#11 – Maandigeh “The Gathering”

Restoring the Circle A response to the Truth and Reconciliation Process in our community

Introduction:
The Restoring the Circle Committee was formed in May 2008 in response to the national Truth and Reconciliation process and the call for communities to provide events. We are a group of interested community members, representing our First Nations, our churches, our local community college, community organizations, service agencies, health care professionals, educators, business people, farmers, and citizens from many nationalities and age groups, youth to Elders.

We meet with the intention of bringing clarity to each other and to our local communities about the impacts of the Indian residential schools on our communities and ourselves. We want to provide opportunities for all people to rekindle awareness of who they are and what they are capable of, and to empower all people to seek ways to foster their own physical, mental, emotional and spiritual healing and growth.

The Goals of Restoring the Circle

  • 1. Education: To educate each other and ourselves about our collective history, including, especially, government policies which have impacted Aboriginal communities.
  • 2. Culture: To know who we are and share our knowledge with each other.
  • 3. Health: To understand how historic trauma relates to our current health issues, body, mind and spirit.
  • 4. Healing: Together, we will develop ways to build effective and compassionate relationships which celebrate a positive, collective healing and reconciliation movement with Educational, Justice, Political, Health, Community and Religious institutions.

Our Purpose

There is hope for all nations to each live our own cultural, spiritual teachings. We will reclaim our cultures and heal ourselves. The drum, our heartbeat sounds loud and strong. Together we walk the sacred path of truth and honour. We welcome you to join with us as we build a better future, are responsible, and walk in a sacred way. What we do today is for our future generations. Restoring the Circle Maandigeh (Mon-deh-geh – The Gathering) September 28 – 30, 2009 at the Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre, Owen Sound This three day conference will look at how negative past experiences of racism, assumptions and biases, negative stereotypes and cultural beliefs affect our present health and well-being, and how we can work together as a community to restore health and bring all peoples together. It will include workshops and teachings from respected presenters and leaders from all nations, with a focus on Justice, Education, Culture, Health and Healing and the development of community reconciliation practices to:

  • Begin the process of healing in our communities
  • Increase knowledge and understanding of aboriginal culture and spirituality
  • Build and foster relationships between individuals, community groups and service providers of all cultures.
  • Address the issues of abuse, addictions and disrupted family relationships.
  • Break down barriers and address racism and discrimination within the broader community.
  • Find next steps to move us forward.

Angela Ashkewe Maandigeh Coordinator
restoringthecircle@gmail.com
380 9th St E Owen Sound
ON N5K 1P1
519 376 1560 ext. 112
519 376 5458 fax

Please, consider this letter as your personal invitation to register for Maandigeh, “The Gathering” being held at the Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre in Owen Sound On.

On September 28, 29 and 30, 2009.

It is our hope in holding Maandigeh, “The Gathering”, we can develop ways to build new relationships and hopefully, rebuild relationships which celebrate healing and reconciliation within the educational, judicial, political, health, community and religious institutions. Your presence would be a great help in achieving this milestone. We ask that you come with an open mind which is willing to learn and understand.

Should you leave Maandigeh, “the Gathering” with even the slightest understanding then we have succeeded! If you are unable to attend all three days, there is the option of attending any of the three days. Please, find enclosed a registration pamphlet for this event.

Should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me at
restoringthecircle@gmail.com or 519-376-1560, ext. 112.
visit our web site www.restoringthecircle.yolasite.com

Yours truly, Angela Ashkewe Maandigeh Coordinator

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