Manitoba Justice and Peace Committee

Return to news

August 10, 2022 – On this lovely afternoon with sunny blue skies and a cooling breeze, the Manitoba Justice and Peace Committee held an Indigenous event. The park-like grounds of Despins Residence in St. Boniface were just the place to have a mini pow wow. Comfortable lawn chairs were set up in a semi-circle and spaced out to allow for a bit of social distancing, all shaded by beautiful maple and elm trees. The gathering space surrounded a young tamarack tree planted in honour of Creation last spring.

The committee had as its goal to take another step in healing and reconciliation between all of us in Canada. Part of the goal was to deepen spiritual knowledge and kinship through drum and dance. This past year the Justice and Peace Committee did focus on deepening our knowledge of Indigenous realities of the past in our shared history. The workbook “Listening to Indigenous Voices” put forward by the Jesuit Forum for Social Faith and Justice in 2021 was studied by many small SNJM groups with associates and partners since the General Chapter of 2021.

Emcee, Yvonne Massicotte, SNJM, opened the activity with greetings and the Treaty Land Acknowledgement.  Prayerfully we brought to mind all our relations of creation which included land and people, while remembering the agreements between all the peoples of Treaty One Territory, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous. We are all treaty people.

A very dedicated drum group from St. Kateri Indigenous Parish of Winnipeg presented themes and songs that they use for various celebrations including mass, wakes, weddings and any church service they are invited to attend.  Cheryl-Anne Carr, leader, introduced the spirit of the songs and the meaning of drumming.  The members included Metis and treaty people from northern reserves as well as Huguette Fleurant, SNJM, who recently joined the group.

Dancer, Jacqueline Brisson, Anishinaabe, graced us with the flair of her red jingle dress which she wears to honour Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG).  Jingle dress dancing aims at healing through sound, movement and drum.

The celebration was continued on the patio with sharing, conversation, and watermelon, bannock and jam.

It was a well-blessed afternoon attended by SNJMs, some of our associates and many residents of Despins for a total of about 50 people.

Carmen Catellier, SNJM

Above Photo: Jeannine Vermette, SNJM & Jacqueline Brisson