The following information is protected by smudge that represents our commitment/contract to this work and the voice of knowledge keepers in our collective journey ahead.
On March 5, 2019 members of VCC, the Enough for all Strategy refresh committee and the Indigenous Advisory committee were invited to sit in circle for a truthing and guidance by a group of local elders representing the diversity that exists within our Indigenous Nations. With elements of oral practice and ceremony facilitated by Piikani Elder, Reg Crowshoe and all elders present, our circle began and is intended to be a crucial piece of this strategy for all entities who will adopt this work moving forward.
Enough for All 2.0 is a Western Non-Indigenous written construct. The Indigenous approach is one of story. To be successful we need to bring the two approaches together. They need to work together. Ceremony is a key component. The Elder’s Circle is a “contract or agreement” of our joint commitment to implement the strategy together from both of our world views. The Elders provided further thoughts, words of wisdom, ideas on how to work forward in a parallel way with both a western way and Indigenous, wise, ways of knowing.
“They talked about our way of life, they talked about our stories. In our way of life, our belief and our laws come from the land, come from natural laws. We work together in parallel. Whatever you do, needs to be culturally translated and culturally interpreted. Whatever elders say must be culturally translated and interpreted into English. His analogy of a team of horses working together. The knowledge and the systems are what we must parallel so that we can work together. If we don’t work with Indigenous knowledge within the systems, then I don’t think Indigenous people will have a buy-in or anything to grab on to and then programs will be rolled out over them.”
The insights and wisdom shared in the circle will inform the strategy’s implementation. The Indigenous definition of poverty is Kimaataapiiski and explains what poverty means to Indigenous People. Kimmaapiitisiin is the compassion and humbleness to help poverty. The overarching theme centred on incorporating Indigenous ways of knowing into the work of agencies, sectors and systems who adopt Enough for All 2.0. Ongoing engagement of Elders, through ceremony will be incorporated into the ways we continue to convene and mobilize the work of poverty reduction in the community.