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  • donnafranz

It is National Indigenous Peoples Day June 21 (Summer Solstice) & National Indigenous History Month

Updated: Jul 13, 2021

June is National Indigenous History Month and today is National Indigenous Peoples Day. In these past two months many of us have learned what many others have known, so many atrocities happened. Many families were torn apart and so many little children lost their lives, as well as their opportunities and right to learn and grow and be loved. The news we all recently heard from the the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Kukpi7 (Chief) Rosanne Casimir, was so heart shattering and it is with a heavy heart I write this entry, with the hope that I can share some resources that I have had the pleasure of learning from and about, and to provide you with some online news that offers us opportunities to learn more.

Working as an Occupational Therapist I have had the opportunity and privilege to work with many Indigenous People in 3 provinces. With each opportunity I was fortunate to learn about Indigenous culture. In Calgary I spent hours creating thermoplastic splints to support arthritic hands and thumbs; while my hands were working I enjoyed learning all about the occupations their hands were involved in, e.g. riding horseback on their ranch, illustrating books (thank you for a copy Shirley) and creating beautiful items such as dream catchers (which requires amazing dexterity). I was moved by their stories, their openness, their generosity, and wonderful sense of humour.

In Calgary I also purchased Anne Wilson Schaef's "Native Wisdom for White Minds - Daily Reflections Inspired by the Native Peoples of the World". Anne explained that her book, which follows the days of the calendar year, was a collaborative effort created by both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. Anne uses the phrase "white mind" in response to the experiences she encountered in her "travels throughout the world among Native Peoples". She describes "White minds" as those minds that tend to come from a more "Western society or Western culture". She describes white minds as seeing "nature as a force to be tamed" and seeing people more or less as objects that need to be controlled, with little or no regard for those individuals future.

I found Anne's collection to be a wealth of knowledge, and inclusive of so many Indigenous peoples. It offers quotes from Indigenous North Americans, Aboriginals, Maori Elders, Africans, and Spiritual Leaders, Hawaiians and Samoans and more; and she compliments each quotes with her own insights. If you are looking for great read that captures deep insights in short passages, please look up her book.

What does reconciliation mean? Oxford Dictionary- The restoration of friendly relations. I found that as I learned more about Indigenous ways of life, I wanted to learn even more. I am adding some news and resources here for your consideration in hopes that reconciliation is enhanced as our knowledge is deepen. Reading and participation in continuing education and performances has always helped me gain a greater understanding of this amazing world.

I saw Susan Aglukark in concert - Highly recommended. I see now that her creativity has spread to children's books.

I participated in a webinar sponsored by Deyen - An invitation to transform. I learned about the artistry of Bridget George. Beautiful!

way̓ lim̓lm̓t thank you

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