Brander's Blog

Sto:lo Nation Cultural Tour with Elder/Cultural Historian Sonny McHalsie

June 2017 saw both Mennonite Church of BC and some local members and staff from the Anglican Diocese of New Westminster collectively involved in a Cultural Bus tour hosted by Sto:lo Nation Cultural Historian and Elder Sonny McHalsie. We wish to thank Justine Chang for his article and Karen Urquart for the photos.

Stolo Bus Tour 2017 Fish Camp

We have also left a link to the original article.

This is great work by both local denominations in wanting to learn more about our Indigenous Coast Salish peoples. My hands are up to all the put this together and attended, not to mention our host Sonny McHalsie. All my relations, Brander Raven McDonald – Indigenous Relations Coordinator Mennonite Church of BC

Justin Cheng writes:

“On Saturday June 10th, a group of Mennonites and Anglicans were led by Sonny McHalsie, Stó:lō cultural historian on a nature tour of the Stó:lō territory encompassing parts of Hope and Chilliwack. Sonny began his narratives with “This is our land, we have to take care”, a succinct statement expressing the indigenous’ history and theology of living in right relationship with the land. Throughout the tour, we visited different mountains, lakes, streams and other natural features of the area. Along the way, Sonny told narratives explaining the indigenous names of these natural features. In contrast to how European settlers would name a mountain, for example, in which the person who “discovered” the mountain would name it after himself as a statement of ownership, I learned that the Stó:lō’ name of a mountain would be based on a story. The story might be connected to an ancestor and/or usually impart a specific ethical lesson or moral example.  The features of the land: the mountains, the rivers and the streams become ways for the Stó:lō to transmit their cultural narratives across generations. As well, by connecting story and natural feature, the land is understood to be under the stewardship and care of the entire community, rather than owned by specific individuals.

In several of the stories that Sonny told us, transformation play a significant role. Human characters would change into animals, fish, mountains, and lakes and vice versa. What I learned is that transformation signifies kinship between humans and other creatures, plants, and natural features that some may see as inanimate. In the Stó:lō narrative, I learned that there is no natural object or feature that is truly inanimate or devoid of life or value. Transformation suggests connection between human beings and creation as opposed to separation. A mountain or a tree is not separate from me, if I understand that it could be an ancestor or a revered tribal leader. The sacredness of the land and the sacredness of the ancestors thus, are intertwined together.

Conservation was another major feature of Sonny’s stories. In one story, he told us about the origin of the sturgeon as a fish that was prohibited to eat by the Stó:lō. Not only was this story compelling, but it served as a motivation for the conservation of the sturgeon as a fish for future generations. In another story, Sonny talked about the people who lived under the sea who suffered from a form of leprosy. The leprosy was caused by humans spitting in the water. Both stories teach the necessity of living in right relationship with creation, with careful sensitivity and awareness of our human impact, and commitment to preserving the beauty and vitality of nature. While there was no explicit mention of the political issues of pipelines and resource extraction, I wondered if how we approached these issues are determined significantly due to our narrative or theology of the land. For the Stó:lō, conservation and environmental stewardship are wedded to the very stories that are passed down from each generation.

In addition to the cultural stories that he told, Sonny talked about the impact of settler control on the Stó:lō. At one point, he explained that the criminalization of the Potlatch ceremony was based on a profound misunderstanding of the First Nations’ understanding of gratitude and exchange. At another point of the trip, he explained the impact of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans when it issued fishing licenses to individual Stó:lō fishermen disrupting the long held understanding that ownership and care of fishing areas were owned by families and not owned by individuals. Both examples, the criminalization of the Potlatch would take place in the 1800s and the DFO example in the 1900s; testify to the harm that settler control causes to indigenous culture and community based on racism and closed-mindedness to indigenous ways.

This trip was aimed to open minds and hearts to indigenous ways of doing and perceiving, a suitable follow-up to our learning at the Synod of the Diocese of New Westminster held May 26 and 27 which focused on indigenous knowledge and understanding. It involved learning that the mountains, the rivers, and the land had names and stories before European conquest and control. It involved learning about conservation and stewardship as tied to indigenous identity and spirituality, and it involved learning about the deleterious impact of settler control and influence on the region.

In my opinion, the learning we experienced on this trip was an important small step towards the continual journey of reconciliation.”

