Seeds of Good Life project by Curve Lake First Nation
The same week Canadians received the report of Justice Sinclair from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Chief Phyllis Williams of Curve Lake First Nations and Dr. Betsy McGregor, resident of Lakefield and Peterborough Rotary Club member – both of whom championed the concept and vision for local action - were invited by Senator Lillian Dyck and MP Dr. Carolyn Bennett to Ottawa to give an early glimpse into a unique local project entitled Seeds of Good Life.
Focused on three themes; preventive health practices, preservation of language and culture, and tools for communities to survive traumatic events including residential schools, the project was presented in January at the Harvard Kennedy School as a unique example of partnerships, process and product.
A digital story-telling endeavor, Trent University student videographers filmed Curve Lake youths interviewing elders recording their stories and revealing techniques that enabled elders to stay strong. School children at Curve Lake have painted pictures to add colour to a booklet of the 12 elders' stories to be published in Ojibway and English this summer in time for a community-wide workshop.
‘Seeds of Good Life’ is the vision of Chief Williams and the Curve Lake community and council led by a steering group of leaders in health, education, youth and culture supported by the Rotary Club and Trent University. Close to 20 Rotarians led by president Kevin Duguay, Trent University led by Adam Hopkins Director of the First People's House of Learning and Curve Lake participants accompanied the presentation to Senators and MPs.
At a time in our Canadian history when the truth of the damaging and devastating treatment of First Nations Peoples has been laid bare by the Commission and 94 recommendations released to Canadians, ‘Seeds of Good Life’ is being heralded as a path-breaking in building bridges and moving forward with actions and reconciliation.
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