Catholic Women's League of Saskatchewan

 
 

  

 President's Challenge - "Walking Together"

  

CWL Members across the province take up the President's Challenge to Walk Together.

   


 

St. Vincent de Paul CWL - Weyburn

Submitted by Mary Ann Flaaten

July 17, 2023

 

Gordon Petruic (1917)

  On Tuesday May 16th St. Vincent de Paul CWL hosted an evening that
  provided members of our council, or parish and our community to learn
  more about our indigenous brothers and sisters. 

  

  Our guest speaker for the evening was Gordon Petruic - who shared with us
  about his journey of identity, spirituality and reconciliation.

   

Gordon Petruic, Velma Hoffman – H&E Chair, Fran Messer – Past President and mother of Gordon

  Gordon Petruic is a First Nations who 
  was raised in Avonlea, SK, adopted from
  the Key First Nation in Treaty 4 territory
  in Saskatchewan. He is a member of the
  60’s Scoop era. His journey took him from wheatfields to board rooms and everywhere in between. He has worked tirelessly to regain what was lost during his time living outside of the First Nations community he comes from.  He has over 25 years experience engaging and working with First Nations people on the front lines of Wellness and Suicide Prevention. 

 

Having worked with youth and Elders in the community, he understands the hard life many Indigenous in Canada face. Having survived a 38-day coma due to H1N1, learning to walk again, Gord started a career in Government.  Here he won the Government of Canada’s Circle of Excellence Award for Partnership, Collaboration, and Leadership. 

During COVID, he worked with the Chief Medical Officer of Indigenous Services Canada, Dr. Tom Wong; and rose to the highest level as Director of Regional Affairs for the Minister of Indigenous Services Canada.  Perseverance, dedication, and caring are words used to describe Gord by past employers, employees and peers. 

Along with sharing his story, Gordon was happy to answer any questions guests had.  

We are very grateful to have had Gordon attend and share his story and feel strongly that it provided those in attendance more reasons to "walk together". Read more about his story here

  

Gordon Petruic telling his story
The listeners

  

  


  

Walking Together

Submitted by Linda Maddaford

President Elect, Regina Diocesan Council

July 17, 2023

  

This is from a Canadian indigenous woman I started following and messaging on Twitter. She gave me permission to share her comments:

  

We all have to be careful when our anger at these institutions and systems tear down the bridges carefully built. Our community here is strong, we earned that. We all built it. Often we see people who have no real commitment to change, coming onto comments or threads to spread, you guessed it; hate. Raging does nothing to protect spaces and my space is inclusive to ALL people except the haters. 

  

No hate, none, is allowed here. We get fired up over our circumstances and long for a better place to raise our next generations, and we are all doing the work. It takes work. It takes daily understanding of the massive attacks we see on 'different' communities of humans. 

  

I say this, love has no gender, no color, and no judgements, but with its glorious light, comes great responsibility to all things created from this earth. We can be better humans but never take someone's baggage to carry, we have a raging battle ahead. Grab up your weapon, love. And fight this one with the rest of us, or step aside because you are in my fn way. Tapwe 🪶🌎 (Tapwe is Cree for truth.)

   

Yesterday, May 9th.

The Sun has set, smudging is done. Today we put a special prayer out there for my daughter. She will officially again, be missing after this call. These realities hit me and sometimes, I just wish that someone came across her and treated her like their own child. I do this for the ones I see, and I always speak those words to the Universe. May someone love her like I do, protect her like I would protect their child. Just see her with eyes of compassion and concern. Love. Miigwetch, my day is over. Rest well relations. #MMIWG2S

  

About the new Canadian passport cover:

Indigenous people worry about shelter, food, and survival and then we are subjected to this kind of weird entitlement which to me, is nauseating. Spend your time wisely, we aren't traveling backwards in time and soon, you will wish you fed the person you walked past this week because you will be asked why you felt this was the most important matter of the day. 🪶#ColonialEntitlement

  

Note from Linda: This woman prepares and serves dozens of meals each week to the hungry and homeless in her community. We have no idea what hardship is. It is an awful truth, and it takes courage to not look away.  I would post it, to honour the missing ones, the broken ones, those who are still being trampled. We do not know what we were party to. We cannot do enough to redress this wrong.

