Healing and Reconciliation Week 2019

In friendship, Medicine Hat College and the Miywasin Friendship Center are honoured to collaborate to bring our community the 5th Annual Healing and Reconciliation Week. Filled with Indigenous culture, education, and resources, these events are free to the community of Medicine Hat and surrounding areas.

Healing and Reconciliation Week is intended for Indigenous and non-Indigenous participants from all walks of life who are open to being a part of an intensive learning experience regarding the past, present and future of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and Residential Schools Legacy. Participants will be engaged through a series of cultural presentations, interactive workshops, a walk for reconciliation and much more! An environment of knowledge-sharing will set the stage for participants to be involved in our shared history as well as our shared reconciliation. Healing and Reconciliation week has been created as a respected collaboration with the guiding principle of walking toward a path of reconciliation now, and for our future generations.

Hosted by the Indigenous Support Office and Indigenous Peoples Circle of MHC, Miywasin Friendship Centre and the NIB Trust Fund.

 College Logo  Miywasin logo  NIB logo

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

FEBRUARY 25 / Pipe Ceremony, Sacred Fire, & More

Pipe Ceremony
Time: 7 – 8:30 a.m.
Location: Medicine Hat College (Crowfoot Room)

Pipe ceremony is held to ensure the events during the week are done in a good way. The ceremony is held to make the commitment to reconciliation in our City of Medicine Hat and to offer prayers to continue our journey in reconciliation. Elder Harry Watchmaker will be our pipe carrier for this ceremony. **All ages welcome to attend  


Sacred Fire / Lunch
Time: 9 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.  / 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Location: Saamis Tipi / Medicine Hat College (Crowfoot Room)

Elders will offer prayers and light a fire to honour reconciliation in Medicine Hat. The fire will be lit for the morning and the Elder will welcome to join in an offering ceremony for the community. The event will finish with a drum and dance. After the Sacred Fire ceremony, all community are invited back to Medicine Hat College for lunch and refreshments. **All ages welcome to attend  


Red Dress Project
Time: 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.  
Location: Medicine Hat College (Centennial Hall)

The Red Dress Project is held to honour all Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. A display of red dresses and facts about Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women will fill Centennial Hall at MHC. Local powwow dancers will showcase traditional dance to bring awareness about this ongoing issue.Multi-talented Jerry First Charger (JJ Charger) from the Blood Tribe will also be performing, sharing his talents of playing the flute, singing, and hoop dancing. **All ages welcome to attend


Making Reconciliation Happen
Time: 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Location: Esplanade Arts and Heritage Centre (Theatre)

This event is targeted for youth in hope to educate and inspire them to walk a path of reconciliation in the community. Special guests, actor Joel Oulette and artist Josh Cross, will showcase their talents and commitment to reconciliation. Hypnotist Kiit Kiitokii from Pikanii, AB will be performing to close out the fun filled and educational evening. **Ages 10 and up welcome to attend

FEBRUARY 26 / Conference Workshops (Registration required)

Stephanie Harpe: Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women
Time: Session A: 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. / Session B: 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Location: Esplanade Arts and Heritage Centre (401 1st Street SE)

After the murder of her mother and friends in Edmonton, Stephanie has been advocating for murdered and missing Indigenous women through speech and song including the popular song “Somebody’s Daughter.” She was on the cover of Metro newspaper, and presented at REDx TALKS, Edmonton. She spoke at Spirit of our Sisters Gathering, alongside Dr. Gabor Mate, Rinelle Harper, Tantoo Cardinal, and Wab Kinew. Her mission is to share her story and her opportunities with Indigenous peoples through her business, music, and public speaking engagements. We are very honoured to have Stephanie attend our event and we are confident that she will inspire and motivate many women with her life story, how she has survived many hardships, and has exceled into a powerhouse performer and advocate.


Noreen Demeria: Expressive Arts
Time: Session A: 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. / Session B: 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Location: Medicine Hat College (299 College Drive) / Crowfoot Room (F Wing)

This workshop will explore how we perceive Reconciliation. Participants will contemplate how they intersect with it in society and also from a more personal place. Exploring both the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action and The United Nations Declaration of Rights of Indigenous People’s Frameworks will provide participants with a catalyst (a person or thing that precipitates an event) to consider how they can move and take a proactive stand.