Sto:lo Elder/Cultural Historian Sonny McHalsie Sto:lo Cultural Bus Tours June 2017

Sto:lo Elder/Cultural Historian Sonny McHalsie Sto:lo Cultural Bus Tours June 2017

 

 

“Wrongs to Rights” by MC Canada allows for healing conversation & journeys

Dear MCBC friends,

Although this looks like only an Anglican article i have to say this whole booklet and topic was spearheaded by our Mennonite Church of Canada National Indigenous Relations Coordinator Steve Heinrichs, “Wrongs to Rights- How churches can engage the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples”. So this work is catching on in other church denominations because of MC Canada.

These meetings included various regular attendees from our own MCBC Service Peace and Justice as well as some congregants elsewhere.

This highlights the exact nature of following my earlier recommendations regarding keeping momentum from the past Vancouver Truth & Reconciliation and journeying together in a healing process with our Aboriginal neighbours. It is a great example of 1. Talking About to 2. Talking with to 3. Walking with our Indigneous neighbours and allowing them to share their stories and healing with us. It means finding/creating a safe space and working out what it means to find fellowship. It means putting aside preconceptions and meeting humanity to humanity to exemplify a faith of humility and lifestyle Jesus Walk.

This group is looking forward to extending to dealing with another MC Canada Intotemak booklet called “Quest for Respect- The Church and Indigenous Spirituality” conversation. Please stay posted for further updates.

http://www.agassizharrisonobserver.com/…/all-saints-parish…/

http://www.vancouver.anglican.ca/…/wrongs-to-rights-book-st…
“This is a wonderful article sharing what some of our non Indigenous neighbours are doing/have done so far, to help build relationships with us as First Nations. Simply courageous. Talking About Indigenous Issues, Talking with Indigenous to gain knowledge, perspective and relationship formation, and finally being invited into relationship with Indigenous peoples to walk out this journey of healing together. It involved a local parish, a willing non Indigenous ears, a call to conversation, food, traditional songs, Indigenous elders and wisdom and lots of shared stories. It has become a place of safety to share healing. In all my years i have never seen such tenacity, love, healing, and hard work in reconciliation and dialogue. There were medicine wheel teachers, pipe carriers, ecumenicals, and various church denominational folks willing to be challenged and finally lives being shared, and best of all personal journeys being heard. My hands are up to this group. They are doing a review of their walk together to be presented later and also planning future meetings in September 2017 that will discuss the book called “Quest for Respect” put out by Intotemak by Mennonite Church of Canada. Come join this healing work and journeying together to walk out the talk of reconciliation. Please keep your ears open to their next discussions and continued good healing journey. ALLLLLLL MY RELATIONS”, Brander Raven

Brander health update

Dear friends,

Last year i contracted and fought a near fatal diagnosis of the C-Difficile bacteria late June 2016. It became unmanageable during that week and when i came home to the mainland it was almost fatal. I was hurried to the hospital a quarinteened and medicated. I was immobile for 7 months and also quarinteened with no real contact with others. I had 4 reoccuring bouts that left me with intestinal, heart, weakness and associated issues. It meant many visits to doctors and various medications to get it under control and to manage the physical disaster it left my body in. Early 2017 saw me starting to strengthen and now this June i am returning to work part-time of my part-time arrangement with MCBC as Indigenous Relations Coordinator. My physcian is monitoring my progress and hopefully i will be back to more regular working hours as before. Its been a long year but good to be moving around again and seeing what MCBC has been doing with Indigenous Relations. I wish to strongly thank those that have been in prayer for me and thank the Creator Redeemer for His grace regarding my health. Looking forward to being around more often. All my relations, Miigwetch, Brander (Strong Raven/Standing Bear McDonald) Indigenous Relations Coordinator MCBC

Brander Raven McDonald Indigneous Relations Coordinator MCBC

Brander Raven McDonald Indigneous Relations Coordinator MCBC

Wild Salmon Caravan Request for Funding- IRC Reconciliation Opportunity

Wild Salmon Caravan

Project Title: “The Salmon Hear our Songs and Prayers”

The “Salmon Hear our Songs” project is intended to nurture the creative energy that has been inspired by wild salmon throughout the millennia, and realize in a mirror of cross cultural relationships the artistic expressions of the many Indigenous and non-Indigenous individuals, organizations, communities, artists and coalitions working to save wild salmon and their habitat along the shores of the Fraser Basin.   The process of coming together to realize in a mirror of cross cultural relationships our cultural and historical relationships to our most important Indigenous food, will shine a holographic light on the creative ideas, knowledge and values 3rd cultural dimension where Indigenous meets non-Indigenous.

