"L'éveil au Cercle" - "Awakening to the Circle"

Friday, January 28, 2011

Minwaashin Lodge hosts an

Aboriginal Career Paths Event: Exploring the Journey to Post Secondary Education and Training
Wednesday, February 9, 2011 - 10:00 AM to 4 PM
University of Ottawa, Tabaret Hall, 75 Laurier Avenue

Open the updated poster and program for new and exciting information about the event.

Welcome to all Metis, First Nations and Inuit high school students and all community members.

This event is designed to uplift our Spirits and to build new pathways for our communities.

Circulate to all who may be interested. For more information, contact

Cindy Gaudet
AWPI Project Coordinator
Minwaashin Lodge

Link: Poster

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Update: Beaver Pond Forest

This note is about supporting and saving the land in the South March Highlands, It is calling for two things:

1. Your participation in a
day of prayer for the land at the Beaver Pond Forest in the South March Highlands.

What: Day of Prayer for the Land
When: Sunday 30 January at 10h00 – 16h00 (Having experienced a "pray for the land" day previously I can say that participation is itself likely to be a Meeting for Worship) Dress warmly/appropriately for the weather!
Where: Walden Parking Lot, Beaver Pond Forest
Why: Let’s get together as a community to celebrate this Forest!
Who: All people and every Faith are called to join together at the Beaver Pond Forest in Kanata.
for more details see.


Accompany/support the firekeeper at Beaver Pond Forest during the rest of this week. Please see the description in the call out below.

I was at the site yesterday and had a wonderful discussion with Chief Mireille Lapointe who works closely with Bob Lovelace on concerns of peace, indigenous rights and the land.
If you can volunteer as a firekeeper for this please contact Judy at the email below. In talking with Chief Lapointe she remembers Quakers specifically, especially those who were present from Thousand Island meeting at the "pray for the land" event last year at the Robertsville mine site. She also remarked very favourably on a book she is reading about the Seneca and their relationship with Friends. In addition to calling Judy at the email below, please let me know by phone or email, if you are able to spend some time at the sacred fire. (613-290-6609 (cell)) or if you are planning to go to the day of prayer for the land. I can take a few people in my car and others may be able to share space as well.

I am attaching a detailed letter from Algonquin Chiefs which describes the concerns they have. It is well worth reading. While we all hope that the housing "development" can be halted, there is, regardless of the outcome, much learning for all of us in this experience and our support will be well noted.

Please feel free to circulate this

Peace & Megwetch

Colin Stuart

Clerk, Peace and Social Concerns Committee

Ottawa Monthly Meeting

Call out for volunteers to take shifts tending the Sacred Fire at the Beaver Pond Forest

In a ceremony this afternoon, the Sacred Fire started and maintained by firekeeper Daniel Bernard "Amikwabe" was handed over to the community, to keep it burning. Ron "Big Bear" Goddard conducted the ceremony and Chiefs Mireille Lapointe and Paul Lamothe spoke, expressing gratitude to Amikwabe and speaking words of inspiration to the community. Amikwabe also expressed heartfelt thanks to the community for the overwhelming support and shared learning.

The community -- people of all nations-- have now been entrusted with the responsibility of keeping the Sacred Fire burning. The intent of the fire is to pray for the forest and the animals. Christopher Busby was named as the Firekeeper and given the honour and responsibility of passing on the teachings shared with him by Amikwabe and Big Bear and others and ensuring the fire is maintained in accordance with Anishinabe tradition.

The fire must be watched at all times.
Volunteers are needed to take shifts throughout the day and night. Volunteers will receive the key teachings needed for maintaining the Sacred Fire.

As Paul Renaud wrote, "It is essential that all fire keepers understand deeply that this is an altar for prayer and not a bonfire...Maintaining the Sacred Fire properly provides an excellent opportunity to educate those that visit it about traditional values and how they are providing insight into modern problems such as the protection of the South March Highlands."

Volunteers will be scheduled in shifts of 3 hours; some may choose to sign up for back-to-back shifts and stay for a 6-hour period. Details of the overnight shifts will be worked out soon.

