Dragon boat team narrowly escapes harm as car crashes into water in Port Moody

 

On Monday, May 16th, like any other training day for the Nothin Dragon, dragon boat team, before heading out on the water we were doing our warmups and stretches on the grassy picnic area to the left (west) of the boat ramp at Rocky Point Park.

Our coach, Erica was just coming in from leading the high school team she coaches and was walking down the wharf.  We heard a car engine rev, and then accelerate, causing us to look up and within the blink of an eye, a red Toyota came pummeling through the boat parking area  heading directly at our team warming up on the grass.  The Nothin Dragon Masters is made up of men and women, 50 years plus, with some of the team in their early 80s.  Several members were in the direct line of acceleration. Screams were heard and split-second decisions were made, as to which way to run to avoid being hit.

The car jumped the cement curb with increased speed heading straight through us  toward the water.  The car then made contact with a cement-secured park bench  (still holding the paddles of team members). The bench and the car then went airborne over the rock embankment and landed in the water on rocks since the tide was on its way out, finally standing still, in water only up to the front wheel-well.

This is from the vantage point of where the car drove toward the water. People in this scene were looking down at the Toyota, but this is the direct path she took when she drove through our training warmup. Photo: Robbin Whachell
This is from the vantage point of where the car drove toward the water. People in this scene were looking down at the Toyota (you can see the break in the mesh orange fence), but this is the direct path she took when she drove through our training warmup. Photo: Robbin Whachell

Coach Erica was walking her students through the gazebo, just east of the scene and saw it all take place. She ran to the car along with my teammate Charlie and she opened the passenger door. We heard the engine rev, shocked that the car was still running, and the driver still wanted the car to move.

Erica managed to get the  motor turned off. The driver was conscious, but delirious it seemed.  Several calls were made to 911 by onlookers,  and an open line to BC Ambulance was maintained until they arrived  on the scene.

Erica and Charlie stayed with the driver until the paramedics arrived. She told us later that the female driver said she was tired, and wanted to get home. She had tried several times to reengage the car to leave.

After the authorities arrived and were in control, and with all of us still very much in shock, our team gathered in a circle near the gazebo to take a moment to internalize what had just happened and to give thanks that no one was injured (save the driver).

Port Moody police officers approached us and took statements from team members. Some of our team who had arrived late, had seen the woman driving down the grass bank beside the Old Mill Boathouse just moments before the incident. The fact that no people were hurt or other vehicles damaged before she made that final leap, was a miracle.

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View from the gazebo at Rocky Point Park looking to the red Toyota that was driven through our training session, through a park bench and over the rocks. It was driven by an Asian woman approximately in her 50s (Photo: Robbin Whachell)

Our coach suggested it might be good for us to continue with our practice (for those that wanted) to shake off the experience.

On our way to the dragon boat we watched as the first-responders helped the woman from her car, and covered her with a blanket. I was surprised she was able to walk over the rocks to a stretcher. She seemed completely dazed however.

We took our seats in the Dragonfly and Firefly, utterly grateful that no one was hurt, and headed out onto the water, a little numb, until the strokes put our bodies and minds in unison.

Upon returning to shore , we were surprised to see emergency vehicles were still there. The red Toyota was hoisted out of the water by a tow truck, and we returned to the comfort of our homes and families…

(Note: Much of this account was written by, or adapted from the words of our club’s president, Brian. No point rewriting what he articulated quite accurately.)

For more photos see the team’s Facebook page HERE.

B.C. brides-to-be encouraged to enter Bahamas 16 Weddings contest

 

With The Bahamas laying off the east coast of the United States, it’s often not the destination of choice for Canadians living in the western provinces of Canada.

But, The Bahamas has come out with a contest that I am hoping will excite and chance all that.   This November, sixteen (16) Canadian couples will say ‘I Do’ in paradise, as The Bahamas is giving away 16 wedding packages valued at $12,000 (Cdn) each!

I want as many people out west to know about this contest so that  we can have at least one winner from this region.

