This morning, RSEKN hosted Kevin Lamoureux, educational lead for the Truth and Reconciliation Committee, for a talk about the 94 Calls to Action at the Ottawa Little Theatre. Algonquin Elder, Verna McGregor, opened the RSEKN event with a smudging and welcome to Turtle Island. “We have a responsibility to take care of the Earth”, Verna said, as she shared the history of sacred areas in Ottawa and its rivers from 4 directions. She gave a breakdown of the residential school system and the impact it has/had on our community: “What we do to the Earth, we do to ourselves”, and that part of the goal of reconciliation is “teaching children self-sustainability so they can learn to paddle their own canoe.”
Following Verna, Kevin Lamoureux introduced himself from the Eagle Clan and opened his talk by sharing the Journey of the Nishyuu Walkers. He highlighted the significance of the 94 Calls to Action as “our road map home”, and defined reconciliation as “the exercise and business of repairing a relation, of coming back together after being torn apart.”
Kevin also addressed student teachers and teacher candidates on how to build partnerships: “Be parts of circles of knowledge”. Oftentimes, educators are not and do not consider themselves experts on Indigenous Education; however, Kevin made a very crucial distinction between two types of errors: “Doing the mistake of trying to do something good is NOT the same as the mistake of doing nothing at all, the mistake of omission.”
Kevin reminds us: “Canada is a country that began in partnerships.” All Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples are treaty peoples. And when do these treaties expire?
“As long as the sun shines, the grass grows, and the rivers flow.”
For more information, see the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Contact Kevin Lamoureux at and follow his twitter @KevinLamoureux