Reconciliation for Canadians

Reconciliation for Canadians

Reconciliation for Canadians

The youth of Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First Nation, Ontario and Productions Cazabon request your support to roll up our sleeves together on closing the gaps of living conditions and creating greater awareness and understanding between Canadians and First Nations.                                    

The Youth of Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First Nations living in the remote Boreal forest of Northwestern Ontario invite you in their homes in an all-inclusive trip

The youth & their community graciously open their homes to 25 Canadians and look forward to: 

  • An honest dialogue on their living conditions
  • Sharing their pride in the beauty of their culture set in their pristine land on Big Trout Lake
  • Making the invisible visible through an unforgettable act of friendship & reconciliation

…. More than anything, the youth want to create an opportunity to showcase their positive leadership and the spirit of their community to shine through. Together, and with you, they will show that there is still hope and Nation-to-Nation unity that awaits us all.

Mark the date: July 17 – 23, 2015

Detailed package available upon request 

Trip package: $3200.

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This project is made possible thanks to the generous contribution of the Ontario Trillium Foundation, community advocate Josh Hellyer, the Michaëlle Jean Foundation, Nipissing University and Productions Cazabon.

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Invitation Letter from Youth

February 14, 2015

Reconciliation trip – July 17 – 23rd, 2015 in Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug, Ontario

Booshoo ! Greetings from KI !

We are happy to invite you, on behalf of our community, to our reconciliation trip that is entirely led by our very own: youth of KI.

In this event, we are inviting 25 Canadians to join us, to live in our homes, to share in our daily experiences, see our deep connection to our waters, our land, our people, and our way of life here in our homelands of KI; the traditional way ! In doing this, we hope to raise awareness not just for our own community, but for all our fellow First Nation remote communities, for the good.

You see, we could go on and on about issues and concerns we have as a remote First Nation, but I don’t want to do that. Instead, we would love for you to first-hand experience our love of the land, feel the fresh air we get from mother earth, taste our food given to us by the Creator, and to greet our People… then you will see that we are people just like everyone else- we feel, we hurt, we cry and we laugh.

As well, we have the full support to run this event by our Chief, Donny Morris, and our Council. They are behind us in all that we do, and we couldn’t be any more blessed to have them support and believe in us, and for them to allow us to lead the way. As you may have heard time and time again “youth are the leaders of tomorrow”, but you rarely see that youth are given a chance to demonstrate and bring that saying to life and into realization through leadership. We the youth believe that by us holding this event, we can be and example; and that if given a chance, we can do great and mighty things for ourselves and for our people. And for this reconciliation event, we are doing it!

You see, most people would think it is unusual for First Nation People and Canadians to be friends due to racial, origin, and language differences (to name a few), but we strongly disagree. How else can we live amongst each other and create a better home in this country we call Canada that we share together!? By us coming together, working and sharing in our lives can be an example of just that and especially that it is possible to be friends; we are friends! Also in doing this, we can create a better and stronger country for us, for our children and our children’s children.

In closing, please know how honoured we are to host you and thankful you will be taking the time to see why we love our People, our Home, our Waters, our Land, and our way of life. Maybe in doing this, everyone will begin to stand together and be as one!

Meegwetch !

Leona Matthews,
Youth Leader – June Event in K.I.

Karyn Paishk,
Youth Leader – June Event in K.I.

Justin Beardy,
Youth Leader – June Event in K.I.

cc. Chief Donny Morris – Kitchenuhmakoosib Inninuwug


Contacts :

Andrée Cazabon – Productions Cazabon : 3rd World Canada filmmaker and event partner
andree@productionscazabon.com
tel. 613 – 864 – 1907

3rd World Canada Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/3rdworldcanada

The youth & community are featured in the documentary, 3rd World Canada.
Watch the film trailer : http://www.thirdworldcanada.ca/

Read Toronto Star article on Reconciliation Exchange 2014

Read CBC News article on reconciliation trip 2014

Read Toronto Star article on the film, 3rd World Canada and watch preview

Read article on Reconciliation Exchange 2015 

“This event means a lot to me because I have hope for the future of our children; that they will grow up knowing that the old typical stereotypes of us Aboriginals will change in the future: if we do our part in changing our home we call Canada. By extending our friendship to Canadians, that is a start in getting there. We gotta start somewhere.”