David Resoulte: Medicines and Addiction
Time: Session A: 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. / Session B: 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Location: Miywasin Friendship Centre (517 3rd Street SE)

The first half of the workshop will consist of a basic medicine wheel teaching, basic knowledge of medicines used by Indigenous people and how people can use them in their daily lives. The second half will be a discussion on how to use culture and identity as intervention/treatment for addictions. Participants will be in a sharing circle for this workshop. David expresses, “The reason I like to use circle to do this, is to allow the people to experience the power of our ways first hand and to feel Spirit work through us all”.  

** Please note there will be smudging in the workshop**  


Yvonne Poitras Pratt:
Métis perspectives on reconciliation

Time: 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Location: Medicine Hat College (299 College Drive SE) / S159 (S Wing)

Since the TRC issued its 94 Calls to Action in 2015, a growing number of Canadians have woken up to the realities of how Canada has treated the First Nations people in Canada. Far less is known of how the Métis people of Canada were involved in the residential school system, and how a colonial past has implicated their contemporary lives. As a Métis scholar, Yvonne Poitras Pratt has worked with her home community of Fishing Lake Métis Settlement to create a series of digital stories that allow viewers to witness community remembrances from their unique perspectives and to work towards reconciliation for all of Canada’s First Peoples.  


Paticia Danyluk & Yvonne Poitras Pratt:
Teaching teachers about reconciliation

Time: 1 p.m. – 4 p.m .
Location: Medicine Hat College (299 College Drive SE) / S144 (S Wing)

Educators, and other caring professionals, have stepped up to the challenge of responding to the 94 Calls to Action issued by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. As faculty members at the Werklund School of Education, teacher educators Yvonne Poitras Pratt and Patricia Danyluk present their reconciliation model as a way into the difficult work of reconciling past injustices. They also share stories of how students enrolled in their “Call to Action” program have extended their work outward in compelling and diverse ways.    


REDx Talks
Time: 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Location: Medicine Hat College (299 College Drive SE) / Eresman Theatre (Centre Core)

Three Indigenous speakers will share their REDx Talks. REDx Talks express and embody Indigenous worldviews from elders, teachers, youth and allies in cities across Canada, and are also aimed at celebrating Indigenous accomplishments and dispelling myths about Indigenous people. **All ages welcome

REDx Talk Speakers include:

  • Bertha Wirch Indigenous Elder/Survivor of Residential School, Betah Wirch, will discuss her experiences in Residential School and the challenges that she encountered while attending shaped her life significantly.
  • Stephanie Harpe Indigenous Actor/Singer, Stephanie Harpe, will share her story of “Survivor to Successor”. A unique story of a Residential School survivor that had many adversities as a direct result of attending Residential Schools. Stephanie will also share how she managed to overcome her experiences and become successful in her career and personal life.  
  • Whitney Ogle Indigenous Activist, Whitney Ogle, will share her journey of Walking in Two Worlds. She will explore her understanding and experience of linear and circular concepts in mental health, community, education and individuals. She will share her journey of walking in two worlds and the triumphs and pain that have shaped who she is today.

FEBRUARY 27 / Conference Workshops (Registration required)

Darrell Willier: Circle of Courage and Me
Time: 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Location: Medicine Hat Public Library (414 1st Street SE)

A look at using the Circle of Courage (positive behavior program) to enhance your lifestyle. The Circle of Courage is based upon First Nations traditional teachings.


Stephanie Harpe: Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women
Time: 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Location: Esplanade Arts and Heritage Centre (401 1st Street SE)

After the murder of her mother and friends in Edmonton, Stephanie has been advocating for murdered and missing Indigenous women through speech and song including the popular song “Somebody’s Daughter.” She was on the cover of Metro newspaper, and presented at REDx TALKS, Edmonton. She spoke at Spirit of our Sisters Gathering, alongside Dr. Gabor Mate, Rinelle Harper, Tantoo Cardinal, and Wab Kinew. Her mission is to share her story and her opportunities with Indigenous peoples through her business, music, and public speaking engagements. We are very honoured to have Stephanie attend our event and we are confident that she will inspire and motivate many women with her life story, how she has survived many hardships, and has exceled into a powerhouse performer and advocate.


