Please join us Thursday August 17 and Friday August 18 at the Cultural Healing Centre for ongoing discussions regarding the Peace Process.
Wahta’s Peacemaking Process has begun it’s next steps of development. The new Council has approved that we initiate the next steps that we had proposed and introduced to the community through numerous community meetings, telephone conversations, meetings with community members and 2 conferences held over this past year. The information that was shared with us through these sessions was recorded and shared back with the community members in written form through further community meetings, newsletter publications and on the Wahta website. It is from this information that we have identified that a significant portion of the Wahta community would like us to proceed to develop a process for further dialogue of important topics that need to be discussed until agreement is reached about how the community wishes to proceed on these matters.
In order to develop this process of dialogue we have invited 9 people who have expressed an interest in participating in this process. They are not intended to represent clans. Rather these people represent diverse opinions and perspectives about the topics that have been identified so far. We have attempted to involve people who are from different families and who have connections with a variety of sectors of the community. It is our hope that these people will represent the diversity of opinions that exist in Wahta and express these in our dialogue. We also hope that these people will bring the discussion points from our dialogue out to their families and friends for you to provide your ideas which they will bring back to our circle for further consideration in the dialogue. We know that we only have a sampling of the topics that need to be discussed and expect that through this process further important issues will surface and be brought to this group for dialogue. While all dialogue will represent input from the larger community agreed positions from the circle will be shared with Chief and Council so that they are aware of positions that the community at large have reached through the circle.
Our first task as we initiate this process will be to establish the agreed to principles that will guide our relationships and process of dialogue and how we will reach agreement. These principles have emerged from and are tied to the Great Laws For Peace. We will begin this step on Thursday August 17 at the Cultural Center. On Friday August 18 we will begin to develop the agreed to process for dialogue and methods for reaching agreement. All of what is discussed will be shared openly with you through the 9 participants and in the newsletter/ website. We will gather feedback from community members through the 9 participants for discussion in our following gatherings. The final process for dialogue and agreement will only be set after dialogue involving all of the ideas presented to the circle are considered.
We look forward to receiving your ideas through the circle members. The vision at this point is to create a forum that will facilitate open, inclusive and transparent dialogue between community members that will enable full consideration of diverse opinions that can lead to agreed to positions that represent the best interests of the Wahta community. As community members you are invited to attend the gatherings of the circle and observe the proceedings. Your thoughts and comments will then be able to be entered into the discussion by you sharing these with one or more of the 9 members of the circle. While this might seem a difficult task, it is achievable. We have been able to do this within our communities in the past and other First Nations communities across Turtle Island have currently achieved these goals.
The 9 community members of the circle are:
(One more name pending)
We look forward to continuing to work with you towards these goals.
In Peace, Friendship and With Good Minds.
Ed Connors and Kevin Deer