All you have to do is enter at Bahamas16Weddings.com

and you could get married on one of the following Bahamian islands:  Abaco, Andros, Bimini, Cat Island, Grand Bahama, New Providence, Eleuthera, Harbour Island, Exuma, Long Island, San Salvador, Paradise Island, Crooked Island, and Inagua.

As editor of thebahamasweekly.com, I’ve been witness to this exciting promotion as it ran first with winners from the UK, and then a second promotion in the United States.  Now it’s Canada’s turn!

But hurry! you only have until May 16th to get your entry in. Enter today!

From left to right: Paul Strachan, Director, Bahamas Tourist Office, Canada; and Anita Johnson-Patty, General Manager, Communications, Bahamas Tourism for Canada; Robbin Whachell, Editor/Cofounder TheBahamasWeekly.com; and Graeme Franklin, Director of Sales, Western Canada, Sunwing Vacations (Photo: TheBahamasWeekly.com)
From left to right: Paul Strachan, Director, Bahamas Tourist Office, Canada; and Anita Johnson-Patty, General Manager, Communications, Bahamas Tourism for Canada; Robbin Whachell, Editor/Cofounder TheBahamasWeekly.com; and Graeme Franklin, Director of Sales, Western Canada, Sunwing Vacations (Photo: TheBahamasWeekly.com)

No purchase required. Contest begins January 8, 2016 at 12:00:01 a.m. EST and ends June 10, 2016 at 11:59:59 p.m. EST. Entry deadline: May 16, 2016 at 11:59:59 p.m. EST. Voting deadline: June 10, 2016 at 11:59:59 p.m. EST. There are a total of 16 prizes available to be won, each consisting of a round trip for two to The Bahamas, 6 days/5 nights accommodation and includes a wedding package provided by the Sponsor. Open to legal residents of Canada, excluding Quebec, who are age of majority in the province or territory of residence at time of entry. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received before entry deadline, entrants’ creativity and popularity of finalists’ entries. Limit one entry per couple. Limit of one vote per person/Facebook account. Entrant information may be used for promotional purposes. Not sponsored, endorsed, administered by or associated with Facebook. For rules and entry details click here

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My mother and I at BridalSwap.com (Photo: Cliff Ma Photography)

Bahamian delegates visited with CKPM FM radio in the Tri-Cities to help launch the contest.  Listen here:

My Allergies are in Bloom!

 

I am about as granola bar as it gets when it comes to health. I was raised on lots of vegetables, vitamins, chiropractic,  and rarely went to a doctor growing up.

When I moved back to Canada from The Bahamas, I had no idea that I’d be suffering with seasonal or spring allergies.   I was fine for the first few years as I was living in a high rise.  Then, when I moved into a house, it happened to be March and I was hit by the running nose, sneezing, swollen head and itchy  eyes. I was miserable!

I researched and tried anything alternative at first, but when I couldn’t take the pain  I went to the drugstore.  However, even taking an allergy relief tablet daily was not helping me much.   My eyes were even streaming as I slept, and I’d wake up to crusty irritable eyes. It felt like I had a bad case of the flu.

It wasn’t until the middle of my attendance at  Vancouver Fashion Week that I realized I could not take it any longer, and I went into a walk in clinic on a Saturday morning to seek help.

The Trinity for Allergies
The Trinity: Ran-Montelukast, Pataday, and Omnaris

Dr. Milne in Coquitlam came to my rescue. He told me I needed three things to get my hay fever or spring allergies down, and get them down good.  I’ve since called his prescription, “The Trinity.”   Orally I take one Ran-Montelukast; then for my eyes, one drop of Pataday; and for my nasal passage, a shot in each nostril of Omnaris.

Although the bill is around $150 for a month’s supply, I’d pay twice that, or more, to be out of the misery.   Within two days of starting on the regime (dosages are once per day) I was feeling normal again. And, it does not even make me drowsy.

The following year when I felt it coming on, I wasted little time to get my fix.  This year, I felt like I was almost going to get through it, then boom… (6 days later than last year’s date), I could not take the growing symptoms,  and went in for the Trinity.  Interestingly, the clinic receptionist was red-eyed and stuffy when I got there. You could tell she was suffering from allergies. I am not sure why she’d not talk to the doctors she works for, but I shared my story with her.

