union during the 2011-2012 Quebec student strike, Leadnow.ca, and currently RADIUS at Simon Fraser University and the interfaith Fossil Free Faith Fellowship.

Aug. 8-12: Biblical Justification and Biblical Disagreement with Friends’ Original Testimonies

Bible Study: Kate Johnson (Thousand Islands Monthly Meeting)

Drawing on a combination of her favourite scholarly Biblical research and lived experiences, Kate will discuss how the Bible justifies, encourages and challenges all of us to live out our testimonies. There will be a particular focus on how the Bible tells many stories of God using “outsiders” to do “His good will”. 

After working in corrections and mental health social work, Kate earned a Master of Divinity with a Concentration in Restorative Justice. She then served for five years as the Chaplain to a federal correctional institution on behalf of Canadian Yearly Meeting. In 2013, Kate was appointed Chaplain to Queen’s University. Her ministry there includes care for the marginalized populations on campus, encouraging equitable practices on and off campus and the fostering of effective inter-faith dialogue.


in Events, News, Public Updates
AFG's 40th birthday cake

Soy milk, organic peanut butter, and sugary, chocolatey cake with frosting. It must be a Quaker potluck…

Atlantic Friends Gathering wrapped up yesterday for another year.  Annapolis Valley members and attenders were in the thick of it, as always!  Mandalas were created, generous amounts of food were shared, and activities ranged from structured workshops to naps on the beach to the ever popular “Friends and Family Night” variety show.

Rachel and Penni telling stories and showing a slide show about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Rachel, visiting from Canadian Friends Service Committee, and local Friend Penni lead us in considering action to support the Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Kamila on melodica, Daniel on interpretive dance, Marilyn and Jupiter watching with unbridled joy

Daniel, from Hamilton Monthly Meeting, and Annapolis Valley Quakers Kamila, Marilyn, and Jupiter commune with the Lord of the Dance during family night.

See the full slide show on the AFG website.