Report to the Small Group Facilitators
Re Indigenous Reconciliation Group for May meeting
Our meetings begin with an acknowledgement to the First Nations. We take turns giving the acknowledgement and the opening. Our group decided that we would each create our own acknowledgements so they were genuine, from the heart, and not just a rote pronouncement. One member of the group is an historian and he explained that the traditional territories are not actually unceded because the First Nations had signed treaties with Governor James Douglas in 1850 (14 land purchases covering approximately 930 square kilometers around Victoria, Sooke, Nanaimo and Port Hardy for about $102, 300 plus blankets and clothing).
As we do in all our meetings, we did a check in to see how everyone was really feeling and we shared our self awareness, grateful for the support and care of the group. We trust one another and feel comfortable sharing our true selves.
Our focus for the meeting was a Zoom interview with Shannon Waters, the first Indigenous Health Officer in her home territory around Lake Cowichan. She is an excellent speaker and has great wisdom regarding the importance of water to the community, seeing it through the First Nations lens where it is an interconnected part of life not just a commodity for human consumption. She emphasized how time in Nature is crucial for health and resilience. We discussed the interview and planned for the next meeting.
Carol closed the meeting with a meditation by Richard Wagamese (from Embers) one of our favorite Indigenous authors. We each take a turn presenting the closing as a prayer, reading or meditation.