I can’t imagine how many people live with this every year, when they don’t have to.  I am certainly grateful for modern science on this one, as I am usually out-of-doors, paddling, hiking, or doing watershed and salmon related work.  Canada’s west coast is one of the most beautiful places to be in the spring, and I am glad I can get out and enjoy it!

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First signs of spring – beautiful crocuses (Photo: Robbin Whachell)

Cherish our inheritance on Louis Riel Day

“We must cherish our inheritance. We must preserve our nationality for the youth of our future. The story should be written down to pass on.” – Louis Riel

Today is Louis Riel Day,  a time to think about how this one man, a true hero, helped his  people.  My mother said she remembers a story that her grandmother would tell her of her mother feeding Riel when he was on the run.  My mother lived in Duck Lake Saskatchewan. We are Metis.

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated, “Today, I join the Métis people, Manitobans, and Canadians across the country to commemorate Louis Riel: a champion of minority rights, a Founder of Manitoba, and a key contributor to Canadian Confederation.”

Wikipedia says Louis David Riel (born 22 October 1844 – died 16 November 1885) was a Canadian politician, a founder of the province of Manitoba, and leader of the Métis people of the Canadian prairies. He led two resistance movements against the Canadian government in 1869 and 1885. He spent much of his life in exile in the United States due to his rebellions, then was eventually tried for treason in Canada, and was executed.

“I will perhaps be one day acknowledged as more than a leader of the Half-breeds, and if I am I will have an opportunity of being acknowledged as a leader of good in this great country.” – Louis Riel

“Louis Riel made important sacrifices to defend the rights, the freedoms, and the culture of the Métis people. The ideals that Louis Riel fought for – ideals of inclusiveness and equality – are now the very same values on which we base our country’s identity,” continues Trudeau’s statement.  “As we work to renew a nation-to-nation relationship with the Indigenous peoples of Canada, including the Métis people, let us take a moment to reflect on the life of Louis Riel, and celebrate the many contributions of Métis communities to our great country.”

One of Riels’ my favourite of his quotes is, “My people will sleep for one hundred years, but when they awake, it will be the artists who give them their spirit back.”  I believe this to be true as I have been watching the resurgence of indigenous arts gets stronger as the years pass.  The internet has also enriched this.  Read more of Riel’s famous quotes here.

Because of his strength and courage, we are a stronger nation today and the rights of Metis / Metisse are being acknowledged, even though we still have much further to go.  We will always remember Riel, the man who led the Red River Resistance,  a fight to maintain rights for Métis people.  #fightforyourrights

“I am glad the Crown have proved that I am the leader of the half-breeds in the Northwest. I will perhaps be one day acknowledged as more than a leader of the half-breeds, and if I am, I will have an opportunity of being acknowledged as a leader of good in this great country. ” – Louis Riel, Founder of Manitoba – Father of Confederation (1844-1885)

Trudeau statement on Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission

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“The Indian residential school system, one of the darkest chapters in Canadian history, has had a profoundly lasting and damaging impact on Indigenous culture, heritage, and language. As a father and a former teacher, I am overwhelmingly moved by these events,” said Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau on December 15th upon the release of the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

“Seven years ago the Government of Canada apologized for this abhorrent system. The apology is no less true, and no less timely, today. The Government of Canada ‘sincerely apologizes and asks forgiveness of the Aboriginal peoples of this country for failing them so profoundly’.

“Today, on behalf of the Government of Canada, I have the honour of accepting the Commission’s Final Report. It is my deepest hope that this report and its findings will help heal some of the pain caused by the Indian residential school system and begin to restore the trust lost so long ago.

“To the former Indian residential school students who came forward and shared your painful stories, I say: thank you for your extraordinary bravery and for your willingness to help Canadians understand what happened to you. As the previous government expressed so eloquently in its formal apology: your courage ‘is a testament to [your] resilience as individuals and to the strength of [your] cultures…The burden of this experience has been on your shoulders for far too long. The burden is properly ours as a government, and as a country’.

