Monday Morning Musings

Posted on September 24, 2018 under Monday Morning Musings with 2 comments

PowWow at Paqtnkek


We have much to learn.

When I saw a poster for a bus tour out to the First Nations community of Paqtnkek to attend a PowWow, my interest was immediately piqued. How many times (hundreds if not thousands) of times in my life have I sped by Afton en route to Cape Breton, never once stopping in to visit? I bet you that I am not the only Antigonisher who has never set foot upon Mi’kmaq land.

I won’t begin to try and explain the untold harm done to our First Nations people over the centuries. A cursory glance at The Truth and Reconciliation Commission or the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) will help to enlighten.

A group of us gathered at the Antigonish Heritage Museum on Saturday for the short trip out to Afton. A young, bright Mi’kmaq woman accompanied us and answered many questions along the way. The PowWow, or Mawi’omi as it is referred to in Mi’kmaq was moved inside the gymnasium because of inclement weather. Prior to commencement of the day’s activities, we sat in the outdoor amphitheatre and received a brief history lesson from Rose Paul, Director of Economic Development. Among her many duties, Rose Paul is overseeing the development of their lands with the new highway interchange and business centre soon to open.

Our tour group was made up of people a wee bit long in the tooth. As one of these people, I know I can be quite easily distracted if I am not engaged. This was not an issue with Rose Paul. You can understand why she is heading this transformative project. She is a very bright, determined, can do type of person. Her zeal to right the many wrongs done to her people is very evident.

It is apparent to most of us that First Nations communities across Canada are on the move. Self-governance and self-sustainability seem to be their mantra.

The grand entrance for the Mawi’omi was very impressive as were the dances and songs.

When asked by one of the members of our group how non indigenous people could help, Rose Paul said, “Get to know us first.” I believe that most people on our bus went to Patqnkek last Saturday to do just that. It’s a start.

Oh September, how you deceived us.

You promised us that you would trundle along slowly. Your languid movements would be barely discernable as we enjoyed unseasonable warm and sunny days. You assured us that you would pace yourself so that September would last forever. But, no, you betrayed us and sped along like a river sodden with water after torrential rains. And now we are staring at your sister, October.

I am certain that Labour Day was just yesterday. I guess it was but then Fridays seem to arrive with shocking regularity. Am I the only one who feels that seconds, minutes, hours and days are going faster? Probably not .This is the price of admission when you become a senior.

Time does not stand still.

Have a great week.

P.S. We stopped for lunch in Guysborough yesterday on our Sunday drive. At a table near us in the restaurant, there was an elderly couple. The man was wearing headphones and had his head down. His wife was chatting incessantly to (at) him. I so wanted to take a picture and write THAT story!



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