Tag Archives: Treaty People

Sour Grapes

By James Harbeck

Sermon, Holy Trinity, October 1, 2017

Readings: Ezekiel 18:1–4, 25–32; Psalm 25:1–10; Philippians 2:1–13; Matthew 21: 23–32

I’m going to tell a little story today. I don’t know whether I’d call it a parable. It’s not quite a literal history. But it’s close enough.

There was, once, a place that was very nice. Lush. Great for growing grapes and things like that. There was a family living there, and they were pretty happy with it. We’ll call them the Ones. Nothing’s perfect, but, you know, the Ones had food, family, all the things that people do with their time when nothing and no one is forcing them to do something else. Life was good enough.

And then another family showed up from another place. We’ll call them the Twos. They liked where the Ones were living. They wanted to live there. They didn’t say, “Hey, do you mind if we fit in here somehow?” or “What can we give you in exchange for some of what you have so we can live here?” They said, “Hi. We’re the Twos. These are guns. Look what they can do: [BANG BANG BANG]. Get the idea? We want this land. Oh, you? You can get out and live somewhere else, or you can stay and work for us.” Some of the Ones left. Some were killed. Some decided to stay and work for the Twos, because at least they’d still be in this nice place getting the benefit of the land. Continue reading Sour Grapes

Walking With Our Sisters

Walking With Our Sisters
Website: www.walkingwithoursisters.ca
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WWOSTO/
Twitter @wwos1 #wwos
Instagram: wwos_to

This October in Toronto, there is a very special opportunity to honour and remember the more than a thousand, Indigenous women, girls and Two Spirit people who have been murdered or remain missing. Walking With Our Sisters is a commemorative art installation hosted at the Aboriginal Education Centre, at 16 Phin Avenue, near Donlands and Danforth, from the 15th to the 22th of October.

Walking With Our Sisters is a national community based commemorative project of nearly 2,000 “vamps” — the tops of moccasins that have been intentionally left unfinished signifying the loss of unfinished lives. More than an art exhibit, this ceremony invites you on a journey to remember the losses, to honour grieving families and to work for change. Continue reading Walking With Our Sisters

Celebrating Canada’s Long History

July 2, 10:30 am. We gather with each other and with Treaty Canoe. We will sing together, hear readings from Ryan McMahon, Christi Belcourt and the Gospel. We will reflect on our country, history and ourselves and respond as we are called and able. We will share the gifts of the land and of human hands. Please join us. Continue reading Celebrating Canada’s Long History

Treaty Canoe at Holy Trinity

Treaty Canoe

Treaty Canoe by Alex McKay (1999, 12’x24”x32”,) is a performance/sculpture/installation that is made from cedar, copper wire, birch bark, red-ribbon, glue, and treaties hand-penned onto hand-made linen paper. Using dip pen and ink, treaties were performatively transcribed by many hands.

Keith, and the Treaty People circle have been working to bring an art installation called Treaty Canoe (Alex McKay, artist) to Holy Trinity as part of our journey toward reconciliation. Most recently displayed publicly at Osgoode Law School early last year, this piece was created in 1999, long before ‘reconciliation’ entered the general public’s mind as an idea. Encumbered, as so much of reconciliation work is, by conversations of appropriation and our understanding of history and relationship, this work will help us become more aware of the treaties which enable the existence of Canada and our responsibilities to each other.

We are hoping this will allow us to engage more of the public in the conversation as they visit our space and see Treaty Canoe suspended from our ceiling, just out of reach. We would welcome the help of any members of the HT community in interpreting and spreading the word–whether you are part of People Presence, the Sunday worship group, the refugee committee, Christmas Story, hospice, housing, or one of “the guys.”

We’re still finalising details, but are hoping that the installation will begin before the end of June and run into mid-September.

Artist’s statement:

Volunteers, most having never read a treaty, in a de-colonial gesture, undertook a close reading, and then reluctantly and poignantly signed the contracts in the stead of their original faithful negotiators.

Treaty Canoe speaks of mutual, sacred bonds of honour and makes clear that we are all treaty people. When exhibited it hangs by a thread balanced on a central pivot point above its centre thwart. It responds to the slightest breeze of a passer-by, rocking and turning. Lit from above the craft becomes translucent; in casting a shadow it becomes two canoes, floating in the same current on separate but parallel courses. The transcription process is one of claiming ownership, and responsibility, if not for the past, then the present and future of our relationship.