“Moving forward, one of our goals is to help lift this burden from your shoulders, from those of your families, and from your communities. It is to accept fully our responsibilities – and our failings – as a government and as a nation.

“This is a time of real and positive change. We know what is needed is a total renewal of the relationship between Canada and Indigenous peoples. We have a plan to move towards a nation-to-nation relationship based on recognition, rights, respect, cooperation and partnership, and we are already making it happen.

“A national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls is now underway. Ministers are meeting with survivors, families, and loved ones to seek their input on how best to move forward. We have also reiterated our commitments to make significant investments in First Nations education, and to lift the two per cent cap on funding for First Nations programs.

“And we will, in partnership with Indigenous communities, the provinces, territories, and other vital partners, fully implement the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, starting with the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

“We recognize that true reconciliation goes beyond the scope of the Commission’s recommendations. I am therefore announcing that we will work with leaders of First Nations, Métis Nation, Inuit, provinces and territories, parties to the Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement, and other key partners, to design a national engagement strategy for developing and implementing a national reconciliation framework, informed by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s recommendations.

“The Government of Canada is committed to walking a path of partnership and friendship with Indigenous peoples. Today’s Final Report marks a true milestone on that journey. Again I thank the survivors, their families, and communities for this monumental achievement towards healing and reconciliation. I also thank Commission Chair Justice Murray Sinclair, and Commissioners Chief Wilton Littlechild and Dr. Marie Wilson who worked tirelessly to bring to light the truth about residential schools in Canada.”

December 15, 2015
Ottawa, Ontario

Pets in a Cage – Parents in Apartments

Photo: Robbin Whachell
Father and son…   (Photo: Robbin Whachell)

We all realize the dilemma of pets in cages. We understand that they are in a foreign environment and so we compensate by taking them out, petting them, or talking to them to ensure they feel loved.

Do we give our aging parents that same amount of thought ? A talk, a walk. We walk our pets to ensure they maintain their bodily functions… do our parents not deserve the same attention to ensure they are moving their bodies?

They too deserve a pet, a soft kind word… An “I love you mom,” before they go to bed, or hang up the call. Put it on a postcard.

When you finally do reach out and touch them, you realize it’s good for both of you. Warmth grows from the inside out. You reconnect, reconfirm, that you will be there for them – for each other. They can be the ones that feel the gift, that all is safe in their world.

Just like when you were little and they tucked you into bed.

Our parents are growing older, and they need us. It’s payback time…

Edgy artists to converge at #VALT2015 (Vancouver Alternative Arts & Fashion Week)

Valt-2015I checked out Vancouver Alternative Arts & Fashion Week (VALT) for the first time last year and I loved my experience.  VALT is not your usual fashion show, and the organizers are proud of that difference.  This event brings you the quirky, unusual, and edgy ‘as the norm’, and it’s becoming quite addictive.

Now in its fourth year, #VALT2015 will be held at the Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Vancouver from November 20-22 and the three nights will depicts themes such as Terrestria, Celestia, and Aquatica.  The audience is being encouraged to dress relative to the themes of earth, sky, water on those specific nights.

“VALT differs from more traditional fashion weeks in several ways, with the most obvious being that fashion is not the entire focus of the event,” explains Kat Ferneyhough, Creative Director. “We host a visual art exhibition, screen short films, as well as present live musical acts and performance art pieces. VALT is about living in an Alternative Fashion, and it is so much more than simply showing unique clothes.”

On Friday, November 20th,  “Terrestria showcases, featuring lush forests, arid deserts, tropical flora, vast tundras, epic mountains, spacious valleys, tectonic plates and volcanic eruptions. Terrestria is slow to change, but complex and deeply interconnected. It is bound by gravity but has created creatures that are not. It is harsh one moment, loving the next, but in the end, Terrestria is home. “
Celestia follows on Saturday, November 21, with “clear blue skies, star sprinkled nights, storms, thunder, lighting, wind, rain, the vacuum of space, nebulae, suns and black holes. Celestia is the unknown heights to which we ever aspire. It is a perpetual mystery, but without Celestia, we would have no dreams for more. “
The weekend will conclude with Aquatica on Sunday, November 22, boasting cerulean waters, glass-still lakes, ponds full of lotus flowers, oceans as far as the eye can see, violent tsunamis and impossibly dark depths. “It is the magical and the terrifying. Aquatica is the unfathomable adventure that lurks just a little too close for comfort.”
Here’s the 3-day schedule:

