Thursday, March 23, 2017

My participation in various activities in Québec City

Marie Émilie Lacroix (Missinak)

The weekend of February 18 and 19 , 2017 was a rich one, filled with activities and very interesting meetings. Creating links and potential projects were discussed and will come to fruition in the coming months. On Saturday, as part of Black History Month, I participated in a march with my drum with nearly 250 people in a neighborhood of Quebec City. Slogans and posters - as any good march needs - were featured. A few stops were planned during which people representing various cultures and associations addressed both the marchers and those gathered to observe the event.

Two speeches were particularly well received: that of Donna Larivière, who spoke emotionally of First Nations women and Webster with the power that she is known for.  Also appreciated was the demonstration in front of the U.S. Embassy, informing us of new and "armed" rules that Canada and our neighbors would like to promote on our side. Strong reactions were heard in the group and for a good reason.

On Sunday, a small group of First Nations people took the initiative to go to the Grand Mosque, following the warm reception received from the Islamic community, to offer our condolences. Some songs and kind words were offered - on the men’s side by Stuart Miyow from Kahnawake, and I did the same with the women. A heart to heart exchange - with tears too - not only one of compassion but also of openness. After recounting the dramatic events and their consequences, we shared hugs.  Then, as we were leaving, a woman approached me and asked me for my contact details because, she said, we cannot finish this way; we must see each other again.

After each event I found myself in a small restaurant with 7 or 8 people, some of whom I knew and others not, from different cultures and we drew up plans for future actions. Some are already being prepared with a committee and others will be realized in the summer and fall.

In conclusion, every evening I returned with the same thought heard during the day: it took a drama like this to create a movement of compassion and, I would say, "revolt" - healthy and mobilizing - which will change attitudes a little bit, one person at a time - the creation of peace.


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