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A personal journey... My recent education -

Learning more about Indigenous Peoples of these Lands...

Dear fellow Canadians/Americans (Turtle Islanders),
I am sharing my recent education about Indigenous Nations on these lands, in the spirit of fostering greater understanding, becoming a responsible ally, and restoring right relations going forward.
Please join me...

As a 'first generation' settler on these lands I wanted to expand my knowledge about the true history and present-day experiences of Indigenous peoples in 'Canada', so that I could become a responsible ally and work to restore right relations on these lands.

My personal mission is to live gently on Mother Earth, in a heart-based community that cultivates harmonious relations with the Earth and all people, all life. Indigenous Nations have demonstrated this beautifully for thousands of years! : )

It is important to take personal responsibility in restoring right relations locally, i.e., challenge the 'status quo', restore/return stolen lands, advocate that Canada honours the spirit & intent of Treaties and Indigenous rights as per UNDRIP, and support Indigenous, resurgence, nationhood & thriving! We can expand our own understanding, and move forward with integrity, humility, honesty, and love, to live a reality of the "Two Row Wampum" relationship.

A heartfelt Thank you, Miigwech to all the inspiring Indigenous teachers, leaders, speakers, writers, filmmakers, activists, artists, healers, and Elders who have illuminated my path thus far! These experiences have expanded my awareness, enriched my life, and fostered some wonderful connections & friendships! : ) I continue to learn and share, and take inspired action!

My recent education:

  • Native Canadian Centre of Toronto http://ncct.on.ca/
    - highly recommend Michael Etherington’s awesome “Indigenous Cultural Competency Training” at NCCT (a regular offering). I also greatly enjoy the seasonal craft fairs, the Cedar Basket Gift Shop, and the ENAGB Youth Gift Shop!
  • Dodem Kanonhsa’ http://dodemkanonhsa.ca/
    Some of the inspiring/illuminating offerings I've enjoyed at the beautiful Dodem Kanonhsa' include: Awareness 101 Education Session, Tobacco & Cedar Teachings, Sweetgrass & Sage Teachings, Diane Hill’s “Fostering Emergence of the Good Mind” workshop, among others.
  • First Nations House at U of T https://www.studentlife.utoronto.ca/fnh/ - FNH at University of Toronto hosts ongoing events. I was happily able to attend a very inspiring Elder’s Gathering as part of the 2017 Indigenous Education Week (Oct 30 – Nov 3).
  • Indigenous Writer’s Gathering – The 2017 Toronto gathering, held on Oct 13th, was filled with powerful readings, heartfelt conversations, and a beautiful evening honouring author/filmmaker Elder Maria Campbell & poet Louise Bernice Halfe. https://www.facebook.com/writeindigenous/
  • ImagineNative Film Festival – I so enjoy this inspiring, illuminating annual film festival, showcasing Indigenous filmmakers from Turtle Island and around the world! http://www.imaginenative.org/
  • Wapikoni Mobile http://www.wapikoni.ca/home – Enjoyed an awesome Wapikoni Cinema on Wheels screening at NCCT, showcasing several beautiful short films created by and within Indigenous communities.
  • Indigenous Filmmakers: One of my big inspirations is Alanis Obomsawin, the Abenaki Filmmaker/Artist, who at 85 years of age released her 50th film at the 2017 imagineNative Film Festival (Our People Will be Healed)! : ) She is such an inspiring, creative lady sharing her compassionate eye. Some of her films are viewable at the NFB site: https://www.nfb.ca/directors/alanis-obomsawin/ and are also available through Toronto Public Library collection (online & dvd).
  • Tiny House Warriors http://tinyhousewarriors.com/ – The Secwepemc Nation is courageously standing for their rights in 2017, on unceded lands. Please support them: https://www.facebook.com/tinyhousewarriors/
  • Raven Trust: https://raventrust.com/ I am supporting the Pulling Together (Stop Kinder Morgan) campaign. Raven does powerful Indigenous (and Mother Earth) advocacy!
  • BOOKS/Reading: Some reading I found to be very illuminating this year:
    • Arthur Manuel, Unsettling Canada: A National Wake-Up Call
    • Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, Dancing on Our Turtle’s Back – Stories of Nishnaabeg Re-Creation, Resurgence, and a New Emergence
    • Charlie Angus, Children of the Broken Treaty: Canada's Lost Promise and One Girl's Dream
    • Dr. Taiaiake Alfred, Peace, Power, Righteousness: An Indigenous Manifesto
    • Dr. Taiaiake Alfred, Wasáse: Indigenous Pathways of Action and Freedom
    • Glen Sean Coulthard, Red Skin White Masks – Rejecting the Colonial Politics of Recognition
    • Tracey Lindberg, Birdie (novel)
    • Lee Maracle, My Conversations With Canadians
    • Maurice Switzer, We Are All Treaty People
    • United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP)
    • Legislation (Canada) - Indian Act (shocking present-day and past), Bill C-31, Bill C-3, and current Bill S-3 (2017)
    • Truth & Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action TRC 94 Calls to Action (pdf)
    • And more on my ‘to read’ list:
      John Long, Treaty No. 9: Making the agreement to share the land in far northern Ontario
      Mark Cronlund Anderson, Seeing Red: A History of Natives in Canadian Newspapers
      Maria Campbell, Half-Breed & Stories of the Road Allowance People
      Billy-Ray Belcourt, This Wound is a World
      Cherie Dimaline, The Marrow Thieves (novel)
 

peace,
Irena

Let us Create New Harmonious Realities!

 


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