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.

“New Beginnings – New Year” Maamawi Collective is asking members of service club, book club and other social gatherings, to ask your executive board members to offer Land Acknowledgement’s at the start of your meetings in 2021, as the Uxbridge PROBUS Club did in their fall AGM – 2020 Zoom meeting. The Uxbridge Defeat Depression Walk 2019 began with a Land acknowledgement and in 2017/18/19 Uxbridge Juried Art Show, part of Uxbridge Celebration of the Arts have opened their awards evening this way.

Our collective plans to contact service clubs in our community who have created recreational “physical” structures to consider adding a plaque recognize that the community of Uxbridge, Ontario is on the Land of the First Peoples, including the Hodinohso:ni and Anishinaabe, who have lived on these lands for millennia, taking only what they needed and leaving abundance for all who followed behind.

First Nations, Métis and Inuit (Indigenous) peoples are not history but continue to live, work and thrive on these lands.

Barbara Blower
Maamawi Collective
Link Here for CBC Calls To Action