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Paddling Together workshop brings Indigenous values into focus

Workshop part of Volunteer Campbell River’s Q̓aq̓uƛ̓aʔinē sa Noqe – Hearts Learning project
Kathi Camillari’s Village Series workshops are positive spaces focused on bringing our country closer together. She ran a condensed version of her workshop on Saturday morning as part of the Paddling Together in Reconciliation event at the museum. Photo by Johnny Hanuse

The next event in Volunteer Campbell River’s “Q̓aq̓uƛ̓aʔinē sa Noqe – Hearts Learning” Project is set to take place on Nov. 25.

Paddling Together is a workshop hosted by Kathi Camilleri with the goal of building relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in the community.

“We’re moving into the second part of the (Q̓aq̓uƛ̓aʔinē sa Noqe – Hearts Learning) project, inviting local non-profit organizations and businesses to really look at their own paths of reconciliation: what they doing in their organization, what have they done and what is the next thing that they would like to do,” said Volunteer Campbell River executive director Mary Catherine Williams. “Then we’ll be working together to support them and learn from each other about what different organizations are doing. We want to just build relationships and build a healthier community.”

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Paddling Together is actually the second part of a two-workshop series held by Camilleri. The first is called “The Village” and it focuses on life before colonization, and the effects of colonialism on Indigenous communities.

“This is the second part, which is about taking the values that were in play in the traditional villages and bringing them in to our present day,” Williams said. “Those are respect, generosity, kindness. Bringing those values into the workplace and the organizations that we are serving… to really have healthier relationships and to do our work in a good way.

“It’s about building strength and bringing the traditional Indigenous values into our present day.”

The workshop is open to all, and is geared towards people who are involved in community organizations, businesses or workplaces. It will be held at the Campbell River Community Centre on Nov. 25 from 9 until 3. There will be a break for lunch, and the entire event (lunch included) is free.

“We have a video that we made of Berta Billy, who is one of the Elders with the We Wai Kai Nation just talking about Paddling Together and how we have to work together as Indigenous and Non-Indigenous people moving forward,” Williams said.

While the workshop does not specifically talk about residential school, there is some context mentioned during the event.

“Participation in the workshop may trigger unresolved grief and loss issues for some,” says the workshop website. “It is imperative that you know this in advance, so that you can make an informed choice about participating or not.”

Those interested in participating can sign up online or by contacting the Volunteer Centre.

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Project gives community opportunity to learn about and from local Indigenous people

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