Thursday, August 23, 2012

Deep Diver

I can't figure out how to edit my first post, so will just have to share what I wanted to tell you here - in my second post.

The canoe trip I was on was called Nimis Kahpomotate which is Cree for Sister Journey. The vision was that a group of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal women would spend 5 days and nights paddling, camping and cooking together on Lac laRonge in Northern Saskatchewan, and in doing so, would come to know each other better.The trip was partly inspired by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) which held 12 community hearings and one National Event in Saskatchewan during 2012.  The TRC  was set up so that the truth about Indian Residential Schools could be shared, listened to and archived, and so that all Canadians might consider how the First Peoples of this land and those of us who are newcomers could be reconciled, how this broken relationship could be healed.

This past year, I have attended four TRC community hearings as well as the National Event in Saskatoon. I have listened to other TRC hearings on live stream. I have attended the hearing of a friend of mine who attended Residential school as her support person and friend. My understanding about myself as a Canadian has been changed. Like so many others who have attended the hearings as listeners and witnesses, I have shed many tears. My heart has ached. My heart has  broken open. It feels like my heart is being remade. The stories people have shared have moved inside me and shifted my very insides....I cannot look at life in the same way I could before.

My own hope in taking part in Nimis Kahpomotate was that as well learning new stories, and new truths from my sisters, being on the canoe trip would also nurture a deeper friendship, a friendship that would last a lifetime. The watercolour/collage above is entitled Deep Diver. I want to dive more deeply, with courage, into waters which contain hard truths, stories that are beyond belief, truths which contain much wisdom, and love and healing. I want to have enough space in me for new ways of seeing things, new ways of being to move inside. I want to walk with others. I want to dive more deeply into friendships. I wish for good companions and teachers on this journey of healing.

In this blog, I hope too use the canoe trip as central, weaving my reflections about the canoe trip with stories from my life before the canoe trip, and with what is happening to me as I write and reflect in the blog. Past, present, future.

I am helping set up a gathering in the fall called Reconciliation: It's Up to Us. The question that I keep wondering about , and one which I will consider in this blog, is this - Are we up to reconciliation?

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