 

Moose Hide Campaign Day - May 11, 2023

  

The Moose Hide Campaign began as a BC-born Indigenous-led grassroots movement to engage men and boys in ending violence towards women and children. It has since grown into a nationwide movement of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians from local communities, First Nations, governments, schools, colleges/universities, police forces and many other organizations – all committed to taking action to end this violence.

  

Since the Campaign began over 10 years ago along the Highway of Tears, thousands of communities and organizations across Canada have held Moose Hide Campaign events and joined the annual Moose Hide Campaign Day ceremony and fast. People of all ages, genders and backgrounds are invited to take part in Moose Hide Campaign activities.

  

The campaign is grounded in Indigenous ceremony and traditional ways of learning and healing. A cornerstone of the Moose Hide Campaign is the moose hide pin. Wearing the pin signifies your commitment to honour, respect, and protect the women and children in your life and speak out against gender-based and domestic violence. To date, over three million moose hide pins have been distributed free of charge to communities, schools, and workplaces across Canada.

Source: https://moosehidecampaign.ca

   

Other reading material to check out:

    

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St. Odilon CWL (Rosthern) - Sharing of ideas and beliefs

  May 2023

  

On April 26/23 we invited Delores Smallchild and her daughter Rhonda as guests to speak to us about their memories and the effect of certain actions on their lives. They brought each of our members present a booklet copy of "Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action". They shared with us what they are doing now. Delores works with the Bishop and some council members to facilitate dialogue and Rhonda works at the Saskatoon Catholic School Board to aid in dialogue discussions about Truth and Reconciliation. Each lady is knowledgeable and capable of leading discussions. A couple of the calls to action were their focus. Wonderful ladies and a wonderful and at times eye opening sharing of ideas and beliefs.

   

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St. Augustine CWL (Saskatoon) - Truth and Reconciliation Project

May 2023

Charlene Cenkins, Council President

    

On May 10, 2023, the St. Augustine CWL hosted the Kairos Blanket Exercise.
In attendance, there were 18 participants along with the team from Our

Lady Of Guadalupe and an elder. The blankets represented Canada and
we journeyed together as the script was played out. We listened to history and the deep impact it left on the Indigenous people. The loss of land and loved ones as well as the turmoil and suffering left families at a loss. Some later found themselves lost in addictions to cope. We "Walked Together" through the Blanket Exercise while experiencing many emotions. Participants were given the opportunity to meet in small groups, to express feelings from the heart. The Blanket Exercise left us with a deeper understanding of the history of the Indigenous people; it also left us with a renewed compassion and hope as, together, we continue to move forward to build stronger relationships and community through love for one another in Christ.

  

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Holy Spirit CWL (Saskatoon) - Learning about the Indigenous Reconciliation Fund

May 2023

Margaret Schwab, Council President

  

  On April 24, 2023 Holy Spirit CWL welcomed guest speakers from the
  Saskatoon Indigenous Reconciliation Fund to inform us how this fund was
  created, who manages it and what it is used for. Presenters were Dr.
  Gordon Martell, MaryAnn Morrison and Cecile Smith, facilitated by Myron
  Rogal from the Catholic Pastoral Centre.

  Members enjoyed learning about the fund and who will benefit from it.
  Members of the parish and our parish council were also invited to attend.

  

  

 

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 President's Challenge Update

May 2023

  

Funds have been coming in from some of the councils but we’ve yet to hear from many of you. It is encouraging to hear of some of the ways that councils are educating their members on indigenous is-sues as well as holding some bake sales and other events as fundraisers. What is your story? I would love to hear them all so I can share them at our National “AMM in St. John NB in August.

  

See our Treasurers message for details on sending your funds to the provincial council. The total of the donations will then be presented to the Bishops at our Provincial Convention.

  

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Moose Jaw Regional Meeting, November 2022

  

On November 5, 2022 St. Joseph's CWL in Moose Jaw held a Regional Meeting and Blanket Exercise. Twenty-seven participants and four presenters attended. Participants found the exercise to be very informative and beneficial to help understand the experience of Indigenous peoples in our country.

  

Participants in the Blanket Exercise.
Rosalie Boots presents a thank you to Elder May Desnomie for her guidance in the Blanket Exercise

    

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