Performing and climbing: Reflections on reconciliation
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Performing and climbing: Reflections on reconciliation

December 15, 2021 was the sixth anniversary of the release of the complete findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). I remember sitting in a conference hall in Ottawa on that release day in 2015. I was moved by the prayers of Elders, the presence of Survivors and the profound speeches of the Commissioners…

Healing quilts
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Healing quilts

Lucy Thomas, the fourth generation of residential school survivors in her family, was five years old when she was taken away from her mother and brought to Kuper Island Residential School in British Columbia. The students called it Alcatraz. While at Kuper Island, Lucy and her siblings were punished if they were seen talking to…

Nova Scotia: The cost of living, health care & fishing rights
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Nova Scotia: The cost of living, health care & fishing rights

The Liberals are the traditional federal favourites in Atlantic Canada, and they kept their majority here with 24 of 32 seats. The Conservatives made some gains, taking three rural seats from the Liberals in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. No other parties won seats in Atlantic Canada, but Liberal Jenica Atwin from Fredericton is a…

Ontario: Fighting indifference towards Indigenous Justice
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Ontario: Fighting indifference towards Indigenous Justice

There is a truism credited to a number of wise folks (Elie Wiesel among them), that the opposite of love is not hate, but indifference.Late last Spring, as political machinations pointed to an election, the stark truths of recovered unmarked graves at Residential School sites were high in the public mind. Given what Elders and…

What’s with the Kerfuffle about Lobster?
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What’s with the Kerfuffle about Lobster?

Whether the name is homard, lobster or, as Mi’kmaq call them, jakej, mention them in Atlantic Canada these days and you’re probably in for a tension-filled conversation on treaty rights and commercial fishery. The current focus on lobster fishing has its roots in the 1752 Treaty with Mi’kmaw people – a treaty right upheld in…

Listen. Learn. Relinquish Power.
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Listen. Learn. Relinquish Power.

Where can a congregation go if they’re looking for resources to learn how to centre people from minority groups and go beyond merely including them? What if you’re wanting to listen to the voices of the LGBTQ+ community in your congregation? Or people with disabilities? People affected by poverty or homelessness? People with mental illnesses?…

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‘It’s Always About the Land’

Someone at church once asked me, “Just what do you people want anyway?” Well, first, maybe don’t call us “you people.” We Indigenous people actually expect a lot from Canada, because a lot was taken from us, and a burden was placed on us that we have carried for centuries. We expect Canada will negotiate government to government, ours to theirs. We expect healing of our identity that has been so shattered, mostly by the residential schools and the Sixties Scoop. We also expect an end to the persistent cycles of racism in Canadian society.

Seven Generations
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Seven Generations

Thankfully, “Mush Hole” Indian Residential School no longer exists. Its horrific legacy, however, remains. It is hard to know how to address the harms my parents’ generation (unwittingly?) caused our Indigenous neighbours, who also acknowledge they are made in the image of the Creator and who clearly live in a world infused with the Creator’s presence. But now we are aware, and are thus both implicated and responsible.