Noreen Demeria: Expressive Arts
Time: 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Location: Medicine Hat College (299 College Drive SE) / Crowfoot Room (F Wing)

This workshop will explore how we perceive Reconciliation. Participants will contemplate how they intersect with it in society and also from a more personal place. Exploring both the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action and The United Nations Declaration of Rights of Indigenous People’s Frameworks will provide participants with a catalyst (a person or thing that precipitates an event) to consider how they can move and take a proactive stand.    


David Resoulte: Medicines and Addiction
Time: Session A: 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. 
Location: Miywasin Friendship Centre (517 3rd Street SE)

The first half of the workshop will consist of a basic medicine wheel teaching, basic knowledge of medicines used by Indigenous people and how people can use them in their daily lives. The second half will be a discussion on how to use culture and identity as intervention/treatment for addictions. Participants will be in a sharing circle for this workshop. David expresses, “The reason I like to use circle to do this, is to allow the people to experience the power of our ways first hand and to feel Spirit work through us all”.  ** Please note there will be smudging in the workshop**  


Blanket Exercise
Time: 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Location: Esplanade Arts and Heritage Centre (401 1st Street SE)  

The KAIROS Blanket Exercise™ program is a unique, participatory history lesson – developed in collaboration with Indigenous Elders, knowledge keepers and educators – that fosters truth, understanding, respect and reconciliation among Indigenous and non-indigenous peoples.

During the blanket exercise, participants walk on blankets representing the land and into the role of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples by reading scrolls and carrying cards which ultimately determine their outcome as they literally ‘walk’ through situations that include pre-contact, treaty-making, colonization and resistance. Participants are guided through the experience by trained facilitators (who read the script and assume the roles of European explorers and settlers) and Indigenous Elders or knowledge keepers. The exercise concludes with a debriefing, conducted as a `talking circle’, during which participants discuss the learning experience, process their feelings, ask questions, share insights and deepen their understanding. **Ages 10 and up

FEBRUARY 28 / Walk for Reconciliation

Walk for Reconciliation
Time: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Location: Esplanade Arts and Heritage Centre / Memorial Veterans Park

Join us as we walk for reconciliation! We will start with a ceremony at the Esplanade, along with prayer/education from our Elder Harry Watchmaker. We will then walk down River Road with ceremony. At this time, participants are welcome to offer tobacco for prayers. We will continue to walk to Memorial Park where we will be lead in song and dance by the Buffalo Calf Drum Group. ** All ages welcome

MARCH 1 / Métis Presentations [9 a.m. - 4 p.m.]

Métis Education Day
Location: Esplanade Arts and Heritage Centre (401 1st Street SE)

Morning Sessions
Time: 9 a.m.- 12 p.m.

  • Sharing Our Story by Marie Schoenthal This presentation is a cultural experience into the past with Métis Elder Marie Schoenthal.  Marie lived on the Métis Road Allowance until she was 15 years old, and shares her experiences of living off the land, harvesting animals, berries and living in a small one-room house with her family.  Marie grew up speaking Michif, the traditional language of the Métis people and discusses the transition school and learning English.  This in-depth story shares the hardships of living off the land, and the abuse that she faced growing up.  This is a once in a lifetime experience that journey’s you back to the early 1900s in Canadian history, Marie’s story is educational, heartwarming, engaging and is appropriate for all ages.
  • Métis Cultural Experience by Amy Cross Cultural education through music and dance.  This experience will teach about Métis history and the unique culture. This presentation will finish with music and dance.  **All ages welcome

Afternoon Sessions
Time: 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.

  • Who are the Métis, History and Rights Cases by Jason Madden
  • The Alberta Métis Perspective: the growth of the Métis Nation of Alberta from its origins to today by Audrey Poitras

View speaker bios

* Please register with Marina at the Miywasin Friendship Centre at 403.526.0456.