The wild salmon is to Indigenous peoples, what the Buffalo is to the Plains people. The wild salmon play an ecological and cultural keystone role within the ancient rainforests, fields and waterways within the diverse landscapes in BC where they have cycled rich nutrients and food over thousands of years. They feed our peoples, the bears, the eagles, the wolves and their genes have been found at the tops of the cedar trees from Alaska to California.

Proposal to Support the Wild Salmon Caravan scheduled for June 6-11, 2016

As one of the most sustainable adaptation strategies of humanity, Indigenous salmon fishing societies have adapted strategies and observed spiritual protocols in our cultural and historical relationship to salmon.  The project will appreciate and inquire into the characteristics of strength and resiliency encoded with the genetic imprint of wild salmon and Indigenous peoples in our ability to overcome adversity throughout the process of colonization.  The salmon spirit is a metaphor for strength and resiliency in our ability to respond to the many serious issues of environmental and social injustice and adapt to the changing climate and water conditions.

Ancient songs and ceremonies persist into the 21st century and are powerful expressions of the creative energy that flows through the streams of consciousness and ancestral memories of the 27 nations of Indigenous peoples that traditionally inhabit what is known to the colonizers as BC. The cultural, spiritual, and artistic expressions are as diverse as the 9,700 or so diverse gene pools of Pacific salmon and sea-run cutthroat trout that play out their lives in birth and death in the 3,600 rivers, lakes and streams in British Columbia and the Yukon.

Building on the cultural concepts and metaphors that flow from the eco-social, spiritual, and artistic expressions of our cultural and historical relationships to salmon and the creative energy  and ideas that spawned from the Wild Salmon Caravan that took place from May 10-14, 2015,  the project will shine a holographic light onto the cultural and spiritual values and wisdom encoded within ancient Indigenous knowledge and healing, and interpret and inspire contemporary artistic expressions through multiple disciplines, genres, media, and cultural strategies.  We have a video on DVD called Wild Salmon Caravan (May 10-14, 2015), On the Road to Save the Lifeblood of B.C. recently produced by Gary Haggquist.  We are sending a copy of this video to the Jubilee Fund that supported the caravan in 2015.

In addition to being the world’s most harassed fish, salmon have inspired many artists around the world throughout the millennia. The project will reconcile historical injustices experienced by Indigenous peoples in our cultural and historical relationships to wild salmon with the serious issues that underlie the industrial storm that is threatening them in a way that words cannot confer.

“The Salmon Hear our Songs and Prayers” project will provide a framework for reconciling social and environmental injustices experienced by Indigenous peoples in our relationship to wild salmon, our most important Indigenous food in what is recognized as one of Canada’s best known Heritage River Systems, the Fraser Basin. In this context, the project is transformative in the way it will shed a holographic light on the issues, concerns, situations, and strategies that exist within the 3rd dimension where ancient Indigenous cultural knowledge, values and wisdom meets the unsustainable path charted in the large scale capitalistic economies in the 21st century. The project will inspire creative multi-media strategies to link individuals, organizations, churches, coalitions and communities working to increase awareness of the magnificence of wild salmon and why they are important to people of all cultures and to ecosystems in supernatural British Columbia.   We will draw attention to the 94 recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that includes the following:

“Business and Reconciliation

  1. We call upon the corporate sector in Canada to adopt the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as a reconciliation framework and to apply its principles, norms, and standards to corporate policy and core operational activities involving Indigenous peoples and their lands and resources. This would include, but not be limited to, the following:
  2. Commit to meaningful consultation, building respectful relationships, and obtaining the free, prior, and informed consent of Indigenous peoples before proceeding with economic development projects.“  Applying this principle will contribute greatly to protect wild salmon from industrial harm.

