Hamilton Chapter Canada Day Event

The Hamilton Chapter of the Council of Canadians planned an information booth and potluck on Canada Day at a local event called It’s Your Festival In beautiful Gage Park in Hamilton, Ontario, traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee and Anishnaabeg.

Besides engaging the public on issues such as clean water, the Nestlé boycott (which we were glad to find fairly well known by now) and our local Enbridge pipelines, we brought attention to the 150 + years of resistance by Indigenous peoples of this land against colonialism. One of our chapter activists bought extra Respect Indigenous Rights buttons, perfect for the day and very popular. Kathie Clark had followed up on a notice from Jim Elliott (Regina Chapter) about Briarpatch magazine’s CANADA 150 CONFRONTED July/August issue and ordered a hundred copies to give to festival attendees.

You will also see that we are making good use of the CoC button-making machine, which our chapter borrowed from Mark Calzavara in the spring. After a short tutorial from Karl, one of the chapter’s younger supporters became our star button maker, turning out People Over Pipelines buttons, as well as those supporting the release of Leonard Peltier. Despite a thunderstorm or two, we kept dry together under Kathie Clark’s tent. We had planned a picnic and a story circle on what Unsettling Canada (and ourselves) means to us, but the weather turned nasty and chilly, so one of our chapter activists generously invited us to her house for the rest of our Canada 150 Day event.

After a tasty potluck supper with eleven chapter members round Rose’s table enjoying lively political conversation, 8 people stayed for the story/talking circle. The quieter, slower pace of a story circle with its emphasis on one person speaking at a time and attentive listening, allowed us a deeper understanding of where each of us is at in our unsettling journey, and also how we as chapter activists might grow to be trusted allies of the local Indigenous land and water defenders with whom we, as Treaty People, share this land and the responsibility to care for it.

Mary Love July 2 2017

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