Chris Busby is there now and overnight tonight and has lined up volunteers until Tuesday afternoon. If you think you may be able to take a shift or two, please contact Judy Makin,
Judy.Makin@opera.ncf.ca , as soon as possible.

INFO for potential volunteers:

This is a Sacred Fire, entrusted to the Ottawa community by Daniel Bernard (Amikwabe). So watch his instructions to see if you’d like to do this (
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQvF4_-jJ_8). In brief, the Fire is like an altar, even what we say in the circle around the fire ought to be a prayer for the Forest and her trees and wildlife. No booze or other drugs, profanity, or anything else that would desecrate this sacred place.

Visitors: check-in with the fire keeper so he/she can lead you over to the fire, and enter by the East gate (it will be marked with a log). You may wish to pray or meditate at the Eastern gate. If you see someone paused there, be patient, they are probably preparing to make an offering to the fire (tobacco, sage, cedar, or sweetgrasss). To avoid confusion, if you are NOT preparing to enter by the East gate, don’t stand there! Migwetch.

Please circulate widely

Aboriginal and Canadian Studies Student Association (ACSSA) Event

WHO: Anyone and everyone
WHAT: Skating on the Rideau Canal & then hotchocolate in our office (SMD 030, Café Alt)
WHEN: January 31, 2011 @ 4-6pm
WHERE: We're meeting at our office at 4PM in SMD 030 (Café Alt) to go to the canal together
HOW: Bring your skates, dress warmly and bring a mug to come share chocolate with us in our ACSSA office (SMD 030).

What could be more Canadian than an evening of skating on the Rideau Canal? Come out and join students in the Aboriginal and Canadian Studies Program for a great night of healthy fun. Its free and open to everyone, so bring a pair of skates and all of your friends and come out to celebrate this great Canadian tradition!!!

Don't forget to bring a mug with you and we will meet in the ACSSA office for hot chocolate and cookies after a wonderful night of skating. Hope to see you all there!!

Quoi de plus canadien qu'une soirée de patinage sur le canal Rideau? Venez joindre les étudiants dans les programmes des études autochtones et des études canadiennes pour une grande soirée de plaisir. C'est gratuit et ouvert à tous. Donc apportez vos patins et tous vos amis et venez célébrer cette grande tradition canadienne!

N'oublie pas d'apporter une tasse avec vous et nous nous réunirons dans le bureau AÉÉAC pour le chocolat chaud et des biscuits après. Au plaisir de vous voir là!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Update: Beaver Pond Forest

Call for Volunteers to take shifts to keep the Sacred Fire at Beaver Pond Forest going

Link: Dan Amikwabe giving the instructions for tending the Sacred Fire


Media Release
January 24, 2011
For Immediate Release

Amikwabe Passes Flame to Community to Continue Sacred Fire

(Ottawa) With the blessing of local Algonquin Chiefs, the Sacred Fire at the threatened Beaver Pond Forest continues. In a ceremony Sunday afternoon, Algonquin Medicine Man Ron “Big Bear” Goddard transferred firekeeping duties to members of the community, to take over from Algonquin Daniel Bernard "Amikwabe". Bernard started the fire January 19th and maintained it day and night, in response to a declaration by Algonquin Elder William Commanda that Christopher Busby was named as the new Firekeeper. He and other community members will share the duties of maintaining the Sacred Fire, and welcome those who wish to gather at the fire to offer prayers for the trees and wildlife of the Beaver Pond Forest and all of the South

"We all sit at the Medicine Wheel and are all children of the same mother,” explains Chief Mireille Lapointe of the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation. “We all are responsible for our home and helping each other live a good life. This is part of the Original Instructions. The sacred fire brings us together and encourages discussions and synergies that otherwise wouldn't happen. I'm deeply grateful to Daniel for his sacrifice and his example to us."

The forests near the Beaver Pond have become a rallying point for nearby residents and supporters from across Ottawa and beyond, who have campaigned steadily for the past year to protect the forests and wetlands threatened by urban expansion. Trees have already been clear-cut for the Terry Fox Drive Extension and on Richardson Ridge, and KNL Developments recently received City approval to begin clear-cutting for a subdivision of more than 3000 homes on the lands north of the Beaver Pond.