The Wild Salmon Caravan this year has many moving parts as it makes its way from Mount Robson to Vancouver for a giant parade to celebrate the spirit of wild salmon engaging people from all backgrounds.  At this late stage, we are exploring what needs to be done to enhance the success of the caravan and realize its full potential in raising more awareness about the need to protect wild salmon for the benefit of present and future generations.  To that end, we are seeking funding to go towards the following costs:

Honorariums to artists $1,000.00

Rental of a Van to transport people   1,500.00

Honorariums for ceremonilsts/cooks  1,500.00

Incidental costs (tobacco, volunteer t-shirts etc)   1,000.00

Total  $5,000.00

I would be happy to meet with you or do a telephone conference to discuss this proposal in further detail.  Once again, we acknowledge and offer our heart felt gratitude to the Jubille fund for the donation of $5,000.00 towards the success of the 2015 Wild Salmon Caravan.  We are building on the tremendous interest that was generated in the Wild Salmon and this year many more organizations and communities will be engaged in events taking place as the caravan makes its way from Mount Robson, stopping at Adams Lake First Nation, Kamloops, Lillooet, Lytton First Nation, Chwawathil First Nation, Cheam First Nation, Coqualeetza Longhouse in Chilliwack, Matsqui First Nation and then on to Vancouver for the huge Wild Salmon Caravan parade.

Any contribution the churches can make will be posted on our website and facebook page: wildsalmoncaravan.wordpress.com, on.fb.me/1Ksu9TK.  I would be happy to discuss this in further detail.  Your offer to explore contributions to this amazing event is very timely.  It would be great if we could get confrirmation on financial contributions by Friday, June 3 as we are travelling to Mount Robson on June 4 to launch the Wild Salmon Caravan on June 6 with ceremony.

All the best,

🙂

Eddie Gardner

Co-Coordinator of Wild Salmon Caravan

President, Wild Salmon Defenders Alliance

604-792-0867

Dawn Morrison

Co-Coordinator of Wild Salmon Caravan

BC Food Systems Network

Working Group on Indigenous Sovereignty

Mobile: 778-879-5106

Interac e transfer  to Dawn Morrison’s email address: dmo6842@gmail.com  – this approach would save us from having to pay the 3% paypal fee associated with our crowdfunding campaign.

Send cheque or money order to Wild Salmon Caravan, 555 East 55 Avenue, Vancouver, BC, V5X 1N6.

Travel Itinerary

Travel Itinerary

June 5

9:30am   Converge at Petro Canada Gas Station, T’Kemlups Indian Band, 301 Southern Yellowhead Hwy, Kamloops, BC

10:00am Leave T’Kemlups Petro Can for Mount Robson

5:00pm   Arrive at Mount Robson

Set up camp at Robson Meadows Campground ($5/night per person at your own cost). Showers available and closed firepits available

June 6              Caravan Opening Ceremony and Launch

8:00am   Breakfast

10:00am   Ceremony and offerings

12:00 noon  Lunch

1:00pm   Speakers, traditional drumming and singing

6:00pm   Dinner

8:00pm   Storytelling, drumming and singing

Overnight camping: Robson Meadows Campground

June 7

6:00am  Breakfast (provided)

8:00am  Depart for Simpcw Raft River Fishing Station (2 hours drive to turnoff)

10:00am Arrive at Simpcw Raft River Fishing Station

12:00pm Depart for Simpcw Indian Band for lunch (Barriere)

1:00pm  Arrive at Simpcw for lunch, speakers, traditional drumming and singing

3:30pm  Depart for Chase (1.5 hours Yellowhead, Agate Bay Road, Squam Bay, Squilax                                                              Anglemont, Highway #1)

5:00pm  Arrive at Adams Lake Indian Band Fishing Station on shore of Little Shuswap Lake

6:00pm  Feast at Adams Lake Recreation and Conference Centre (ALRCC)

Overnight camping in Chase (at ALIB fishing station or ALRCC) Showers

June 8

8:00am  Breakfast at ALRCC

10:00am Depart from Chase for welcoming and parade

11:00am Welcoming and ceremony at Riverside Park Main Beach

11:15am Parade begins at Riverside Park entrance (Lorne/Riverside Park East)

12:00pm  Parade ends at Riverside Park entrance (Lorne/Riverside Park East) Caravan to T’Kemlups Pow Wow Arbour for Feast

