- Experience and celebration of Indigenous culture through song and dance: A dance troop could share on the meaning of the drum and their dances through Pow Wow demonstrations and teachings. It would also highlight a family that is rooted in their Indigenous culture, ceremonies and also their Catholic faith. Contact: Sr. RéAnne (see below).
- Blanket Exercise: The Blanket Exercise It really is one of the best ways to cover 150 years of Canadian history and the effects of colonization/Residential Schools within two hours. Book a Kairos Blanket Exercise 6-8 weeks before your event: https://www.kairosblanketexercise.org/find-a-facilitator/
- Treaty Workshop: This is a great educational opportunity. Lyndon Linklater’s (OTC) presentation is one of the best but there are others that do these types of workshops as well.
- Winter Count Buffalo Robe: Perhaps your parishioners would like to witness the actual sacred Buffalo Robe that will be presented to the Pope as a gesture of reconciliation. It is being accompanied by Dennis Omeasoo as he presents it to different schools, gathering the prayers of the children and staff. With permission from the Regina Catholic Schools perhaps it could journey to some of our parishes. Contact Sr. RéAnne (see below).
- Social Justice Conferences with the theme of Truth and Reconciliation: Contact Tashia Toupin for more information.
- Invite an Elder into your parish: Your parish community could invite an Elder, Storyteller, or Traditional Knowledge Keeper to share about their personal experiences; or to give a teaching on different aspects of Indigenous culture and spirituality. Contact Sr. RéAnne (see below).
- Invite a survivor of Residential Schools to share their journey of healing and reconciliation: The first step in the TRC is Truth, hearing the stories and experiences of those who are survivours of Residential Schools is a powerful experience for all people who are involved. Contact Sr. RéAnne (see below).
- Host a Movie Night and Discussion. Here are some suggested films:
Reserve 107 Trailer: https://www.reserve107thefilm.com/
In the Spirit of Reconciliation: https://www.reconciliation.film/ To request a copy check here: https://archregina.sk.ca/resource-center
First Contact: https://aptn.ca/firstcontact/
Muffins for Granny To request a copy check here: https://archregina.sk.ca/resource-center
It had to be Done: https://www.nfb.ca/film/second_stories_it_had_to_be_done/
- Host a Book Club. Read together:
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Calls to Action (link above)
United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) (link above)
The Inconvenient Indian
The Education of Augie Merasty
- Connect with the closest reserve and facilitate encounters with each other by:
Hosting a potluck where Indigenous and non-Indigenous people come together over a meal and get to know one another. Have a sharing circle after the meal. This is one of the best ways to build relationships and community.
Attend cultural events: • Pow Wows: https://calendar.powwows.com/events/categories/pow-wows/pow-wows-in-saskatchewan/
Buy your gas at one of the reserve gas stations! It’s amazing what kind of relationship you can start just by supporting their reserve. Have a coffee if you have time and just “hang out” for a bit. You never know where it will lead.
While these are all possible ideas, the fundamental principle is “relationships”. Being involved in Indigenous relations is an opportunity to get to know others and ultimately get to know ourselves and be rooted in who we are. Creating opportunities to encounter and experience things builds relationships, and this ultimately leads to reconciliation with ourselves, families, communities, nations!
Our facilitator for the Aboriginal Non-Aboriginal Relations Community and the Archdiocesan Commission for Truth and Reconciliation is Sr. RéAnne Letourneau (306) 540-3686.