Update on things happening in Rotary and indigenous communities, including current events – Rotary luncheons with guest speakers, open community and cultural gatherings, etc.

 

 

The Rotary Club of Peterborough Kawartha and its partners, Curve Lake First Nation, Camp Kawartha and the Canadian Canoe Museum would like to invite you to attend the opening event of "Adventure in Understanding" 2017.

Paddlers, support staff, family, friends and Rotarians will gather at Beavermead Park, Ashburnham Dr, Peterborough from approximately 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 27th for a time of fellowship, introduction and explanation following the official opening at approximately 1:00 p.m. The paddlers will prepare to depart Beavermead at approximately 3:00 p.m. and then proceed through Lock 20 over the Liftlock on their way to the first overnight stop at Camp Kawartha Environment Centre, Trent University.

Don Watkins

Chair, Adventure in Understanding Program

Rotary Club of Peterborough Kawartha

 

 

 

 

 

CNE to showcase Indigenous art this year

Message that artist wants to get across to Canadians is that a path to healing is to reciprocate.

 
By Julien GignacStaff Reporter
Wed., Aug. 16, 2017
 
 

On the grounds of the Canadian National Exhibition are two, sometimes conflicting stories: flags celebrating Canada’s 150 years and works of art commissioned by Indigenous people.

One of the pieces, slated to become a permanent installation on the vicinity, is a nine-metre high white cedar pole. Wrapped around it are a bevy of hand-carved animals and traditional items, representative of Mother Earth and family, among other things.

The CNE commissioned an Ontario First Nations artist named Kris Nahrgang to create the work, called “Unity Pole.” The Ex gave Nahrgang free rein to do what he wanted, he said — the result is the project which took him almost six months to make.

Chief executive officer Virginia Ludy said it was the first time in the more than three decades she’s been with the Ex that the work of Indigenous artists have been showcased, and she lauded Nahrgang’s work.

“It’s absolutely spectacular,” Ludy said Wednesday. “In my 33 years of being here, I don’t recall us ever doing anything with the Indigenous community and I thought it was time that we provide them with an opportunity to come forward and tell their stories. This pole does that.”

In the shadow of 150 years since Confederation, a controversial date for many Indigenous people across the country, the message Nahrgang wants to get across to Canadians is that a path to healing is to reciprocate.

“The only way to fix our country and ourselves is to work together as one people,” Nahrgang said during a media preview of this year’s attractions ahead of the Friday opening.

“We need to listen to the stories, we need to listen to First Nations and the knowledge they carry. This is why I did this pole.”

Problems affecting Indigenous people can be mitigated through education, Nahrgang said.

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Ontario Indigenous education agreement hailed as step towards self-governance

Historic deal gives full educational authority to Indigenous communities. Twenty-three member nations of the Anishinabek Nation have signed the agreement.

 
Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, Carolyn Bennett looks on as AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde speaks at the Assembly of First Nations annual general meeting in Regina, Sask., July 25, 2017. Bennett was at the Aug. 16 signing of an education agreement between 23 First Nations and Ontario.
Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, Carolyn Bennett looks on as AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde speaks at the Assembly of First Nations annual general meeting in Regina, Sask., July 25, 2017. Bennett was at the Aug. 16 signing of an education agreement between 23 First Nations and Ontario.  (Mark Taylor / THE CANADIAN PRESS)  
By Tanya TalagaStaff Reporter
Wed., Aug. 16, 2017
 
 

An historic education agreement signed on Wednesday between 23 First Nations and the province is being hailed as a step towards self-governance as it gives full educational authority to Indigenous communities.

The Anishinabek Nation, a political organization of 40 middle and northern Ontario First Nations, has been working on the Anishinabek Education System plan for more than a decade and 23 of its member nations signed the agreement. The other 17 nations can come on board later if they chose.

“Wake up, this is no longer a dream, this is a reality, the AES is here,” said Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee at a press conference at the Chippewawas of Rama First Nation.

Under the agreement, teachers at participating First Nation schools will be paid the same as provincial Ontario teachers and for the first time, Anishinabek educators will be able to sign the graduation certificates of its students — before, provincial authorities did this.

The province will work with the AES, the Kinoomaadziwin Education Body and regional education councils and local education authorities in every community. The AES will create education laws to govern itself and it will oversee the delivery of programs and services.

On reserve schools, each First Nation has power and authority over education from junior kindergarten to Grade 12 and they will be in charge of creating the education councils and authorities.

System-wide standards will be put in place and imposed, and, the AES will work with the provincial schools to ease the movement of students to off-reserve high schools. To go to high school, most Indigenous students in the Anishinabek Nation have to leave their communities.

The agreement is called a major step forward to self-governance, according to federal Minister of Indigenous Affairs Carolyn Bennett, who was at the Rama signing along with her provincial counterpart Minister David Zimmer and Ontario Education Minister Mitzie Hunter.

 

“This is the largest self-government agreement in Canada due to the number of First Nations involved,” Bennett said. “This marks a key step out from under the Indian Act.”

The Indian Act is a piece of legislation that was signed in 1876 and governs nearly all aspects of life for Indigenous people in Canada — everything from who gets status as an Indigenous person to education, land and resources.

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On August 4th, there were 150 days left in 2017 - the year of Canada's 150th birthday. There have been robust discussions this year around reconciliation.Together, 150 Acts of Reconciliation for the last 150 days of 2017. Many of these are small, everyday acts that average Canadians can undertake but others are more provocative that encourage people to think about Indigenous-settler relationships in new ways. We encourage you to use #150Acts to share your engagement with each item on the list.

Copy link into browser:

http://activehistory.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/150acts.pdf

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How dance brought hope, joy to Pikangikum youth: Hepburn

Innovative project inspired by a Toronto dancer instills pride and confidence in youth living in the troubled, remote First Nations community.

 
Pikangikum students celebrate their performance during the Pikangikum Intergenerational Dance Project at the Eenchokay Birchstick school gym on June 7. The dancers ranged in age from Grade 6 to Grade 12.
Pikangikum students celebrate their performance during the Pikangikum Intergenerational Dance Project at the Eenchokay Birchstick school gym on June 7. The dancers ranged in age from Grade 6 to Grade 12.  (Sarah Robichaud photo)  
By Bob HepburnPolitics
Wed., Aug. 9, 2017
 
 

Sarah Robichaud waited anxiously in the school gymnasium late one afternoon last spring to see if anyone would show up for the first workshop of an innovative dance project she was launching for students in Pikangikum, a troubled community in remote Northwestern Ontario.

Robichaud was prepared for as few as two students — and she’d heard that maybe no one would come.

A few minutes before the start of the workshop, though, a few students cautiously entered the gym. By the time the session began, some 30 students from grades 6 to 12 had joined in.

Robichaud, who had spent months preparing for that first day, was overjoyed that so many students, some of whom were so shy they would barely say their name, came to listen to a woman from Toronto talk about dance, movement, personal expression — and having fun.

The Pikangikum Intergenerational Dance Project that Robichaud designed was aimed at promoting connection, creation and expression between the youth and adults in the community. “We didn’t go there to teach them dance,” she says. “Rather, we wanted to empower the youth to tell their stories through movement.”

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