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

 

 

 

 

Indigenous author shares painful memories of residential school at Guelph event

Organizer Dianne Dance said the turnout shows a sincere wish for reconciliation
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Sep 28, 2019 8:00 AM By: Anam Khan

It was a full house, many wearing orange shirts to recognize Orange Shirt Day, at the Italian Canadian Club Friday as community members gathered to hear Indigenous author Edmund Metatawabin speak about his residential school experience.

Several members of the community gathered as Metatawabin, a past recipient of the Order of Canada, spoke at the Rotary Club of Guelph.

Many wore orange t-shirts that read “Honouring Indigenous Peoples, Every Child Matters” to commemorate Orange Shirt Day on Sept. 30 which remembers the assimilation practices forced onto young Indigenous children.

The organizer of the event, Dianne Dance, said that the fact that many people came to the event shows that there is a sincere wish for reconciliation.

Dance said it is important to recognize the suffering of Indigenous peoples as Orange Shirt Day is right around the corner. 

“It's still impacting today and we need to understand that in the spirit of reconciliation,” said Dance. 

Metatawabin spoke about his personal experiences where he experienced the pain in residential schools and lived to see his children suffer as well. 

“Physical abuse comes in many forms, and without oversight, residential schools liberally applied that punishment,” said Metatawabin, who gave his speech wearing a traditional headdress reserved for chiefs.

He spoke about the helplessness in complying to the rules, the ostracization by the church, being treated like a criminal by the police, the scars on his body from a distinct orange strap which gauges the skin as it touches it, being made to stand outside minus-40 C overnight, suffering repeated slaps on both sides of the face, squatting for four hours on the concrete floor, not being able to access water to drink along with very few washroom privileges, getting electrocuted on an electric chair and being forced to eat his own vomit. 

“These are only a few, as there were other inventive ways to inflict pain or discomfort on the children. Sexual abuse committed by the bishop, the head priest, and other staff. When a girl was pregnant, it was abortion,” said Metatawabin, who still remembers his status number of that school. 

Like any father, he said, his heart would ache for the touch, noise and demands of children and having suffered humiliation first hand through pain methods, the immediate and long term effects can never be forgotten. 

A standing ovation followed Metatawabin speech which left the audience moved and he was given a certificate of appreciation in recognization of his presentation.

Ontario Regional Chief of Taykwa Tagamou Nation RoseAnne Archibald spoke about one of the most powerful results of residential schools being intergenerational trauma which is trauma that gets passed down to generations, and which each subsequent generation, that generation ends up with less coping skills to deal with the trauma.  

 
 

Archibald said the results of intergenerational trauma are evident in First Nations people in Canada and added that even though it subsists, the First Nations People like all human beings have a propensity towards healing. 

“So now we are now entering the age of healing and to have an organization like the rotary club of Guelph stand shoulder to shoulder with us really means something,” said Archibald.

“It means something that you are our allies in that healing process so I thank you for that."

One of Metatawabin's last words acknowledged the rank of women in Indigenous culture.  

“For a long time, we have acknowledged and we have known that the leader within each sacred fire is the woman, is the creator. If you think of the creator, none of us would be here without the women.”

He said women were placed in the centre of the fire, the children after and the men outside of the fire who served as protectors highlighting the important role children play in society.

Acknowledging the current climate strikes that have been taken globally, he spoke about the importance of caring for the next generation. 

“When the Europeans came, trees were cut. The real owners of this land are not yet born. Were just caretakers to make sure they have food and resources and clean stuff to use — what Greta is talking about.”

“Listen to her and support her.”

 
 
 

Free Press columnist named peace educator of year

Posted: 10/7/2019 4:18 PM |

 

"Peace is not something easily gained but through hard, frank and — at times — uncomfortable engagements with the truth," said Niigaan Sinclair. (Mike Deal / Free Press files)</p>

"Peace is not something easily gained but through hard, frank and — at times — uncomfortable engagements with the truth," said Niigaan Sinclair. (Mike Deal / Free Press files)

University of Manitoba associate professor (and Winnipeg Free Press columnist) Niigaan Sinclair has been named peace educator of the year by a bi-national network of educators, academics and peace activists.

