Nov. 8, 2021: MSIFN Cultural Coordinator Matthew Stevens Interviewed by 105.5 Hits FM

Many thanks to Angela Schweinitz of 105.5 Hits FM Radio in the North Durham and Kawartha Lakes Regions for sharing her interview with Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation Cultural Coordinator, Matthew Stevens. Angela spoke to Matthew in November 2021 about his family and National Aboriginal Veteran’s Day. We’d like to express our thanks to Matthew for granting us permission to share his words.

Interviewing Matthew for the show was incredible. His depth of insight and appreciation for those who have gone before him who fought loyally even though they were victims of oppression themselves is nothing short of amazing. Being able to talk to him around National Aboriginal Veterans Day about the bravery and sacrifice of his family members from where he is from, Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation, was my honour. I understand that Matthew is Cultural Coordinator at Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

— Angela Schweinitz

March 2022: Honouring Missing and Murdered Indigenous People Gathering

PLEASE SAVE THE DATE
Thursday Evening – May 5/2022
5:00 pm to 8:30 pm
Carea Community Health Center
115 Grassmere Avenue. O
shawa, ON

I’m  a settler/non-Indigenous woman living on these lands now known as Canada. I have learned that when Original People say “All Nations Welcome To Attend” …it means ALL NATIONS and settlers like me are included. Please come ready to listen and learn. Support has been arranged for “everyone to feel safe and cared for”  – Barbara Blower

Download  PDF Poster for:  HMMIP Gathering Final 2022

March 2022: “Ancient and Forever” – Musician J.P. Cormier honours Miꞌkmaq First Nation People!

Created during the Fall and Winter of 2020 by students, teachers and guests from across Cape Breton Island “Unama’ki”, NS, Canada, singing to “Ancient and Forever” by songwriter JP Cormier.
Produced by: Carter Chiasson and Nicole Deveau
Music Production: Carter Chiasson and Mac Alasdair Dhùghaill
Audio Production: Carter Chiasson, AJ Boutlier, JP Cormier
Video Production: Nicole Deveau and Carter Chiasson
Audio Mix: Jamie Foulds

In the summer of 2021, verification of children’s remains at former Indian Residential Schools led to the acknowledgment of the first 215 “rediscovered burial sites”, that  shocked our nation. The “215” became a symbol and a horrendous reason why more settlers have learned the truth about  relationships between Original Peoples and the government of this country, now know as Canada.  

We requested and were granted permission from JP Cormier, to include his song Ancient And Forever  from his CD – Now The Work Is Done – that honour’s Miꞌkmaq First Nation People on our web-site. This would, in our opinion, offer non-Indigenous people  a significant acknowledgement of Original People’s concern for the land.

JP Cormier performed in Uxbridge Music Hall, Ontario a number of years ago at the invitation of Silver Birch Charity Concert when all proceeds were going to **Art’s Can Circle.

We honour the memory of Tom McCreate for creating this Annual Silver Birch Charity Concert Series in support of ArtsCan Circle.

J.P. Cormier web site

J.P. Cormier

Link to Artscan Circle website/

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Dec. 2021: AECL and CNL Inaugurate the Minwamon Building

The renaming of the Atomic Energy of Canada Limited and Canadian Nuclear Laboratories’s main building is an acknowledgement of the importance of “Indigenous knowledge” and is an effort towards building relationships “with local First Nations and Metis communities.” Thank you to Earle Lockerby for sharing this piece from the Canadian Nuclear Laboratories’ Voyageur periodical and for sharing his experiences working with AECL.

See the full size version here, Voyageur 2021 December, and read Earle’s experiences below.

I worked with AECL for 30 years, 7 of them at Chalk River. Each working day for 7 years I walked two times through the “Gate House” which served as a “funnel” between the parking lot and the research complex (they are now calling it a “campus”). Some years back, the old “Gate House” was replaced by the building you see in the attached. Very recently, the new building has been given an Algonquin name! The “Gate House” had two main purposes which I presume apply to the Minwamon Building as well: general site security and personnel radiation monitoring. I may have told you – I learned to scuba dive at Base Petawawa where training took place in the pool at Dundonald Hall. I also learned gliding (69 flights, the last 15 being solo – I still have my log book!) at an airstrip which was 10 km from the reserve of the Algonquins of Golden Lake (Pikwàkanagàn First Nation). Elder Dan Ross and Connie Mielke, who you see in the photo in the attached, are from the Golden Lake band. I can’t be certain now, but I probably flew over their reserve!

