Treaties Recognition Week in Ontario – Resources to Help Us Toward 2017

  • The Treaties Recognition Week Work Group offered learning opportunities for Treaties Recognition Week in Ontario, which took place November 6-12, 2016.

    Rev. Peter Mogk extends these words and resources available for our use as we continue to work toward reconciliation and Treaties Recognition Week in 2017:

    The province of Ontario proclaimed on 30 May 2016 that the first complete week of the month of November annually will be recognized as Treaties Recognition Week. https://news.ontario.ca/mirr/en/2016/05/ontario-proclaims-first-week-of-november-treaties-recognition-week.html

    A small group of Lutherans (Bay Area Ministry Group) and Anglicans (Dioceses of Huron and Niagara) in the Brantford area came together around this proclamation to invite the surrounding population into the recognition. The Treaties Recognition Week Work Group (trwworkgroup@gmail.com) presented four learning opportunities for the surrounding population.

    1. Seven daily readings were prepared by Peter Mogk and made available to interested persons; https://www.facebook.com/Faith-Evangelical-Lutheran-Church-496247673736215/. The Group was encouraged by the local MPP and MP, who both welcomed the readings and committed to sharing them with their political colleagues in Toronto and Ottawa.
    2. The public was invited to view Alanis Obamsawin’s Trick or Treaty? This excellent documentary movie provides potent insights into the nature and challenges of treaty recognition as well as the cost of disregard.
    3. The wonderful learning power of the Blanket Exercise was made available at St. Mark’s Anglican to explore the history of relationships and legislative actions with our Indigenous host peoples.
    4. People gathered from Port Dover to Cambridge and Hamilton to Ingersoll at the Woodland Cultural Centre, Brantford. This centre is located on the territory of the Six Nations of the Grand River immediately adjacent to the Mohawk Institute, which was the first residential school in Canada.

    Resources were offered for continuing education, such as, Strength for the Climbing: Steps on the Journey of Reconciliation (www.kairoscanada.org), the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, They Came For the Children and Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action (www.trc.ca), Steve Heinrichs’ Paths for Peacemaking with Host Peoples, and Nathan Tidridge’s The Queen at the Council Fire: The Treaty of Niagara, Reconciliation, and the Dignified Crown in Canada.

    Nathan Tidridge, an author and awarded teacher, shared part of his treaties recognition experience under the title “…to do justice – our relationship with Indigenous peoples…” A reporter from the Brant News nicely captured the essence of this presentation, which highlighted treaties as relationships of documented kinship; very much in the biblical vein of “covenants.” http://www.brantnews.com/news-story/6965285-treaties-should-be-a-love-relationship-tidridge/ The local MPP and MP have extended their commitment to reconciliation and treaty relationships by distributing to colleagues this newspaper report on the essence of treaties.

    Phil Monture, land claims specialist for the Six Nations of the Grand River, acquainted the audience with “The Land Beneath our Feet” which took a brief look at the history of lands in the Haldimand Tract. He also offered copies of related documentation, which can be viewed at: https://www.dropbox.com/s/oqfkbik9yhs9a5y/Land%20Rights%20A%20Global%20Solution.pdf?dl=0 https://www.dropbox.com/s/1krevcksijv10kz/UN%20X%20-%20Six%20Nations%20of%20the%20Grand%20River.pdf?dl=0, https://www.dropbox.com/s/oqfkbik9yhw9a5y/Land%20Rights%20A%20Global%20Solution.pdf?dl=0, and https://dropbox.com/s/8jlvb4owljxk6eq/Six%20Nations%20of%20%20the%20Grand.pdf?dl=0.

    Following these two introductions to the realm of treaty relationships, participants gathered in a sharing circle and prayer in Her Majesty’s Royal Chapel of the Mohawk.

    The Treaties Recognition Week Work Group is looking ahead to the possibilities for Treaties Recognition Week, 5-11 November 2017. Additional information on Treaties Recognition Week is accessible at https://www.ontario.ca/page/treaties

     

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