 

The Peace and Justice Studies Association, which is housed at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., honoured Sinclair during an award luncheon Sunday, during a meeting in Winnipeg between the PJSA and the Peace and Conflict Studies Canadian Association.

The PJSA also honoured Sinclair's daughter, Sarah Fontaine-Sinclair, with the next generation peacemaker award.

"Peace is not something easily gained but through hard, frank and — at times — uncomfortable engagements with the truth," said Sinclair, an associate professor in the U of M's faculty of Native studies.

 
 

University of Manitoba associate professor (and Winnipeg Free Press columnist) Niigaan Sinclair has been named peace educator of the year by a bi-national network of educators, academics and peace activists.Subscribe to Head Start

 

The Peace and Justice Studies Association, which is housed at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., honoured Sinclair during an award luncheon Sunday, during a meeting in Winnipeg between the PJSA and the Peace and Conflict Studies Canadian Association. 

The PJSA also honoured Sinclair's daughter, Sarah Fontaine-Sinclair, with the next generation peacemaker award.

"Peace is not something easily gained but through hard, frank and — at times — uncomfortable engagements with the truth," said Sinclair, an associate professor in the U of M's faculty of Native studies.

"I am honoured to be recognized, alongside my daughter, as someone who loves this place enough to try to make it the best place it can be."

PJSA president Michael Loadenthal said the non-profit organization "believes in recognizing the key contributions of our members and allies."

"The annual conference, including the awards ceremony, allows us to briefly highlight the amazing work of our community and to reflect on our collective strives towards a more just and peaceful world," he said.

 

 

 

 

Thunder Bay’s diverging paths: What bus routes and pickup trucks have to do with race and class

Once, this city was Canada’s gateway to the west. Now, getting there or getting out is inconvenient at best, dangerous at worst, and using local public transit is a hassle left mostly to poor and Indigenous people. Is there a better way?

Photography by Melissa Tait/The Globe and Mail

On Thunder Bay’s official crest, there’s a picture of a canoe, and in the canoe seven men in blue shirts sit around one man dressed in black.

Starting in the 17th century, merchants seeking beaver pelts travelled up the St. Lawrence River and through the Great Lakes to what is now Thunder Bay. They took the trip in 36-foot canoes made of birchbark with payloads of 6,000 pounds, paddled by French-Canadian and Indigenous voyageurs, while a Scottish fur baron, known as a bourgeois, sat passively in the middle.

These were the men in blue, and the man in black.

They survive as a relic on the municipal crest, a celebration of the city’s founding industry. But they also illustrate hierarchies of power and mobility that continue to define Thunder Bay, where transport plays an outsize role in shaping daily life and putting people in their place.

Then, as now, if you wanted to understand this divided city in the middle of the country, look at how people get around. 


Thunder Bay's coat of arms, shown in a fountain at City Hall, shows a fur-trade-era voyageur at left and, on the shield, a great canoe with seven paddlers and a Northwest Company agent.         
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Rotary Club of Winnipeg Peace Days 2019

 

MEDIA RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

"Celebrating 10 years of Waging Peace"

September 10th to 21st, 2019 

 

Inspired by Rotarians and Friends, The Rotary Club of Winnipeg Peace Builder Committee and Rotary 5550 World Peace Partners is celebrating 10 years of waging peace by inspiring, facilitating and nurturing positive peace, goodwill, and understanding with no sign of slowing down.

"As we look to celebrate our 10th annual event, we are encouraging individuals, communities, organizations, institutions and businesses to "Be a piece of Peace". The Rotary Club of Winnipeg Peace Builder Committee is an inspirer and facilitator of a grassroots movement that is working together for positive peace locally, nationally and internationally. We are committed to mobilizing support for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, a reduction in the human causes of climate change and nuclear disarmament to name a few", says David Newman, Q.C. and Gary Senft Co-Chairs of the Peace Builder Committee.

