Apaji-wla'matulinej is led by Indigenous women. As women reclaim the language and culture, we are empowered to strengthen the foundations of our families and communities. Strong women working together to create radical change and rekindle right relations.
The Virtual Talking Stick: Reflections on Apaji-wla'matulinej Women's Gathering
By Ishbel Munro
Apaji-wla'matulinej - When a Mi'Kmaq speaker translates this word for non-speakers, they always use their hands to show a turning over and speak of how it means returning to the right way of being, right relations. And as always there is a loss in translation as the depth of the meaning is hard to describe in English. In our four-day gathering near Elsipogtog on unceded Mi'Kmaq land, we saw it become reality. We began with a Pipe Ceremony and a welcoming to this territory by Josie Augustine. She told us this work is long overdue, that the ancestors were happy we were doing this work and that it must continue. And that it will continue to grow and bring healing. We talked of how healing the women, heals the families and then the communities, bringing things back to right relations.
In Defence of Our Treaties
Directed by Martha Stiegman and Co-Produced by Martha Stiegman & Sherry Pictou
In Defense of our Treaties (2008) follows members of Bear River First Nation as they stand up to Canada's Department of Fisheries (DFO), who is pressuring them to sell out their treaty rights for a ticket into the commercial fisheries. For the Mi'kmaq, fishing is a right that comes from the Creator, and is protected by the Treaties. In 1999, the Supreme Court recognized those rights, and DFO has since signed agreements with 32 of the 34 First Nations in the region. The deals offer money to buy into the commercial fisheries, as long as the Mi'kmaq fish under DFO's jurisdiction. That's not good enough for Bear River, one of two communities refusing to sign.
EASTERN HUB EVENTS
Prophecy of the Eastern Gate
Our ancestors tell us that the Eastern Gate is where we will gather to begin the healing of this land. It is here in the East where first contact was made between the Native peoples and the newcomers. It is here that the first blood was spilled between our people, and our history of violence began. So, it is here on this same land that the healing must begin. The Wabanaki, the people of the first light, are the keepers of the Eastern Door. We are the first peoples to greet Kihsus, the Sun, each morning, and Nipawset, the Moon, each evening. Now, we open our hearts and our homes to greet all of you, so that together we may begin to heal the wounds of Turtle Island and set a new path forward for all life. This ceremony will be a coming together of people from all over the world, to acknowledge the common wound that we all carry from our shared history of violence. No matter where we come from, we all carry the wounds of historical trauma within us. Whether we were the victims, the perpetrators, or the witness to that violence, that wound is imprinted on our spirits. Now, the time has come for us to acknowledge that wound, together, so that we can heal it and begin working together to heal Mother Earth.
Anita is from the Metepenagiag Mi’gmaq Nation in New Brunswick. She is a graduate from the University of New Brunswick where she earned a Master in Education degree along with a Bachelor of Arts and Education degree. She also holds a diploma in Human Resource Management. Anita’s has extensive experience and skills in Economic Development, Indigenous Education and Training, Women’s issues specifically violence, and Community Development.
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