PORT HOPE — A three-day event in Port Hope culminated with a Kairos Blanket Exercise.
Full Circle Days was a series of activities aimed at fostering a better understanding of Canada’s shared history with its Indigenous peoples from June 14 to 16. Hosted by Green Wood Coalition, the event welcomed Indigenous voices to be heard through educational and cultural activities, anchored around Port Hope’s Memorial Park.
At opening, MPP Northumberland-Quinte West MPP Lou Rinaldi spoke about the $4,000 grant awarded to the Full Circle Days initiative. The initiative is just one of 367 events and celebrations that Ontario is funding across the province for its 150th anniversary.
“Our government is helping Green Wood Coalition celebrate this milestone in a way that is meaningful to our community. This investment will put a spotlight on our region, highlighting our diversity, heritage, and culture for residents and tourists to enjoy and discover,” said Rinaldi.
The event included workshops with local elementary schools, free community workshops and speakers, along with a traditional encampment in Memorial Park.
The final event was the Kairos Blanket Exercise, led by members of First People’s House of Learning at Trent University. The exercise is an interactive learning experience covering 500 years of Indigenous rights history in an hour-and-a-half. It was developed in response to the 1996 Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, which recommended education on Canadian-Indigenous history as one of the key steps to reconciliation.
“I think we’re at a critical point in the history of relations between settlers and Indigenous people, and we need to be creating spaces like Full Circle Days where we can encounter each other to explore ways of listening, and to think about our part in the healing process,” said David Sheffield, community director for Green Wood Coalition.
by Karen LongwellKaren Longwell is the News Editor for the Northumberland News.