The Peace Days Festival and Peace Days 365 is a space that's been created to promote and inspire understanding, goodwill and compassion locally, nationally and internationally. It exists for all persons who believe in a culture of peace and compassion and to encourage conversations that will inspire action, commitment and the promotion of positive peace and peace literacy. Peace Days was inspired by Rotary World Peace Partners in 2010 and grew out of a desire to celebrate the United Nations' International Day of Peace (Sept. 21st annually).

"It is impressive to witness how Peace Days has helped many people to have a better understanding of compassionate action, the importance of promoting humand dignity, justice, and peace through planned events and activities in collaboration with its community partners. It is truly inspiring to see the growth of Peace Days over the last ten years, and the commitment of so many persons to the cause of service above self and the greater good." Julie Turenne-Maynard, Peace Days Venue Participant.

As in years past, the Peace Days Festival has brought together a number of committed Venue Participants who are doing their part to raise awareness and making a commitment to act all in the name of promoting positive peace. This year's Peace Days Festival will run from Sept. 10th to 21st at various venues throughout the city. People are encouraged to visit the Festival's calendar (https://www.peacedays.ca/calendar.php) regularly for updates and new events now through to Sept. 21st and beyond.

This year's Peace Days Festival will start with a multi-faith Meditation for Peace event that will guide participants through a moment of meditation and unity dedicated to the promotion of peace and the creation of a non-violent society hosted by Bishop emeritus Noel Delaquis:

"The Meditation For Peace event will be hosted by the St. Boniface Archdiocese for its third consecutive year on September 10. It is organized by the St. Boniface Cathedral Meditation Group in collaboration with the Manitoba Multifaith Councile. All faith traditions gather together in this contemplative event to present, as people of faith, a united, peaceful and non-violent response to the face of hate", Rene Fontaine, Peace Days Festival Venue Participant.

It is through our actions and our commitments to peace that work being done is done in relationship, friendship and partnership with all nations. The work to promote and inspire positive peace has to be done from a place of respect, trust, genuineness and truth. Truths that are hard to share, hard to hear and maybe even hard to understand. The Rotary Club of Winnipeg's Peace Builder Committee has been working in relationship, friendship and is honoured to work in partnership with the Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre, its staff and its Executive Director, Diane Redsky.

"The Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre is a proud partner and strong supporter of Peace Days. We recognize and value these are vital bridge building opportunities between many nations of people and how this works towards what we all want to achieve: PEACE. As an Indigenous-led organization and community we are committed to truth and reconciliation and Peace Days events are unique opportunities to restore the sacred relationship between the First Peoples of Canada and all others. For example our Peace Day events, Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre Solstice Ceremony on September 21, December 21, March 21 and June 21 is one of these important bridge building opportunities to bring people of all nations together to learn from Indigenous peoples on how we are guided by the teachings of each season and our connection and relationship with all living things and also, to celebrate our shared values with all nations through food and coming to together to learn from one another. Thank you Peace Days for these meaningful opportunities to achieve PEACE!"

Events throughout the city will continue to create the momentum needed to ensure everyone can experience peace regardless of who they are and where they come from. Through the Winnipeg Connector Partnership and engagement of newcomers in peace, the Peace Days Festival and Peace Days 365 will help us achieve an equitable, accepting and just society, nation and world. The Peace Days Festival is about:

"Bringing people from all nations together, to create a culture of Peace and building self-confidence for equal opportunity, justice and PEACE. We want to contribute locally and internationally for a better world," Rany Jeyaratnam, Program Coordinator, Winnipeg Connector Partnership.

The committee encourages people to get involved and become an inspirer and facilitator of positive peace by:

1. Becoming a Venue Participant (see EVENTS tab on website for more information: www.peacedays.ca)

2. Promoting and attending Peace Days events

3. Being a piece of Peace in everyday life with a smile, an act of kindness, a helping hand, being an upstander not a bystander to injustice, helping someone in need, expressing love-not anger or hate.

4. Considering a donation to ensure this grassroots movement continues to inspire and facilitate for years to come

The Rotary Club of Winnipeg Peace Builder Committee wishes to thank all of its Venue Participants currently and from years past. The Peace Days Festival would not be possible without your commitment and dedication to the cause. We also wish to recognize The Winnipeg Foundation for its ongoing support as well as at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights who have been a major contributor in the promotion of positive peace, goodwill and understanding.

