Select Page

Ethics of Reconcilition, Part Two

Councillor’s Corner - Wednesday September 27, 2017
So last Wednesday I got to spend the day in Kapuskasing at a day conference hosted by the Grand-Nord Legal Clinic on “The Ethics of Reconciliation”. The Clinic invited speaker Maya Chacaby to facilitate the day. Maya Chacaby is Anishinaabe, Beaver Clan from Kaministiquia (Thunder Bay). She is a researcher and consultant through her business, Amikobiin (beaver pond), and teaches linguistics and sociology at York University. She is also the Senior Researcher as OFIFC, a provincial non-profit Indigenous advocacy organization. Her publications include Aboriginal worldviews and pedagogies, Aboriginal research methodologies, Human Trafficking, revitalization, and ending violence against native women.
Maya was an absolute delight to listen to and her thoughts about reconciliation are worth hearing and implementing. The day was from 9 am to 4 pm and it was not in the least bit boring. Maya left you wanting to learn more and to start the journey or reconciliation for our country. I look forward to hearing her speak again. If you ever have the opportunity I would encourage anyone to seek this woman out and hear the wisdom that she shares.
It was a day well spent. I will present a full report to council on the Octboer 4th meeting and anyone would be welcome to read it. (I have included it at the end of this article.)
Have a great week everyone.
The following is my report submitted to council and again you can check out Maya Chacaby’s business and passionate work at the following website:
Ethics of Reconciliation on September 20, 2017 Report by Cheryl Fort
The day conference was held at the Loisirs de Centre in Kapuskasing, Ontario from 9am until 4:30pm hosted by the Grand-Nord Legal Clinic. The facilitator Maya Chacaby is Anishinaabe from Kaministiqua (Thunder Bay). Maya is worth hearing speak and I highly recommend that if council has the opportunity to hear her present they jumped at the opportunity. I have highlighted the keys points:
· Historic Legislation: From the Wampum to Indian Act
Maya gave us an extensive history lesson and explained how legislation through out history up to present day has hinder the aboriginal people of Canada. That trust and reciprocity has been eroded through continuous wrong assumptions about native people and the beliefs that they hold. Maya explained the Wampum Belt and how it is the oldest standing treaty in the “Canada” part of Turtle Island (North America).
· Contemporary Issues and Outcomes: Intergenerational Trauma
Maya explain the process that abused native people for the past 150 years.
1857 Gradual Civilization Act
1860 Indian Lands Act
1867 Confederation of Canada
1869 Gradual Enfranchisement of the Indian Act
1876 The Indian Act
The general government stance on Indian People of Canada has been to eliminate them from society either by death or by assimilation.
I was able to source the picture on the following page from internet and it definitely displays the entire intent of the Canadian Government. I pose this to challenge your thinking: lets assume that your child is right and a society took your child and transformed him to the child on the left. Think about this deeply what if a society decided that we were not civilized or properly human enough and took our children and changed them into what they deemed appropriately human. The results of assimilation is what we live with today.
· Priorities for Reconciliation: a responsibility to engage
Maya conveyed the ideas and thoughts that there are two parts to “Refranchement”, Restoration and Reconciliation. Restoration is the duty of the aboriginal people of Canada to heal, to restore their culture and self actualize. This resilient people have under direct attack for over 100 years and yet they exist while being the fastest growing population in our country. Reconciliation is the duty of the Canadian society that is rooted from other than Turtle Island, young and old, it is their duty to find acceptable ways to mend and heal the atrocities that have occurred under their rule.
· Cultural-based practices for reconciliation and ethical citizenship
What it means to be Anishinaabe? This is where the healing will begin as Anishinaabe begin to self-actualize and heal from within. Remembering the people, they are and who they have always been. It will take time but they really need to heal from the inside out.
It was my great please to participate in this conference and hope that the vision that Maya Chacaby puts forward is embraced by both Anishinaabe and Non-Anishinaabe for the building of Canada of how it always should have been. Our great country will only benefit from embracing the views and listening to the wisdom that the Anishinaabe people embody.
Meegwetch, Cheryl Fort