Paul Renaud, who is at the forefront of the campaign to protect the South March Highlands and his himself Metis, notes that “the continuation of the Sacred Fire by the local community expresses the unity of purpose of all communities in protecting the forest. The Sacred Fire symbolizes the Great Circle of Life of which we are all a part.”

“Daniel Amikwabe Bernard and Chief Mireille Lapointe have entrusted me with making sure the flames continue as a prayer to the Creator to protect this irreplaceable forest in urban Ottawa,” says Christopher Busby. “I and many others will attend this fire round the clock until we are told the fire can be put out. This fire has rallied the Native and non-native communities in an unprecedented way. There is great power in these flames.”

Goddard, who is with the InterTribal Medicine Council, is training the fire keepers and will be overseeing the fire.

For more information:

Christopher Busby -- 613-897-6183
Paul Renaud -- 613-277-5898
Steve Hulaj -- 613 878-1135

Exit Highway 417 at Terry Fox Drive and go North past the shopping centers. Turn Right and take Kanata Avenue up the hill. Proceed past Goulbourn Forced Road on the left and high school on right, to Walden. Turn Left on Walden and proceed to the very end.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Are you Métis or First Nations?

Do you Have Type 2 diabetes?


Do you know somebody who has Type 2 diabetes in your family or community?

If so, you may be able to participate in a study about urban First Nations, Métis, health service providers and policy makers’ understandings of susceptibility to diabetes.

I am a student who would like to talk to you about your experiences and understandings around diabetes.

Participation is voluntary. Volunteers must be over 18 years of age or older, and has been living in an Eastern Ontario urban centre for last 2 years. Interviews may last around 60 minutes.

While being in this study will not benefit you directly, the information you provide may contribute in developing improved prevention and management of diabetes for urban Métis and First Nations peoples in future.

You will receive CAN$ 20 for your participation

For more information, please call:

Hasu Ghosh

Institute of Populations Health

University of Ottawa


E-mail: hghos099@uottawa.ca


Get a Haircut for Wabano

Link: Poster

Date: Sunday January 30th, 2011
Place: 240 Sparks Street
Level C3
Ottawa, Ontario


Join us for a wash and blow dry for $30
or a wash, cut & blow dry for $45
Shear Heaven and Mix Salon & Spa will
donate 100% of the proceeds to a local charity
The Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health

Reservations begin at 10:00 am
Contact (Shear Heaven): (613) 230-9633


OR ..................................................................

Buy a Tile to Help Build the Wabano Mamawi Centre

Buy a Virtual Tile for $2.00
go to www.wabano.com/fundraising, Click "Buy a Tile"

Link: Poster

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Update on Beaver Pond Forest

"Beaver Pond tree-cutting delayed until at least Jan. 31"

Link: Ottawa Citizen Article
January 19, 2011
For Immediate Release

Algonquin Native Lights Sacred Fire to Denounce Anticipated Forest Destruction

OTTAWA – Algonquin Daniel Bernard “Amikwabe” set up a camp this morning to keep a Sacred Fire burning round the clock next to the entrance of the Beaver Pond forest at the end of Walden Drive in Kanata. This is a personal initiative “to denounce the massacre of the wildlife and this sacred forest” in response to a declaration by Algonquin Elder William Commanda that the forest is sacred.

The landowner, KNL Developments, moved tree-clearing equipment on to Beaver Pond lands January 18 after receiving City of Ottawa approval to proceed with plans to build a housing development. Development plans have been contested by citizens for decades, and protest has peaked in recent months.

Grandfather William Commanda, the most senior Algonquin Elder, has stated that the area is sacred to his people, and has written letters to all levels of government urging protection of the land. Four First Nations groups, Chiefs, and Elders have written similar letters of concern (see links below).

Archaeological artifacts have been found nearby that show evidence of pre-contact civilization. Natives and non-Natives alike are calling for a comprehensive archaeological assessment and meaningful consultations with Aboriginal peoples before any development proceeds.