Media Inquiries can be directed to:

Rhonda Taylor, Secretariat Director

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Rotary Club of Winnipeg Peace Builder Committee

www.peacedays.ca

 

 

 

 

News from Rotary Guelph

 

 


PRESS RELEASE                           September4, 2019

 

 

CELEBRATE ORANGE SHIRT DAY WITH ROTARY

 

Renowned Indigenous author, Edmund Metatawabin - who was shortlisted for the Governor General's Award in 2014 for his novel Up Ghost River, and who is a recipient of the Order of Canada will speak at the regular Friday luncheon meeting of the Rotary Club of Guelph, September 27 at 12:15 p.m. The meetingwill be held at the Italian Canadian Club, 135 Ferguson Street, Guelph. Members of the community are invited to attend. Mr. Metatawabin will speak about his Residential School experience.
 
This extraordinary event is being held in recognition of Orange Shirt Day which falls annually on September 30 and is an opportunity for Canadians to learn about the legacy of the residential school system. Orange Shirt day also reinforces talks about anti-racism and bullying and reaffirms that every child matters.
 
Rotary is also honored to host the Chief Executive Officer of the Assembly of First Nations, Dr. Paulette Tremblay as well as Vanessa McGregor, Special Advisor to the Chief Executive Officer of the Assembly of First Nations, who will both be present at this special meeting.
 
To confirm your attendance, please send an email to Dianne Dance (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) or text her at 519 741 6291 by Sept. 24th. Cost of the luncheon is $20 at the door for those pre-registered.
 
Indigenous Awareness Committee members of the Rotary Club are committed to highlighting reconciliation with First Nations peoples. To this end, we invite members of the media, in order specifically to shine a light on the role that we see Rotary being ideally placed to play: supporting groups such as HIP, Honouring Indigenous Peoples (www.rotaryhip.com). One of Rotary's historic mandates is Peace, and what better way to promote peace right here at home than to promote bridge-building and reconciliation with our First Nations friends.
 
Rotary is a global network of 1.2 million neighbours, friends, leaders, and problem-solvers who see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change - across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves.
 
The Rotary Club of Guelph was chartered on 20 February 1920. For almost 100 years club members have been committed to local projects that currently include mentoring at College Heights Secondary School, environmental awareness with the 100-acre Rotary Forest, 123Go Program, SHARKS at the Y, Food For Friends, Kids Abliity, scholarships and awards, assistive devices for seniors, Food for Kids, youth at risk, BHENY (Better Hearing in Education for Northern Youth) and international projects in India, Uganda, Cameroon, Lesotho, St. Lucia, Mexico and Guatemala. Fundraising events such as Sparkles in the Park, Canada Day at Riverside Park, Hockey Challenge and Lobsterfest support our community and international projects.
 
Rotary started with the vision of one man - Paul Harris. The Chicago attorney formed te Rotary Club of Chicago on 23 February 1905, so professionals with diverse backgrounds could exchange ideas, form meaningful, lifelong friendships, and give back to their communities. Rotary's name came from the group's early practice of rotating meetings among the offices of its members.
 
Solving real problems takes real committment and vision. For more than 110 years, Rotary's people of action have used their passion, energy, and intelligence to take action on sustainable projects. From literacy and peace to water and health, we are always working to better our world, and we stay committed to the end.
 
Sincerely

Rosemary Clark
External Relations, Rotary Guelph
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
519-823-5979/519-822-4687
 
CONTACTS:
Dianne Dance
Indigenous Awareness Committee
Rotary Guelph
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
Marty Fairbairn
Program Committee
Rotary Guelph
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
 
 

 

ROTARY CLUB OF GUELPH Ÿ P O BOX 11 Ÿ GUELPH Ÿ ON Ÿ N1H 6K9 Ÿ (519) 821-3863

www.guelphrotary.ca Ÿ Meetings on Friday at 12:15 pm

Registered Charity # 119124832RR0002 Ÿ Rotary Club of Guelph Charitable Trust