1:00pm  Feast (hosted by Kamloops Food Policy, Kamloops United Church, and Farmers Market,  Farm 2 School Program)

Music and speakers – Melawmen Collective, David Allan

3:00pm  Depart for Xwisten/Bridge River St’at’imc territory (Lillooet)

4:00pm  Converge at Bonaparte (Hat Creek Ranch)

6:00pm  Arrive at feast and overnight camping at Xwisten/Bridge River

Drumming, singing, speakers

June 9

8:00am  Breakfast

9:00am  Depart from Xwisten/Bridge River for Lytton

10:00 am   Arrive at the confluence of Thompson and Fraser Rivers

Offerings to the river and the salmon

Traditional Drumming, singing, speakers

11:00am  Depart Lytton for Chawathil

12:00pm  Arrive at Chawathil for lunch and ceremony

3:30pm  Depart for Cheam, 52130 Old Yale Road, Rosedale, BC

4:30pm  Arrive at Cheam Fishing Station, 930 Appel Road, Agassiz, BC.

Offerings, traditional drumming, singing

6:00pm  Feast/dinner, speakers

Overnight camping at Cheam in the longhouse

June 10

8:00am  Breakfast at Cheam

9:00am  Depart Cheam for Chilliwack Court House, 46085 Yale Rd. Chilliwack, BC

9:30am  Arrive at Chillliwack Court house – Honouring Ceremonial Fisheries

11:00am  Depart for Sto’lo Research and Resource Management Centre,  7201 Vedder, Rd,                                                  Chilliwack

11:30am  Arrive at Sto’lo Research and Resource Management Centre

12:00pm Lunch at Coqueleetza Longhouse

1:00 pm  Salmon, Cedar, and Wolf Ceremony at Coqueleetza Longhouse

3:00pm  Depart for Matsqui Trail Regional Park Campground

4:00pm  Arrive at Matsqui Trail Regional Park (underneath Mission Bridge)

4:30pm   Ceremonial offerings at Fraser River

5:00pm  Feast, speakers, and overnight camping (Matsqui Indian Band Hall)

June 11

8:00am  Breakfast at Matsqui

10:00am  Depart for parade at Vancouver (Creekside Park Near Science World)

11:00am  Arrive at Creekside Park for Welcoming, Speakers, more singing and drumming

11:30am Marshalling Parade begins at Creekside Park to Terminal, turn left (north) on Main, north to Crabpark

1:00pm  Arrive at Crab Park for full program (storytelling, speakers, music, performances,   networking/information, creative cafe)

4:30pm  Closing song and dance

5:00pm  Caravan officially ends

For participants traveling the full distance:

We invite people of all cultures to travel either part, or all, of the caravan with us! Please bring your own vehicle or arrange your own car pooling. We will provide a limited number of car decals to easily identify your vehicle, and hope you will feel inspired to decorate your vehicles or bicycles with colourful and creative expressions of your love for wild salmon (i.e. Flags, banners etc…). We really want the caravan and parades to be easily recognized by all passers by along the journey!

All participants with vehicles are responsible for your own gas, and travel logistics. We will have the most educational impact by traveling in unity in a caravan, and will post a final travel itinerary with map and detailed directions on our Wild Salmon Caravan Website on June 1st.

You are invited to participate at no cost, but we appreciate any mutual aid (in kind) contributions of Indigenous or ethically grown and harvested food, or money to contribute to as a love offering for the cost of food or  overnight camping at each community that is hosting us for overnight stays and meals. Note: We are reserving a group campsite at Robson Meadows Campground at Mount Robson on June 5 and 6th. The camping fee for both nights is at your own cost. $5/night per person.

Things for participants to bring:

Camping gear, refreshments, snacks etc…

Cultural regalia to wear at events and parades

Floats or decorations for vehicles

Creative costumes, props, banners, posters, or flags

Musical instruments

Digital cameras

Money for parking (in Kamloops, Vancouver and Victoria)

PLEASE SUPPORT!!! Wild Salmon Justice Concert!

Please support our ongoing relationship with Sto:lo elder and teacher Eddie Gardner in his tireless warrior efforts to protect our wild salmon. Make this part of our MCBC Justice work. Please give to this cause or come out and support this concert for the Salmon Warrior Justice Walk in June. Uncle Eddie Gardner has requested that MCBC and MC Canada support this both financially and with walking with him. Please let him know of your interest.

