Understanding and reconciliation

Letter to the Editor
Voice of Pelham.
December 4, 2016

The Short Hills Traditional Hunt:
Leading to Understanding and Reconciliation

On several of the six days of the Indigenous traditional deer hunt in Short Hills, I attended an afternoon fireside circle of friendship and indigenous information workshops organized by supporters of the Haudenosaunee Right to Hunt.

I am told the gatherings—just outside the park entrance—chose workshops , information and friendships rather than confrontation or insults; a peaceful community response!

The content and titles of workshops provided opportunity to realize the depth, history and hopes of traditional Indigenous ways:

  • Understanding Two Row Wampum and exploring ethical obligations
  • Indigenous human rights and policies.
  • Animal activist organizations supporting right to hunt.
  • A comparison of North American and South American indigenous ceremonies.
  • Women’s stories
  • Christian Peacemaker Teams
  • Clothing of our Grandmothers
  • Faith Communities organizing to improve Indigenous-Settler relationships.

Treaty rights, food security, Indigenous ways; the traditional hunt is one more expression of a worldwide change to reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.
I learned there are more than three hundred million Indigenous persons in the world.
The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples recognizes that “respect for Indigenous knowledge, cultures and traditional practices contributes to sustainable development and proper management of the environment.”
The Canadian Truth and Reconciliation Commission says the UN Declaration provides a framework for reconciliation.

Let us all look forward to reconciliation and ever growing understandings.

Donald Alexander
St. Catharines Ontario