A Sacred Fire was lit on June 1, 2021 in ceremony for the Children found buried in Kamloops Residential school, at the former site of St. Joseph’s Residential school. From this Fire, a group of volunteers took the embers on June 4, 2021 to Mount McKay on Fort William First Nation and continued the Sacred Fire on the mountain. In conversation with an Elder, a vision of the Sacred Fire continuing was suggested to the Group. The three took it upon themselves to make this vision come true, and the Orange Abinoojiinh Movement began. The Ceremony was re-opened every four days, moving the Fire to over 14 locations across the city, including a final closing Ceremony and Pow Wow gathering on Mount McKay on September 30, 2021.
This Movement had no official sponsor or overhead organization. The organizers were able to connect with both First Nation and Non-Indigenous partners and volunteers to ensure all aspects were successfully executed including: funding, safety protocols, access, food, cultural activities, ceremonies, sharing circles and community gatherings, hosting of events and guests, speakers, feasts (sometimes for over 300 guests), entertainment, communication plans, recruitment and direction for over 200 volunteers, and gathering of thousands of guests, Elders, families both from the Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities from across the country and even internationally.
This Movement required organizational skills to execute each four day ceremony. This included: finding sites, working with the host (City, College, University, community organization, etc) for logistics, security, access, sanitation (access to bathrooms and portable toilets), wood, food, shelter, entertainment, cultural activities, ceremonial protocols (Shkaabes, Pipe Carriers, Grandfather drums, hand drummers, singers, Elders, children, etc) ensuring the access to water and electricity, fundraising for expenses (food, water, wood, gas, sacred medicines, cultural items, shelters, chairs, cots, tents, etc), as well as hosting the Ceremonies, activities and guests 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The grandeur of the Movement impacted thousands of guests including international travellers, cross country travellers, Jagmeet Singh (Leader of the federal NDP), local Ministers and MPs, MPPs, City councillors, and various leaders of organizations and communities. Communications included interviews and outreach through social media, radio, print and television media, podcasters, and community organization communications.
As part of our Community partners and supports, we wanted to thank you for your generous support and participation in 2021, and hope that once again, our Community will come and help us provide a Gathering for all peoples to honour the Children and Survivors. We welcomed thousands of people last year and know how healing the experience was for everyone.
We are reaching out for donations from our community partners and individuals who may want to help as we host a Sacred Fire on June 2-6, 2022 on Mount McKay. Your support and this fundraising is so important to the success of the Gathering. Your donations help support things like:
- Wood (approx. $1000)
- Porta-potties (approx. $800)
- Shelter (tents and pop-up canopies) (approx. $500)
- Meals for the fire keepers, organizers and guests (approx. $1000)
(including Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, tea, coffee, drinks, water for the four days and nights)
- Warm blankets, hats and gloves (approx. $200)
- Medicines (tobacco, cedar, sage, sweetgrass), (approx. $400)
- Activity supplies and give-away gifts for guests (approx $200-400)
MONETARY DONATIONS WELCOME
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Miigwetch for your support!
Contact Esther Maud firstname.lastname@example.org or Yuk-Sem Won (807) 621-4972