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 2015 ~ TERRESTRIA
6PM – Doors Open, 7PM – Show Starts
19+ Event – ID Required#VALT2015NIGHT 1 ~ Theme: TERRESTRIA — Lush forests, arid deserts, tropical flora, vast tundras, epic mountains, spacious valleys, tectonic plates and volcanic eruptions. Terrestria is slow to change, but complex and deeply interconnected. It is bound by gravity but has created creatures that are not. It is harsh one moment, loving the next, but in the end, Terrestria is home.FEATURED DESIGNERS (listed alphabetically):By Trish P., Cavell, Nicole Rose Design, NoSoda Clothing, Protagonist Menswear, Trish Chung.FEATURED PERFORMERS:Kieron Rhys Lillo – MCCelestial Renee, Rainbow Road, AppleCat, Irene Eaves.

FEATURED FILM: Ceci n’est pas un Collier by German Prieto.

FEATURED ARTISTS (listed alphabetically): Áki Jónasson & Alicia Palmar, Alanna Rose Whitney, Andrew Macklin, Erik Zepka, Famous Empty Sky, Flavia Chan, House of Barnes, Irene Eaves, Jenn Brisson, Kaz Simpson, Lydia Fu, Megan Majewski, Nina Pak, Phresha, Shayne Zwickel, Starsha Battrick, Suzann Kingston, Triptych Taylor.

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2015 ~ CELESTIA

6PM – Doors Open, 7PM – Show Starts
19+ Event – ID Required

#VALT2015 NIGHT 2 ~ Theme:  CELESTIA — Clear blue skies, star sprinkled nights, storms, thunder, lighting, wind, rain, the vacuum of space, nebulae, suns and black holes. Celestia is the unknown heights to which we ever aspire. It is a perpetual mystery, but without Celestia, we would have no dreams for more.

FEATURED DESIGNERS (listed alphabetically):Beauty By Impairment Designs & Drafted Eminence, Carolyn Bruce Designs – Steampunk Jewelry, Lapin Rouge, RadioactiveNerd, Sandra.

FEATURED PERFORMERS:Tristan Risk – MC, Kevin Shazam Li, Quantum Council, Coastline Pilot, Artist Jennifer Little & Miss Morgane.FEATURED ARTISTS (listed alphabetically):Áki Jónasson & Alicia Palmar, Alanna Rose Whitney, Andrew Macklin, Erik Zepka, Famous Empty Sky, Flavia Chan, House of Barnes, Irene Eaves, Jenn Brisson, Kaz Simpson, Lydia Fu, Megan Majewski, Nina Pak, Phresha, Shayne Zwickel, Starsha Battrick, Suzann Kingston, Triptych Taylor.

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2015 ~ AQUATICA
6PM – Doors Open, 7PM – Show Starts
19+ Event – ID Required

#VALT2015 NIGHT 3 ~ Theme: AQUATICA — Cerulean waters, glass-still lakes, ponds full of lotus flowers, oceans as far as the eye can see, violent tsunamis and impossibly dark depths. It is the magical and the terrifying. Aquatica is the unfathomable adventure that lurks just a little too close for comfort.

FEATURED DESIGNERS (listed alphabetically):A.M.K, By Trish P., Marjan Rabbani, MJ Paterson, The Slug and Kraken – Starchild Creations, Zollection.

FEATURED PERFORMERS:Ivana Phoque – MC, Dezi: Performer/Artist, Messica Wild, SpeakerFace, Aaron White & Oceana, , Mermaid of the Canadian Pacific.