On January 12, the City’s Aboriginal Affairs Advisory Subcommittee passed a resolution noting that the City of Ottawa “should be seen as an example role-model to other municipalities in Canada in respecting Aboriginal affairs” and asked the City take the lead in conducting a new archaeological survey of the entire South March Highlands.

Gordon O’Connor, MP for Carleton-Mississippi Mills, recently asked the National Capital Commission to include the Beaver Pond forest in its upcoming revision of the Greenbelt master plan. Carleton-Mississippi Mills MPP Norm Sterling wrote letters January 17 to the Premier of Ontario and several other Ministers in support of protecting this land.

Robert Lovelace, former Chief of the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation, recently wrote that “If Mayor Jim Watson were a real leader, he would know enough to realize that the incremental destruction of the last wildlands in the city needs to stop. As a real Chief, he would be on the side of the people and the land.” (see link below)

A Sacred Fire is a peaceful religious observance. Bernard, of the Algonquin Beaver Clan, invites others to join him and pray for the forest and the animals. He plans to keep the fire burning until Sunday, January 23.

Members of the community are providing support to Bernard, and will be joining him throughout the protest. All are committed to protecting the Beaver Pond forest and other environmentally sensitive areas of the South March Highlands, which is home to more than 675 species, including 19 species at risk, and recognized by the City as one of the most bio-diverse areas in Ottawa

For more information:
Steve Hulaj -- 613 878-1135

Exit Highway 417 at Terry Fox Drive and go North past the shopping centers. Turn Right and take Kanata Avenue up the hill. Proceed past Goulbourn Forced Road on the left and high school on right, to Walden. Turn Left on Walden and proceed to the very end.


Letters sent by First Nations to-date:
-http://www.renaud.ca/public/Letters_of_Support/2011-01-09 kinounchepirini_Algonquin_FirstNation_Letter.jpg

And by Grandfather William Commanda:

And by other Grandfathers:

Motion passed unanimously by Ottawa’s Aboriginal Affairs Advisory Subcommittee:

Background info:
-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZBcLvtcJBY (4 minute documentary video)
-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MhSU5heJl5o (cultural and natural heritage video)
(SMH Overview presentation)

Other Letters of Support (e.g. David Suzuki Foundation, MP Gordon O’Connor, MPP Norm Sterling) may be downloaded from

www.ottawasgreatforest.com (website for the stewardship plan to protect the SMH)
www.southmarchhighlands.ca (website for the coalition to protect the SMH)

Submission to NCC on South March Highlands:

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Beaver Pond Forest

Below is a link to video of Grandfather Commanda talking about the destruction of Beaver Pond Forest.

Also, some links to relevant articles.

Link: Grandfather Commanda on Beaver Pond Forest

Link: Grandfather Commanda's letter to the Premier of Ontario, the Mayor of Ottawa, Councilors and Others

Link: Ottawa Citizen Article

Link: Jan. 12 2011, Motion

(Thank You Ali for sending all this my way)

Year of the Forest
by Albert Dumont, Algonquin Elder, Kitigan Zibi

When blood passes through the heart of a human being, it leaves that special place invigorated in its ability to produce love for God, the family, the community and for the environment. Such is the sacredness of the heart. Such is it to be a human being.

Do the people of this city care enough about the Beaver Pond Forest in Kanata that they would pay the king’s ransom being demanded by the developer to save it? Most citizens and their duly elected municipal politicians have already pointed their collective thumbs downward.

Some twelve thousand years ago the South March Highlands where the Beaver Pond Forest is found was an island surrounded by the waters of the ice age created Champlain Sea. As the water receded, a rich and fertile land renewed its relationship with the winds. The birds, insects, animals and people living on the highlands at that time carried the seeds of trees and also pollen of the island’s plant life further and further into their ever-widening territory. The hungry soil graciously accepted the seeds and hence pushed forward into a grateful world, trees of hardwood and softwood.

It was the descendants of the island’s trees that the European settlers saw when they arrived here a few hundred years ago. Ambitious men of vision among them became lumber barons and as a direct result, Ottawa was born.

