“As Indigenous women search for reconciliation for the harms of colonisation, they are also talking in their inner circles about reconciling and reconnecting with all of their relations. “– Miigam’agan
Community Conversations partnered with Deshkan Ziibi Indigenous Women’s Association to put on an event in Pinafore Park on May 14, 2022. Community members were invited to enjoy a drum performance by Deshkan Ziibi as well as booths featuring local Indigenous artists and craftspeople. Everyone enjoyed traditional corn soup, fry bread and strawberry drink. We also raised funds to bring potable water to the Oneida Nation of the Thames, which has been under a boil water advisory since 2019. You can learn more about the event day here.
To complement this event, we’ve put together a list of resources to learn more about Indigenous history and culture in our area.
Local Groups and Initiatives
Native Family Healing Centre
They support indigenous individuals and families across southwestern Ontario since 1986. They provide low barrier wrap around services to community members with complex means, including mental wellness, substance use, homelessness, domestic violence and trauma.
Indigenous Women’s Association
They support indigenous individuals and A group dedicated to preserving and providing cultural awareness through monthly meetings, and events throughout southwestern Ontario.
They are is a council of Ontario Women’s Native Association and a program of CMHA
In collaboration with Huron Heights Community Association [HHCA], they plan, organize and offer customized public and private workshops which provide participants with the opportunity to engage in meaningful, transformative dialogue, and reflect on the core values of reconciliation, given the shared desire for a new way forward in Canada.
A Haudenosaunee First Nations band government located north of Elgin County. The people are known within the Iroquois Confederacy as Onyota’a:ka, “People of the Standing Stone.”
A Lenape First Nations band government located north of Elgin County. They are known as Nalahii Lunaapewaak, meaning Lenapes from the Upstream.
Chippewas of the Thames First Nation is an Anishinaabe First Nations band government. They are located on Deshkaan Ziibing Anishinaabeg.
Boil Water Advisories Affecting Local Reserves
Oneida Nation on the Thames has had a boil water advisory since September 2019 and Chippewa on the Thames since December 2021.
National Groups and Initiatives
They have hosted several conferences for indigenous women to have skills entering entrepreneurship and businesses
They work on a spectrum of issues like employment, labour and business, health, violence prevention and safety, justice and human rights, environment, early childcare and international affairs.
Training and Education Opportunities
St. Thomas Public Library Book lists
A collection of books and resources available at the St. Thomas Public Library to help raise awareness of the importance of reconciliation, respect, and right relations.
Movies and Videos
Inuit Film – NFB
Indigenous Films – NFB
Indigenous Made Films – Reel Canada
(Local Métis Artist’s Instagram Profile)
Elgin County Library Book Suggestions
Books for Adults
Books for Young Adults
Books for Children
a podcast hosted by Matika Wilbur (Swinomish and Tulalip) and Adrienne Keene (Cherokee Nation) to explore our relationships— relationships to land, to our creatural relatives, and to one another.
Showcasing an array of diverse voices and experiences, from remote communities to large urban centres and everywhere in between
Resources from the Event Day
Words Spoken Before All Others
Our esteemed guests opened the event with traditional words to give thanks. The address gives thanks to the Creator, all relationships, and many aspects of the environment and Turtle Island.
To write a land acknowledgment of your own here are some resources:
Strong Women’s Song
A song that came to Anishinabe kwewag and Zhoganosh kwewag while they were in solitary confinement in the Women’s Prison in Kingston Ontario. The song brought attention to the policy that stripped Indigenous women of their status if they married a non-Indigenous person.