Thursday, December 16, 2010

Meeting with Villagers Media, Ottawa, Dec. 13, 2010

Each summer the Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs (SCAA) of the Assembly of Western Catholic bishops puts on a Directions for Aboriginal Ministry in St. Albert for both aboriginal and non-aboriginal people involved in the Church. The theme was First Nations Spirituality - Gift to the Church, and was focused on the Medicine Wheel as a catechetical and healing tool. Sr Eva Solomon csj, who heads up what is called the Building Bridges project, coordinated the session along with a team of other involved people.

This year Villagers Media of Toronto filmed the session and are producing a series of catechetical video modules centered on the Medicine Wheel complete with Study Guides, Lesson Plans and Resource materials, based on their filming.

The realization that the work of Villagers connected with the aims of the CCEPIRSS board (Corporation of Catholic Entities party to the Indian Residential School agreement) led to a meeting of Villagers, + Sylvain Lavoie OMI and Sr. Eva with Gerry Kelly, consultant to the board.

The umbrella concept for this meeting was the awareness that the Canadian public is not so much not interested in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission now traveling the country, but actually actually staying away because it is a court issued process cast in a victim/perpetrator framework the leaves no room at the table for the ordinary person who doesn't identify with either of those two criteria. There is a need for a more holistic model for healing the hurts of residential school. The work of Villagers was seen as a positive move towards realizing that goal and so a meeting was set up to explore their work and discuss possible ways of funding that work.

Picture here are Dawn Deme and Darren of Villagers, Daryold Winkler of Kateri Ministries in Ottawa, + Sylvain Lavoie OMI, chair of SCAA, Gerry Kelly, consultant to CCEPIRSS and Sr. Eva, director of Building Bridges project. They are viewing the first module of the planned series and delighted with what they are seeing.

You can check the Villagers website for more information on them and on this project.

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