A short journal as an attendee of the event...
KEHEWIN LANGUAGE AND CULTURAL SYMPOSIUM
KEHEWIN CREE NATION (KCN), TREATY NO. 6 TERRITORY
February 15-17, 2017
“To strive to retain Cree Language with Culture”
|KCN Chief Brenda John - Tawaw|
However, on a more personal journey, this was a great opportunity to network with others of like minds, support each other on this journey of reclamation, and reiterate a message that we are all interconnected on this journey together. After all, language is a vital tool way beyond communication.
The three-day conference was very well organized and planned with exceptional Keynote Speakers Belinda Daniels and Solomon Ratt and wide variety of Presenters. It was hard to decide what sessions to attend as some were scheduled longer than others and overlapped. I was left with having to let go
The first session I attended was Darlene Auger’s and I walked away more enlightened on how she started her journey to start the Swing Exercises. I heard of her work years ago and want to participate in it sometime to assist in furthering my own healing pimohtewin. After she shared her story, she
The second presenter I briefly listened to was Jerry Saddleback and I walked away with another part of the Creation Story as many are aware, takes days to hear. However, grateful for the piece I did hear on a spirit’s journey on sharing some sacred medicines across our lands even as far as south of the border, before those superficial borders were invented by our colonizers. Every time I have an opportunity to hear him speak, I am grateful for him and the time and energy he puts towards sharing the stories. It is always a blessing to hear him, even if only for a short time.
The third session I attended was with Elmer Ballantyne from Saskatchewan. He shared part of his life and expanded on the importance of kinship and why some of the words are the way they are as they tie into teachings and roles of how we interact with each other. For example, in-laws would not talk to each other as a sign of great respect and find other ways to communicate and often through others or animals or objects. It always is interesting to hear because over the years I have seen some of these behaviors demonstrated and sometimes some didn’t know why, they just did it. Some of this knowledge was shared and some was blood memory. Kinship is always interesting as the connections are not always simple but the kinship system is very complex but also very efficient.
I did walk away with many pictures, some video of wise words from people like KCN Councillor
Ben Badger, and my peers. It was also great to see so many attend as the even was full. I really hope there are more conferences like this locally, with easy access, for our people to attend as the registration was minimal and it included meals and evening entertainment. This was what I liked about it too, welcoming environment, fun, professional but laid back, healthy meals, easy to access and attend, and affordable…but most importantly the exercising of our language and culture!
Memorable three days on Treaty No. 6 Territory reclaiming & resurgence of language and culture...