-Leona Matthews – Youth Leader – Reconciliation event 2014

About

The youth of Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug and Productions Cazabon are collaborating with organizations across Canada to organize KI 2014, a reconciliation event to be held in their northern remote community. The objectives of this event are:

•     to revitalize the KI community through youth-led events that will foster the expression and exchange of cultural knowledge;

•     to promote dialogue and understanding between exchange participants and their First Nations hosts;

•     community-wide, youth-driven leadership through the arts, intergenerational mentorship and skills development;

•     cultural resurgence through a community-driven process that reinstates indigenous material and traditions as living expressions of community life;

•     to form new connections between KI and the general Canadian public by raising awareness of issues facing First Nations communities.

If you are interested in participating in the event, please sign up. The event operates on a first-come first-serve basis as there is limited space on our chartered Dash-8. The all-inclusive price for the event is $3,200 per seat. This will cover all flights (departing from Toronto), accommodations, food and activities over the course of the week.

KI 2015 is an innovative, grassroots solution to an all-too common problem in Ontario: the lack of dialogue and cross-cultural exchange between peoples of the North and the South. These are the first steps towards reconciliation and are a pivotal part of our program. The youth of KI set the groundwork for the KI 2014 with the very successful 2013 June Event. In 2014, Productions Cazabon is working with the KI youth to help build on the momentum from last year, both in their efforts to continue inter-cultural dialogue and to foster community revitalization.

The youth in KI will determine how the Event will be structured, the vision and rationale behind each day’s theme, and the activities necessary to fulfill those. The youth will also work with Productions Cazabon to communicate their message to mainstream Canadians and engage with local partners, such as schools, service clubs, NGOs and the business sector.

Productions Cazabon will provide ongoing mentorship to youth leaders, who in turn will provide peer-to-peer mentorship for event planning, professional communications and leadership skills. Elaina Matthews, a 16 year-old new youth leader from KI, will travel to the South during the event-planning period for an extended period of mentorship from Productions Cazabon. In KI, the youth will broadcast their message at community functions, as well as on radio and local television, to engage and share with elders and community members how they can participate and join in. Productions Cazabon, through their communication services, will help to maintain a strong online presence during the Event so that the event receives coverage and attention across Canada. The guests will take their experience home and we will encourage them to spread their new knowledge by contributing to or starting outreach programs, preparing presentations and organizing fundraisers.

The youth have already begun planning this year’s event and fundraising. As an example of an activity to take place during the event, one of the themes of this year’s event is the issue of housing in the North. The youth would like to build a traditional teepee with their elders in preparation for the guests.  This would provide an opportunity for young people who may have lost traditional land-based skills to learn traditional practices from community elders. It will encourage intergenerational mentorship and it will give the youth the opportunity to reconnect with and affirm their indigenous heritage. In turn, the elders will have the opportunity to see the youth engage positively in their community and see the full potential that exists when the community works together to achieve common goals.

At the June event in 2013, the youth were not sure if the elders would engage positively in the project. It was not clear whether the youth and elders would be able to overcome the language and generational barriers that exist in the community and, crucially, whether the elder’s religious practices would clash with the youth’s drum circle project. These potential stumbling blocks to intergenerational cohesion proved to be surmountable and the event was very successful.

Moving forward into this year’s project, the youth would like to move from dialogue and cohesion towards community action. The construction of the teepee will give the youth the opportunity to move from conversation to action. The teepee will have both symbolic meaning and practical use for the KI community. Guests could opt to stay in the teepee, hosted by elders and family members, as a one-night alternative to their family stay. The teepee will also stimulate dialogue between guests and youth about the current state of housing in KI and its importance.

The Event engages peoples of all ages and communities. It has a track record of success and positive impact on all participants involved with the project. It is a project that meets the evolving needs of KI and that is moving towards self-sufficiency. The project will strengthen the ties between numerous key organizations by connecting the KI community with businesses such as Porter Airlines and Wasaya, and with organizations like the Toronto Rotary Club, the Intercultural Dialogue Institute (IDI-GTA) and many more. These relationships are key to the self-sufficiency of this project; to ensuring that a strong, stable partnership is created between the people of KI and the projects supporting organizations even after the 2015 Northern Reconciliation Event is over.

An additional objective of this project will involve the youth of KI taking full creative and leadership control over any events that take place in 2015. In order to achieve this goal, funding from our partners will help build organizational capacity among the youth so that they can implement a new project of their choice. Funding for bookkeeping, advertising and postage will help them to get Northern program off the ground. Events like the Northern Reconciliation Event are complex, multi-stakeholder projects; having adequate seed funding will have a lasting impact on the youth and their community.

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