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

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

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