FEATURED ARTISTS (listed alphabetically):Áki Jónasson & Alicia Palmar, Alanna Rose Whitney, Andrew Macklin, Erik Zepka , Famous Empty Sky, Flavia Chan, House of Barnes, Irene Eaves , Jenn Brisson, Kaz Simpson, Lydia Fu, Megan Majewski, Nina Pak, Phresha, Shayne Zwickel, Starsha Battrick, Suzann Kingston, Triptych Taylor.

Tickets range from $25/evening, $60/weekend pass and $150/VIP weekend pass, and tickets are ONLY available in advance this year! More information about #VALT2015 can be found at www.VALT.caVALT’s mission is to provide an enriching alternative to the commercial fashion and gallery experience, to celebrate and promote the creativity of emerging artists & designers, and to nurture and promote the arts and fashion culture of Vancouver. VALT is run by the Style, Entertainment, Art & Media Society – SEAMS, a non-profit organization focusing on the development of local arts programming that assists emerging and fringe artists of every medium and media in the province of BC, while fostering a community of culture appreciation.

#VALT2015 Venue: Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Vancouver (50 East Pender Street, Vancouver, BC – Map: https://goo.gl/maps/mHSFzS3QZWB2)
19+ Event (ID Required) – Doors Open 6PM, Shows 7-11PM – Dress to each theme and be part of the immersive art experience!

My great-grandfather served in World War I and II

All photos seen here are from World War I, except for the bottom left, which is the Canadian Veteran Reserves. My great-grandfather, Frederick Primeau is seen standing second-left. The barber photo is actually a W.W. 1 'postcard'. Primeau is the tall man far right. He fought in Flanders Field. (Photos: Whachell/ Hinz collection)
All photos seen here are from World War I, except for the bottom left, which is the Canadian Veteran Reserves. My great-grandfather, Frederick Primeau is seen standing second-left. The barber photo is actually a W.W. 1 ‘postcard’. Primeau is the tall man far right. He fought in Flanders Field. (Photos: Whachell/ Hinz collection)

Like me, my mother (Corae Hionz, nee Rosalyn Hinz)  is a record keeper. She held on to most of our family memorabilia. She’s from the era where you appreciated everything you had, because you had little. You reused, because you had to. She kept every address book she’d ever owned, important slips of paper, and treasured family photographs. So I am not too surprised that some of these photos I post here of my great-grandfather are now 100 years old! Because of her, we have a rich history and so many more memories…

My great-grandfather, Frederick Primeau lived in Duck Lake, Saskatchewan. That’s the historic location of the Duck Lake Massacre. Her grandmother used to feed Louis Riel when he was on the run. This is rich Canadian history. Fred Primeau used to be a farmer, trapper, barber and played the juice harp. He was like my mother’s second father as her own father remarried after her mother died when she was young, and her grandmother raised my mother since birth (as her mom sewed in the furrier factory – “coats and hats for Europe” my mom says, and so she had to be away to work. Her father was away trapping for the Hudson’s Bay Company.)

Everyone loved my great-grandfather. “He was quite a man,” says my mother. “He had to tip his head to walk into most doorways in those days.” It is my great-grandfather Primeau who carries the Native bloodline of Cree and Sioux; French-Canadian on the other side. We are Metis.

These photos are from World War 1 (1914 – 1918) when he fought near Flanders Field in France, and used to use his barber skills to cut the soldiers hair when they were not out fighting. This photo is actually a W.W. 1. ‘Postcard’ and he is the tall one.

Some of these photos of him are when he was older when W. W. 2 (1939-1945) came along, and he joined the Canadian Veteran Reserves in British Columbia. My mother tells us that they used to listen to the radio about the horror that was Hitler and Fred Primeau was adamant about opposing this evil power. She said it gave her nightmares and to her, Hitler was like the devil, and she was scared witless that he would come to Canada.

These wars are behind us now, and we now have the memories and the tribute we pay to those who fought and fell. I cannot imagine the hardship it put on our men, our women and their children, but I am grateful for our freedom and pray we never have to experience war in our future.