If our wonderful city brings health and prosperity to you and your family then you owe a depth of gratitude not only to the trees here but also to the island of their origins, the Beaver Pond Forest.

If you wonder why you should care whether the forest lives or dies then please, seek the counsel of your faith leader, whoever that might be. There does not exist a holy book which does not direct her worshippers to defend and love the land.

A candlelight vigil was held on the evening of January 1st, 2011 at the Beaver Pond. Well over a hundred people gathered there in acknowledgment of the United Nations proclaiming 2011 “The Year of the Forest”. While at the site it was decided that a moment of silent prayer would be offered.

The youngest candle holder standing in the soft drizzle of rain and fog was a tyke no more than 12 months old, the most senior person was a beautiful elderly woman into her 80’s. With them, the people prayed in silence for the forest to be saved. The forest, in silence too, absorbed the prayers. And the prayers have become forevermore, until the forest dies, part of her wealth in healing energy.

God lives in the forest. God does not live in your bank account. And one day, all of us will know it, even the politicians and the developer.


For more info on Beaver Pond Forest and South March Highlands:


Thursday, January 13, 2011

10th Anniversary New Sun Conference on Aboriginal Arts, Saturday, March 5

Please see the link for information on the 10th Anniversary New Sun Conference on Aboriginal Arts taking place at Carleton on Saturday, March 5. There is limited seating, and the last four years have sold out quickly. Visit www.trickstershift.com for more information, and to view an archive of the first nine years. Receipt of the registration fee will ensure you a space. I hope you can attend this premier Carleton event.


(Courtesy of Allan J. Ryan, PhD, New Sun Chair in Aboriginal Art and Culture Associate Professor, Canadian Studies/Art History, Carleton University, 202 Dunton Tower, 1125 Colonel By Drive
Ottawa, ON K1S 5B6 Canada
, Ph (613) 520-2600, Ext. 403, Fax (613) 520-3903
allan_ryan@carleton.ca , Website: www.trickstershift )

Un conférence sur la justice environnementale et les peuples autochtones organisée par le Centre d'équité en matière de droits de la personne en collaboration avec le FERA.

An Aboriginal environmental justice conference organized by the Centre for Equity and Human Rights, in collaboration with the

Toxicité, racisme et santé mentale
20 janvier 2011, 18h30-20h30, au salon de la résidence universitaire au 90 Université

Toxins, Racism and Mental Health
January 20, 6.30-8.30, at the lounge, University residence at 90 University

Mike Plain - Aamjiwnaang First Nation, Elder
Ron Plain - Trent University, Aamjiwnaang First Nation
Ben Powless - Indigenous Environmental Network

Followed by live rap/beat poetry performances on environmental (in)justice at SAW Gallery by: M.C.S., Flaw, Daar and Native Life
Photography exhibited by: Laurence Butet-Roch, Ben Powless
Featuring: DJ Bear Witness


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Movie Night Tonight

The Aboriginal and Canadian Studies Student Association (ACSSA) in collaboration with Community Life Services at the University of Ottawa is hosting a movie night.

What: Movie night, "Life as we know it"
Where: Alumni Auditorium
When: January 11, 2011 @ 8pm
How much: 2$ Admission, 2$ Refreshments

Rappel : 7e colloque des Jeunes chercheurs.


La Chaire de recherche du Canada sur la question territoriale autochtone sollicite des propositions de communication pour son 7e colloque annuel, dont le thème est
« Droits et revendications des Autochtones ». Ce colloque se tiendra à l'Université du Québec à Montréal, les 27 et 28 avril 2010.

Notez que le colloque est ouvert aux étudiants de même qu'aux chercheurs ayant terminé leurs études depuis moins de 10 ans.

La date limite pour soumettre une proposition de communication est le
1er mars 2011.

Nous vous invitons à faire circuler cet appel auprès de tous ceux qui pourraient être intéressés à y participer.

Isabelle Bouchard
Chaire de recherche du Canada sur la question territoriale autochtone
Département d'histoire (Local A-6135)
Université du Québec à Montréal
Case postale 8888, succursale Centre-Ville
Montréal (Qc) H3C 3P8
(514) 987-3000, poste 8278