We are all treaty people”

Alex McKay

 

Canada By Treaty: Histories of a Negotiated Place

April 28 – May 25, Hart House Map Room Exhibit 

The exhibit explores treaties, those legal agreements with Indigenous peoples that allowed non-Indigenous people to live on and own land in what is now Canada. The four-week exhibit responds to the 150th anniversary of Confederation by explaining in accessible language the long history of treaty making, and how and why these agreements were essential to the foundation of modern Canada. Co-curated by fourth year undergraduate James Bird, Nehiyawak (Cree), Indigenous Studies and Architecture, and Department of History Professors Laurie Bertram and Heidi Bohaker, the exhibit draws on content created by students in Professor Bohaker’s Fall 2016 joint fourth year/graduate seminar “Canada By Treaty.”

More information at UofT website

A sip of ancient water

March 19, 2017; Holy Trinity.
Exodus 17: 1-7; John 4: 5-42

I’m sharing this image today by Issac Murcdoch on the pulpit in gratitude and respect to all the water keepers who are currently on the front lines of the struggle to protect sacred water. I made a small
handout on the 2017 Water Walk with Josephine Mandarin if you would like to know more.

Water is primal.

If you think about it, this planet should really be called water, not earth, since more than 70% of the surface is water, not land. Water — there there can be no life without it. Our bodies are 60% water – we are made of it. It’s the building block of our cells, the body’s transport system, a shock-absorber, it helps to regulate our temperature. Just give your hands a squeeze together and remind yourself that we are full of water – hopefully this doesn’t cause a mass exodus to the bathroom. Here’s the cool part, or the scary part, depending on which way it goes, not only are we full of water, but we are full of the water that’s around us. So if you’ve lived your life in Toronto, your body is 60% full of Lake Ontario.

Every time I hear it, I also find it quite marvellous to remember that the overall amount of water on the planet has remained the same for the last billion years. So we are made of the water that dinosaurs sipped. We are connected to this lake that in its ancient form was home to giant beavers, that was known as Skanadario, or sparkling water to Haudenosaunee people.

Read the full homily in this PDF document

becoming part of the land

As part of our ongoing work and hope for reconciliation with indigenous people, we realise that we need to change our understanding of who we are and to whom we belong. Through the season of Lent this year, we will be exploring our relationship with the land we share–the land our building is part of, the land we live on, the other people who share this land.

We invite any and all who share this place with us to join us in this process:

More information will be added to this page as details firm up. If you would like to  be notified of specifics or to ask questions, feel free to contact Keith at knunn@holytrinitytoronto.org

Canada and First Nations – Our Shared History – Aug 11

blanket exercise feetBefore there can be reconciliation, there must be truth. The Treaty People group is hosting a pair of Kairos Blanket Exercises on August 11. One at noon and again at 5:30pm.

The Blanket Exercise is a visceral way to hear and enter into the history of indigenous peoples and settlers in North America. It provides a starting point for doing the work the Truth and Reconciliation Commission has asked of all Canadians.

This event is aimed at all citizens and residents of Canada and those curious about the history of Canada with respect to indigenous peoples. We invite you to join us for the Kairos Blanket Exercise at noon (or 5:30pm), to be followed by an age appropriate circle and discussion. If you can’t spare more than an hour, the exercise is still worthwhile, but be aware that it is profoundly affecting and we encourage you to stay for the second hour to build relationships.

We will serve a light meal of soup and bread.

See www.kairosblanketexercise.org to get a better understanding of this experiential workshop.

Let us know you are coming by visiting our Facebook events: KBE at noon, KBE at 5:30pm.

Please feel free to print and hang our Kairos Blanket Exercise poster.

treatypeople

Follow-up document: “What can I do?”

“Water is the blood that flows through this wounded body”

A reflection on Water For Ecumenical Good Friday,
Church of the Holy Trinity, March 25 2016

Who lives the pain of Good Friday in our time? Communities of Pimicikamak /Cross Lake, Syria, South Sudan, Kashechewan…

Where do we hear the cries? Taste the thirst for justice? Refugees fleeing, women sexually assaulted, black lives ignored, Indigenous girls missing…

Where do we see the wounds? Melting permafrost, fracked earth, tailings ponds, tanker spills… Continue reading “Water is the blood that flows through this wounded body”