By James Harbeck
I’m going to tell a little story today. I don’t know whether I’d call it a parable. It’s not quite a literal history. But it’s close enough.
There was, once, a place that was very nice. Lush. Great for growing grapes and things like that. There was a family living there, and they were pretty happy with it. We’ll call them the Ones. Nothing’s perfect, but, you know, the Ones had food, family, all the things that people do with their time when nothing and no one is forcing them to do something else. Life was good enough.
And then another family showed up from another place. We’ll call them the Twos. They liked where the Ones were living. They wanted to live there. They didn’t say, “Hey, do you mind if we fit in here somehow?” or “What can we give you in exchange for some of what you have so we can live here?” They said, “Hi. We’re the Twos. These are guns. Look what they can do: [BANG BANG BANG]. Get the idea? We want this land. Oh, you? You can get out and live somewhere else, or you can stay and work for us.” Some of the Ones left. Some were killed. Some decided to stay and work for the Twos, because at least they’d still be in this nice place getting the benefit of the land. Continue reading Sour Grapes
Walking With Our Sisters
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This October in Toronto, there is a very special opportunity to honour and remember the more than a thousand, Indigenous women, girls and Two Spirit people who have been murdered or remain missing. Walking With Our Sisters is a commemorative art installation hosted at the Aboriginal Education Centre, at 16 Phin Avenue, near Donlands and Danforth, from the 15th to the 22th of October.
Walking With Our Sisters is a national community based commemorative project of nearly 2,000 “vamps” — the tops of moccasins that have been intentionally left unfinished signifying the loss of unfinished lives. More than an art exhibit, this ceremony invites you on a journey to remember the losses, to honour grieving families and to work for change. Continue reading Walking With Our Sisters
July 2, 10:30 am. We gather with each other and with Treaty Canoe. We will sing together, hear readings from Ryan McMahon, Christi Belcourt and the Gospel. We will reflect on our country, history and ourselves and respond as we are called and able. We will share the gifts of the land and of human hands. Please join us. Continue reading Celebrating Canada’s Long History
April 28 – May 25, Hart House Map Room Exhibit
The exhibit explores treaties, those legal agreements with Indigenous peoples that allowed non-Indigenous people to live on and own land in what is now Canada. The four-week exhibit responds to the 150th anniversary of Confederation by explaining in accessible language the long history of treaty making, and how and why these agreements were essential to the foundation of modern Canada. Co-curated by fourth year undergraduate James Bird, Nehiyawak (Cree), Indigenous Studies and Architecture, and Department of History Professors Laurie Bertram and Heidi Bohaker, the exhibit draws on content created by students in Professor Bohaker’s Fall 2016 joint fourth year/graduate seminar “Canada By Treaty.”
More information at UofT website
Before there can be reconciliation, there must be truth. The Treaty People group is hosting a pair of Kairos Blanket Exercises on August 11. One at noon and again at 5:30pm.
The Blanket Exercise is a visceral way to hear and enter into the history of indigenous peoples and settlers in North America. It provides a starting point for doing the work the Truth and Reconciliation Commission has asked of all Canadians.
This event is aimed at all citizens and residents of Canada and those curious about the history of Canada with respect to indigenous peoples. We invite you to join us for the Kairos Blanket Exercise at noon (or 5:30pm), to be followed by an age appropriate circle and discussion. If you can’t spare more than an hour, the exercise is still worthwhile, but be aware that it is profoundly affecting and we encourage you to stay for the second hour to build relationships.
We will serve a light meal of soup and bread.
See www.kairosblanketexercise.org to get a better understanding of this experiential workshop.
Let us know you are coming by visiting our Facebook events: KBE at noon, KBE at 5:30pm.
Please feel free to print and hang our Kairos Blanket Exercise poster.
Follow-up document: “What can I do?”