Email: singbear@telus.net for tickets and to donate to this great cause.
All my relations, Brander Raven MCBC Indigenous Relations Coordinator

Farmed Salmon Boycott's photo.
Farmed Salmon Boycott's photo.
Farmed Salmon Boycott's photo.
Farmed Salmon Boycott's photo.

Wild Salmon Justice Concert!
Saturday, April 30, 2016
Coqualeetza Longhouse, Chilliwack, BC
7201 Vedder Road (in front of Bld #10)
Doors open at 6:00 pm!
Tickets: $35 for one; Group rates: $120 for four; $250 for Ten
Tickets are sold at the Sto:lo Gift Shop and the Coqualeetza Gift Shop. We will announce other places to buy tickets on line soon, including on-line.

Fund Raiser for the Wild Salmon Defenders Alliance’s hosting and participating in the 2016 Wild Salmon Caravan June 6-12, 2016!

Get ready to rock n roll with Holly Arntzen and Kevin Wright of the Artist Response Team, and listen to the heart beat of our Nations as the Lillooet Bear Dancers (Robert Cloud, Howard Shields, Thomas Laffinbear Terry, and Donavan Adolph) show their culture and connection to the bear spirit and the salmon! George Manuel Jr. of Neskonlith First Nation will be there to sing the “Wake-Up” song that inspired so many people on the 2015 Wild Salmon Caravan! There will be door prizes as well!

Dress for the weather and bring a blanket for seating. Bring your drums and rattles! Together we will lift the roof off the Longhouse in celebration we still have wild salmon to save from industrial harm.

Home-made bannock, tea and coffee will be available so bring your own drinking mugs to help put a light footprint on Mother Earth!

INDIGENOUS RELATIONS RESOURCES & LINKS – prepared for AGM 2016

INDIGENOUS RELATIONS RESOURCES & LINKS

(prepared for MCBC AGM 2016)

WHY UNDERSTANDING INDIGENOUS WORLDVIEW MATTERS:

Why Understanding the Indigenous Worldview Matters

 

TRUTH & RECONCILIATION COMMISSION SUMMARY REPORT – CALLS TO ACTION:

http://www.trc.ca/websites/trcinstitution/File/2015/Findings/Calls_to_Action_English2.pdf

 

TRC SUMMARY REPORT DISCUSSION – MCBC PARTICIPANTS:

LMF/MCBC TRC Summary Report Discussion of 94 Recommendations

 

DOCTRINE OF DISCOVERY:

http://mcc.org/stories/doctrine-discovery

 

3 LEVELS OF ENGAGMENT – RECAPTURING THE MOMENTUM WITH OUR INDIGENOUS NEIGHBOURS:

Recapturing the momentum of reconciliation with our Indigenous neighbours.

 

ASSESSING OUR ENGAGEMENT LEVEL WITH REGARDS TO INDIGENOUS RELATIONS:

“Assessing our Engagement level” with regards to Indigenous Relations?

 

MONITORING TOOL FOR ASSESSING RELATIONAL ENGAGEMENT WITH INDIGENOUS NEIGHBOURS:

Great Resource for Monitoring our Engagement with Indigenous Peoples

 

INDIGENOUS RELATIONS COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT WORK-SHIFT IN DIRECTION:

MCBC Indigenous Relations – Community Engagement work

Great Resource for Monitoring our Engagement with Indigenous Peoples

I was involved in an anti-racism conference last week in North Vancouver for another agency and found this might be a great resource that is transferable when we are asking about how our “Engagement Level” is progressing with Indigenous Relations in our MCBC churches. Miigwetch, Brander

http://www.seattle.gov/Documents/Departments/Arts/Downloads/Grants/Civic%20Partners/Continuum-on-Becoming-a-Multicultural-Antiracist-Institution.pdf

“Assessing our Engagement level” with regards to Indigenous Relations?

“Assessing our Engagement level” with regards to Indigenous Relations?

INDIGENOUS RELATIONAL ENGAGEMENT QUESTIONNAIRE.

