Three-day Indigenous Knowledge Gathering focuses on the future with the help of the past

Son Ha Tran

News Reporter

A three-day Indigenous symposium ended its session dealing with the topic of “passing knowledge to younger generations” at Humber College’s North campus.

“We believe in what we’re doing, we believe in the voice of our young people and what’s on their minds,” said Jim Dumont, of the Ojibway-Anishinabe of the Waubezhayshee (Marten) Clan during the three-day Indigenous Knowledge Gathering.

“When we talk about young people, we’re talking about the future,” said Dumont, who is also a professor at Humber College in Indigenous Knowledge Certificate program, on March. 24 to 26.

Regina Hartwick, manager of the Aboriginal Resource Centre at Humber College, said the gathering was a good opportunity for Indigenous people to strengthen the connection among Indigenous community members and for elders to meet the “coming generations.”

“One of the reasons we’re here is to bring our families together, to join our dialogue about the future we concern about,” Hartwick said.

“We trust in envisioning the future, in education, the elders in our communities are waiting for us,” she said. “They’re waiting for us to bring them tobacco and ask them questions.”

Speakers discussed and emphasized the need for “Retaining Indigenous Knowledge” and “Moving Forward,” while also reaffirming reconciliation is “creating paths through learning and action”.

Dumont said young Indigenous people have the mandate to hold on to the “the spirit of our cultures.“We can’t keep our spirit, our culture without asking about our clans, without offering tobacco,” he said. “The way we receive our knowledge from our creators, we do things in our cultural ways, because that’s our nature.”

“I was amazed by the context and what’s going on, because it addressed what we, native people have to deal with, every day,” said Nimkii Osawamick, a musician, founder of Dedicated Native Awareness (D.N.A.) Stage, after attending the IKG 2018.

“It’s really good to hear people out there, people like us, sharing their stories and be a part of our communities,” Osawamick said.

“We, as the next generation, we’re always honouring our ancestors and keep in mind that we are the next leader of tomorrow,” he said. “We have to give much as we can to our people, to let them know that we are not alone.”

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