July 2020 Newsletter

Hardly a day goes by without a new development in our project on reconciliation.

Our website now registers as many as 5600 page views a month.

Our national expansion includes trained facilitators in 60 communities across Canada, and the training of local organizers for circles in these communities is now underway

New organizations approach us regularly to host circles.

We invite you to read our update.

(Click on the cover to the right for the file.)

 


We are now passing the Talking Stick virtually…

Reconciliation cannot be put on hold!

Circles for Reconciliation did not let the devastation of a worldwide pandemic stop our trajectory or derail our commitment to the path of reconciliation.

We had to suspend our active circles in Toronto, Winnipeg, Selkirk, Brandon and Regina. We held back on circles that were about to be launched in a number of other communities. Our dedicated Toronto staff are in temporary layoff status.

Then we came up with a plan to move forward.

We would offer circles by on-line teleconferencing – Zoom. On April 13, we contacted the people who had registered to be trained as facilitators, and we extended that reach with help from our Indigenous Recruiter. Within a week, we received 100 responses from people who wanted to participate.

On Monday, April 27, we launched seven fully booked circles, with three circles taking place on Monday mornings, one on Tuesdays, and three more on Thursday evenings. In total, we have 70 participants, who are equally divided between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, including two previously trained facilitators in each circle. The participants come from 29 communities, cities, towns and First Nations Bands that stretch from Halifax to Victoria. They have been taking turns hosting circles, and are now sharing emails, resources, insights and feelings with one another.

There are more people signed up and waiting for our next Zoom circles. Additionally, we are now seriously considering offering on-line teleconferencing circles within new communities, such as; Victoria, Ottawa, and some smaller towns. By the middle of July, we will have trained facilitators in over 60 communities across Canada, who are all eager to work towards creating circles in their communities. We also look forward to the time when we will be able to offer in-person circles once again and encourage both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people to register.

This development is the result of extraordinary amounts of time, energy and expertise from volunteers across the country, and illustrates well what the TRC tells us:

“Reconciliation begins with each and every one of us. “

Photos used with permission


If you would like copies of our pamphlet to distribute to other potential participants, please feel free to view, download or print it here.

About the logo

 “I am a Wakka Wakka person living in Bundjalung Country on the east coast of Australia.  The image for me is about women’s healing and the different shades of our skin since the colonization and introduction of genocide and that no matter what we look like we still have a place in the circle.  The leaves we use when we dance to prepare an area for ceremony by cleansing”.

Belle Arnold

 

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