Regards,
Earle

Oct. 3, 2021 Acknowledging MMIWG2S

Red Dresses were displayed in Uxbridge, Ontario on Sunday October 3/21 after A Gathering of People walked carrying Empty Dresses… This is becoming a “Traveling Acknowledgement OF MMIWG2S” first held in Unionvill with  Shanta Elizabeth Sundarason with much help from Giving Tree Young People, then Stouffvill organized by Nikki Best Devereux and then Uxbridge by Maamawi Collective. A conversation has started to continue to Port Perry. Please let us know your community is interested too.

https://www.nwac.ca/event/sisters-in-spirit-virtual-vigil/


The walk from Centennial park to Elgin park.
The Elgin park gathering among the trees and red dresses
A travelling acknowledgement of MMIWG2S
Guest speaker Becky Big Canoe member of Chippewas of Georgina Island  First Nation


Barbara Blower passes out the red ribbons

…a red Ribbon was passed from Hand to Hand starting and ending with Becky creating a circle. Deanna then moved around the circle cutting the ribbon so people could take home their “piece” Deanna suggested we tie the pieces to a tree at our home.

photos by Stuart Blower 

Nov. 8, 2021 National Aboriginal Veterans Day

November 8,
We offer sincere thanks to  The Uxbridge Cosmos  newspaper  and The Standard Newspaper, published in Port Perry, for publishing this acknowledgement. 2021 is the third time this wreath has been laid at Uxbridge Cenotaph. Gathered on the grass in Centennial  Park were residents of Uxbridge and Stouffville. After the  Land Acknowledgement was offered a red ribbon was passes Hand to Hand to complete a circle starting and ending in the hands of Original People Of This Land now know as Canada. The ribbon was cut then cut so that each person held their pieces as they walked to the cenotaph lead by Member of Cree First Nation Dianne Brown-Green and son’s James and Will carrying the wreath marking National Aboriginal Veterans Day. The wreath ribbon carries the Ojibway word  “Mishkooziidaa” – To Stand With Strength” as local area resident Mim Harder walks along side. The Canada Flag is lowered by Dianne’s son Will. National Aboriginal Veterans Day is acknowledged on November 8th in Canada, Recognizing The Service Of All Aboriginal Veteran and Serving Members of Canada’s Armed Forces.  

 

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June 1, 2021: A Moment Of Silence

photos by Stuart Blower

Members of Maamawi Collective along with neighbours and friends assemble in a circle, in front of Uxbridge Township Office at 2:15 pm, Tuesday, June 1st. Standing silently in a circle connected by an orange ribbon a Land Acknowledgement was offered acknowledging that First Nations, Métis and Inuit Peoples ….are not history …THEY ARE STILL HERE and their stories matter.

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January 27, 2021: Reconciliation – Five Years On

Letters to the Editor – by Barbara Blower
(reproduced in the Uxbridge Cosmos and the Port Perry Standard newspapers)

The anticipation of a new year comes hand in hand with reflections on the that’s just done. Asked what we wish for in 2021 offers the opportunity to share thoughts. As a member of a local Uxbridge volunteer “collective”, I appreciate much will be different in 2021, expecting positive responses to the availability of a COVID vaccine is top of mind. However, if we each reach out a little further, positive change will happen related to food security, housing for vulnerable people, acceptance of diversity to suggest just a few.

Recently Senator Murray Sinclair expressed that not enough change has occurred in the five years since Canada’s Truth & Reconciliation Commission published its final report and corresponding 94 Calls to Action. Maamawi Collective has particular reference to “Number 53 – Part 4” as it calls on all Canadians to: “Promote Public Dialogue, Public/private Partnerships, and Public Initiatives for Reconciliation” in support of a National Council for Reconciliation.
Eight volunteer members of a “collective” based in Uxbridge, Ontario acknowledge this as Work In Progress that continues. An acknowledgement/fundraiser related to MMIWG2S Peoples continues in our town for 2021 and have adopted a mission statement:-
“We have been inspired by TRC Call to Action 53, Part 4. to: “Promote public dialogue, public/private partnerships, and public initiatives for reconciliation” in support of a National Council for Reconciliation.

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