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DOWNLOAD QUESTIONAIRE PDF HERE: Assessing our Engagement level MCBC version

(As prepared by Brander McDonald for the Mennonite Church of BC/Canada  2015)

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/truth-and-reconciliation-final-report-ottawa-event-1.3365921

In keeping with our last Indigenous Justice post regarding “Recapturing the momentum of reconciliation with our Indigenous neighbours”, I thought it would be good to bring forward an assessment tool that can help you indicate where you are as a local parish with relational development with your local First Nations.  This would mirror the questions regarding the “3 levels of engagement”, 1. “Talking about”.  2. “Talking with”.  3. “Walking with”.

Talking about. “INVITATION TO ENGAGEMENT” (by acquiring knowledge, resources, and sources)

1. I have need/desire to pursue relational engagement with regards to issues of Indigenous Relations.

Strongly agree, agree, undecided, disagree, strongly disagree.

  1. I am confident in my understanding how to move through the fears and/or blocks to my engaging with Indigenous Relations and peoples.

Strongly agree, agree, undecided, disagree, strongly disagree.

  1. I need/desire knowledge of Indigenous history and settler relationship in Canada”

Ie: The Indian Act-

Strongly agree, agree, undecided, disagree, strongly disagree.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission-

Strongly agree, agree, undecided, disagree, strongly disagree.

Indian and Residential Schools-

Strongly agree, agree, undecided, disagree, strongly disagree.

The Doctrine of Discovery-

Strongly agree, agree, undecided, disagree, strongly disagree.

The Royal Proclamation-

Strongly agree, agree, undecided, disagree, strongly disagree.

  1. I need/desire knowledge and an active personal plan in response to the “Calls to Action” of Truth & Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Summary Report and 94 Recommendations.

Strongly agree, agree, undecided, disagree, strongly disagree.

  1. I have a working knowledge of First Nations traditional territory on which I reside.

Strongly agree, agree, undecided, disagree, strongly disagree.

 

  1. I understand and practice First Nations relational protocol publicly and within my church’s activities regarding recognition of the traditional lands on which I  live, work and share in Christian ministries.

Strongly agree, agree, undecided, disagree, strongly disagree.

  1. I  know and can properly pronounce  the name of the First Nations (Band name) to the area I live and share in Christian ministry.

Strongly agree, agree, undecided, disagree, strongly disagree.

  1. I know and have a working relationship with local chiefs, elders and leaders in my community  and organization.

Strongly agree, agree, undecided, disagree, strongly disagree.

  1. I know and am actively acquiring sufficient language skills to engage with the local Indigenous dialect and am actively growing my knowledge base regarding key issues that First Nations have identified.

Strongly agree, agree, undecided, disagree, strongly disagree.

  1. I know where to access reputable and knowledgeable First Nations sources and how to properly stay  up to date, regarding Indigenous justice  issues.

Strongly agree, agree, undecided, disagree, strongly disagree.

  1. I have a working knowledge the history of Indigenous peoples and the Mennonite church of Canada?

Strongly agree, agree, undecided, disagree, strongly disagree.

  1. I can identify interested parties and parishioners whom are seeking to, and engaged in acquiring educational materials and media resources regarding Indigenous Relations.

Strongly agree, agree, undecided, disagree, strongly disagree.

 

  1. I have a plan to acquire educational resources regarding Indigenous Relations.

Strongly agree, agree, undecided, disagree, strongly disagree.

  1. Our parish/church/denomination has an Indigenous Relations ministries leadership point person(s) and/or committee.

Strongly agree, agree, undecided, disagree, strongly disagree.

  1. Our church/denomination has a working budget to support Indigenous Relations Ministries locally, provincially and/or nationally.

Strongly agree, agree, undecided, disagree, strongly disagree.

COMMENTS:
Talking With. “TOWARDS RELATIONSHIP BUILDING” (relational forward movement by active listening)

16. Our faith community is willing, prepared and committing itself to having Indigenous knowledge keepers share with you personally or in your local parish.

Strongly agree, agree, undecided, disagree, strongly disagree.

  1. I am personally actively engaged in building healing relationships with Indigenous neighbours.

Strongly agree, agree, undecided, disagree, strongly disagree.

  1. I have previously assessed my needs in this process of relationship building with local Indigenous peoples.

Strongly agree, agree, undecided, disagree, strongly disagree.

  1. I am willing to actively engage in learning key “meet, greet, thanking” protocols that are in Indigenous to help relational bridge building.

