Feeling hope in our treaty future – Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada

Yesterday was a full day with many parts and a significant ‘to-do’ list but the highlight was walking into the Shaw Conference Centre for volunteer training in the Churches Listening Area for the seventh National Event of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (click here). I didn’t manage to make it to the lighting of the Sacred Fire at 6 am. However, as I walked in at 8 am, I felt as though I was glimpsing the future… Everyone that I saw was standing tall… the mix of who we are together… First Nations, Métis, Inuit, and non-Aboriginals walking about in an early morning light (streaming through the floor-to-ceiling windows, onto the river valley), connecting, chatting, looking for the next part of the day… Through the windows, outside in frosty light, I saw warm circles of people near the Sacred Fire. I hugged another volunteer, and  I savoured the smell of the smoke of the Fire in her hair…

I felt so much hope…

…which carried me into the rest of the day at work, appointments, and more…

We are all treaty people in this part of Turtle Island (click here and here)… We carry the shared responsibility of living into the agreements of Treaty 6 …One way into that responsibility is to listen deeply to what has happened over many generations (130 years) as a result of colonial policies that took Indigenous children away from their families, language, culture, homes…through the Indian Residential Schools…

We are all invited to this event within traditional Treaty 6 Plains Cree territory and the traditional territory of the Métis Nation, on the shores of the North Saskatchewan River … in person and through live streaming here. [As I type, Commissioner Dr. Marie Wilson has described that whether we know it or not, we in Canadian society, ‘are signed up’ for reconciliation…an ongoing, individual and collective process…

Let’s be part of the future…

4 thoughts on “Feeling hope in our treaty future – Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada

  1. Hi Sherry Ann…it’s Sarah (Auger) Cortez. Thank you for writing this. I’m working at the UofA again for the next little while. I encourage you to check out an art installation done by a friend of mine, Dawn Marie Marchand, at Edmonton City Hall called “A Place to Hang Your Stories” as part of the TRC. It’s very powerful and worth a look. I’ll be there on Saturday from 12-2 if you’re so inclined to drop in. Would sure be great to say hi! Sarah

  2. Dear Sherry Ann,
    You wrote so beautifully, let us all walk in another’s footprints across this beautiful Turtle Island. We have similar gatherings here near our Georgina Island Reserve, we must all stand tall and protect this land together. Having just returned from Sedona, the Grandmother’s have gathered there at the wells to pray for ‘ The Water ‘, together we can make a difference.
    Lynda Bertrand

  3. Thank you, Sherry Ann, for poignantly sharing your thoughts on the day, the experience, and our shared accountability for the past and responsibility for shaping a brighter future.

  4. I was there in the midst of the throngs. I ended up sitting next to a Gitzan woman. In the honor of the survivors and the drumming she wept and I felt her pain and her joy. She was so gentle and expressed such gratitude that I was sitting with her. It was I that should be grateful.
    We are a treaty people and hopefully we shall be able to move forward recognizing our commitment to respect rather than expecting assimilation.

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