‪#‎LestWeForget‬ ‪#‎RemembranceDay‬ ‪#‎Memories‬ ‪#‎FrederickPrimeau‬

Grand Chief Nepinak meets Jean Chretien

12184309_10153641873265891_5211550383848923950_oGrand Chief Derek Nepinak wrote the following on Facebook after attending the swearing in of Justin Trudeau as Prime Minister of Canada.  His message was posted with a photo of himself with Former Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Jean Chretien at the event:

In 1969, men like our aged Honourable Prime Minister Jean Chretien put together a plan to erase the Indian Act with no consideration to anything but a backdrop of Eurocentric political, social and economic systems to absorb every indigenous man, woman, child and elder. It was an effort to create a political and social hegemony that would ease the conscience of many who knew that something was wrong with how we were being treated by the colonial state…But it didn’t work.

This ‘White Paper’, (one of many ‘white papers’ the government creates for a multitude of policy plans), disturbed the slumber of the giant that is us. In the wake of the disturbance, the political infrastructure of the past 45 years was created. Great men and women rose up to organize our response from all over turtle island. The legacy of that great initiative is not lost on our generation as we grapple with the challenging times and the tough questions about notions of our own nationhood and what that will mean in the coming year.

I stood in Rideau Hall on November 4, 2015, adorned in the feathers of the eagle, wearing the colours given to me in Anishinabe ceremony, wearing my treaty medallion. I took his hand and I shook it, which I think may have shook him entirely. He’s an aged man now, dressed well for important days in the transition of the times that we are in. His smile is uneasy and uncomfortable. Not sure if that comes out in the photo or not.. The agenda that he helped bring did not succeed in advancing the extinction of us. None of them have, and none of them will…

Thats the beauty of it…

Meegwetch Mr. Prime Minister,  it was an honour…

Spending Time in Nature – My Daily Om

Because we instinctively know that nature is good for us on many levels, it’s not unusual to feel powerfully drawn to it.

I can truthfully say that nature has provided me comfort, more than anything these last few years. My work at the creek or walks in the forest, or hikes up the mountain provide much needed breaks in my maddening days of internet, typing, writing, and the busyness of my life as a mother of four, and now the caretaker of  a senior parent…

This message from DailyOm.com today was spot on, and so I wanted to share it here, along with a photo and video I took. The following is written by Madyson Taylor:

In this modern age, we spend so much time indoors, focused on the busyness of our lives and disconnected from the earth. But much of what we truly need can only be found under the naked sky, alongside tall trees, on open plains, or in the sound of running water. Spending time in nature allows us to commune with other living beings and to find comfort in the nurturing embrace of Mother Earth. You can’t help but experience a different sense of self while walking in a wood or traversing a mountainside. Being in nature connects us to the earth, grounding us as we walk, unhindered by concrete, upon her. Surrounded by other living beings, both bigger and smaller than we are, we remember that human beings are simply one form of life in this vast universe.

Fall trees at Town Center Park, Coquitlam, BC, Canada (Photo: Robbin Whachell)
Fall trees at Town Center Park, Coquitlam, BC, Canada (Photo: Robbin Whachell)

Because we instinctively know that nature is good for us on many levels, it’s not unusual to feel powerfully drawn to it. Even if you live in a city or find it difficult to travel to a forest or the countryside, there are a myriad ways to reconnect with nature. When you step out of your door each morning, pause for a minute and close your eyes long enough to let your senses absorb your surroundings. Listen and breathe deeply, until you hear the wind rustling through branches, smell rain on damp grass, and see the reflection of leaves brushing up against windowpanes. If you have time, crouch down and closely examine any nearby grass and soil. The sights, sounds, smells, and sensations we experience that are part of nature can remind us of all the gifts Mother Earth grants us each day.

“Spending time connecting with nature nourishes the soul, reminds you that you are never truly alone, and renews you by attuning you to the earth’s natural rhythms. Taking a walk under the stars or feeling the wind on your face may be all it takes for you to reconnect with nature. Remember, you are as much a part of nature as are the leaves on a tree or water bubbling in a brook.” – Daily Om

The changing seasons... Blackberry leaves turn yellow (Photo: Robbin Whachell)
The changing seasons… Blackberry leaves turn yellow (Photo: Robbin Whachell)

I believe in a better world…