Strongly agree, agree, undecided, disagree, strongly disagree.

20 I have working knowledge cultural distinctive(s) behind the discourse that Indigenous traditional speakers bring.

Strongly agree, agree, undecided, disagree, strongly disagree.

  1. I am in active dialogue with Indigenous leadership and knowledge keepers that are great candidates to share in person, or with my church.

Strongly agree, agree, undecided, disagree, strongly disagree.

  1. I have personally invited an Indigenous speaker to my church in the past.

Strongly agree, agree, undecided, disagree, strongly disagree.

  1. I have the means by relationship to invite First Nations speakers to share in my community.

Strongly agree, agree, undecided, disagree, strongly disagree.

… If not how do you plan to build that relationship? Comment:

 

 

Strongly agree, agree, undecided, disagree, strongly disagree.

  1. I plan on actively building personal working relationships with local Indigenous people.

Strongly agree, agree, undecided, disagree, strongly disagree.

  1. I am actively accessing key relationship bridge building steps and commitments  create more opportunity for Indigenous sharing to occur personally or within my local church.

Strongly agree, agree, undecided, disagree, strongly disagree.

  1. I have been invited to have attended local First Nations cultural events.

Strongly agree, agree, undecided, disagree, strongly disagree.

  1. I have been invited to share or speak at First Nations cultural events.

Strongly agree, agree, undecided, disagree, strongly disagree.

COMMENTS:
Walking With. “HAVING OUR MOCCASINS ON” (being present by engagement in relational activities)

28. I am presently engaged in local First Nations events that that are open to the public?

IE: the longhouse-

Strongly agree, agree, undecided, disagree, strongly disagree.

Circles-

Strongly agree, agree, undecided, disagree, strongly disagree.

Pow-wows-

Strongly agree, agree, undecided, disagree, strongly disagree.

Justice advocacy walks, forums-

Strongly agree, agree, undecided, disagree, strongly disagree.

First salmon ceremony-

Strongly agree, agree, undecided, disagree, strongly disagree.

Elder’s gatherings-

Strongly agree, agree, undecided, disagree, strongly disagree.

Family meals-

Strongly agree, agree, undecided, disagree, strongly disagree.

Sweat lodge-

Strongly agree, agree, undecided, disagree, strongly disagree.

Naming ceremonies-

Strongly agree, agree, undecided, disagree, strongly disagree.

Memorials-

Strongly agree, agree, undecided, disagree, strongly disagree.

Adoptions-

Strongly agree, agree, undecided, disagree, strongly disagree.

Dedications-

Strongly agree, agree, undecided, disagree, strongly disagree.

Advocacy walks or events-

Strongly agree, agree, undecided, disagree, strongly disagree.

Casual coffee meetings-

Strongly agree, agree, undecided, disagree, strongly disagree.

Dinner- Strongly agree, agree, undecided, disagree, strongly disagree.

holiday celebrations-

Strongly agree, agree, undecided, disagree, strongly disagree.

  1. I presently attend local First Nations events hosted by Indigenous peoples.

Strongly agree, agree, undecided, disagree, strongly disagree.

  1. I presently engage in trusting relationships that allows me to carefully offer my skills at the request of local First Nations  community leadership.

Strongly agree, agree, undecided, disagree, strongly disagree.

  1. I personally, my parish and/or organization have been asked to partner with leadership of First Nation to help set directional goals and Indigenous Relation advocacy work.

Strongly agree, agree, undecided, disagree, strongly disagree.

  1. First Nations have permission to regularly speak to me personally, within our faith community, and with our local church ministry in areas related to:

Christian ministry-

Strongly agree, agree, undecided, disagree, strongly disagree.

“Missional” direction-

Strongly agree, agree, undecided, disagree, strongly disagree.

Leadership training-

Strongly agree, agree, undecided, disagree, strongly disagree.

Doctrinal considerations-

Strongly agree, agree, undecided, disagree, strongly disagree.

and areas of healing modalities-

Strongly agree, agree, undecided, disagree, strongly disagree.

  1. I personally, our faith and ministry community actively share stories of engagement to help spur others on in the area of relational bridge building with our Indigenous neighbours regarding relations issues.

Strongly agree, agree, undecided, disagree, strongly disagree.

COMMENTS: