"As I mused, the fire burned"

Reflection on life as a person of faith.

Reconciliation, A Journey, not an Event

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In the downstream part of the river started by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, this issue of reconciliation keeps bobbing up to the surface.  In the eyes of the federal government (at least the Harper government), reconciliation was over and done with as the TRC process ended.  Pay a bunch of money, hold a bunch of press conferences, act at least a bit contrite, and do away with the whole issue.  We’ve reconciled.

What I’ve heard out of the TRC process is that the commission opened the door wide enough to imagine that a new future might be possible…might be possible if there is a willingness to begin the journey anew, to find out what that journey might look like…a journey with settler and indigenous travelling down the river together.  That requires that there be a willingness to start taking the risk of growing community.

My friend Lori has been involved with a group that is attempting to bring some of that reality forward in an art installation…based partly around the red dress project.

Ni wapataenan (We See) Art Installation and Programming: Ni wapataenan is Michif for “we see”. The We See project seeks to participate in the process of reconciliation between indigenous and non-indigenous people through art, listening, conversation and interactive educational activities that lead to new ways of seeing, thinking and acting.

A 30×30-foot interactive art installation will open with a ceremony on the green space at 92nd Street and 118th Ave on Sunday, February 7 at 2:00 pm. The installation will feature a bare tipi frame encircled by a double spiral of bare tree trunks hung with red dresses to represent the nearly 1,200 indigenous women who have been murdered or gone missing in this country in recent decades. The installation involves the collaborative efforts of numerous writers, artists and community members, both indigenous and non-indigenous.

What Does a White Male Possibly Know about Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women? In his moving blog post,”On Being a White Guy with No Idea What He’s Doing,” Bleeding Heart Art Space curator Dave Von Bieker shares why reconciliation scares him.

This installation will be accompanied by an indoor art show from multidisciplinary artist, Lana Whiskeyjack, of Saddle Lake Cree Nation. The show will be housed in Bleeding Heart Art Space across the street and showcase images of strong indigenous women of this country. The show’s title is kâ-katawasisicik iskwêwak and means “beautiful women”, “women who are beautiful”. It will open Saturday, January 30 at 11:00 am. An artist talk will take place at 1:00 pm. These installations will remain up until March 5th when there will be a closing ceremony.

Three other events will run in conjunction with these installations:

An event for indigenous and non-indigenous youth. Saturday, Feb. 13th at St. Faith’s Anglican Church, from 2:00 to 4:30 pm. Cost is $20 per group. RSVP to Amy Croy by February 6th at Alpha@edmonton.anglican.ca

Listen First: a panel of speakers to give voice to those who often go voiceless. Saturday, Feb. 20th at St. Faith’s Anglican Church (time to be confirmed).

A Blanket Exercise: a highly interactive and participatory re-telling of the history of this country that engages indigenous experiences and creates a safe space for sharing responses. Saturday, Feb. 27th from 2:30 to 5:00 pm at St. Faith’s. Please RSVP to Lori Calkins at niwapataenan@shaw.ca. Participants should bring a blanket.

For more details visit: http://www.bleedingheartartspace.com/we-see/
For further information, please contact Lori Calkins at niwaptaenan@shaw.ca

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Written by sameo416

January 24, 2016 at 7:44 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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