Peace and Understanding by Dan MacQuarrie

A week ago we were remembering the horrors of war. Isn’t it time to try something else;  like,  honouring the sentiments inscribed on the  Marine Park  sign, down on the waterfront?   It was placed there by, the City of Salmon Arm, Rotary, and Drs. Without Borders.   It reads, “Dedicated to International Peace and Understanding.”  Okay, let’s do something about it !

Seems to me there is a new spirit blowing in the wind.   Our Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, has selected a Cabinet which reflects ethnic diversity, gender balance, and belief in our youth.   He also believes there is no peace without justice; note the selection of Jody Wilson Raybould as our new Justice minister.

The indigenous people of Canada have been waiting 400+ years for justice to visit them.   We at the MacQuarrie Institute believe now is the time to step up to the plate; ask ourselves, “ what is the whole truth about how Canada came into being?” .                In 1764, the Treaty of Niagara, and accompanying wampum belts,  set forth a plan, which could have resulted in peace and understanding for both settlers, and  Indigenous people.  But , It was never honoured .

Well, let’s honour it,  let’s begin to practice, peace and understanding.   Let’s Become familiar with  the whole truth about our history:  Residential Schools, where children were taken from parents from ages 6 to 16,  the hundreds of treaties which were seldom honoured; And the disrespect, and racism, which still pervades or culture.

There are 3 Reserves in Salmon Arm, we could start by getting to know one another, walk the proverbial mile,exchange moccasins for shoes, listen to each others stories, be the good neighbour.   Just imagine what could happen if we were to invite a whole family for lunch or supper ?   Stranger things are possible !

Peace, Dan MacQuarrie

Note from TL:  See Building Bridges (Nov 2 2015)

We can take a 1st step November 16, by participating in the workshop at First United Church 8:30 to 4:30 PM

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