In partnership with the Pemberton and District Library, we invite you to join Tanina Williams of Amawílc in this series of free zoom conversations aimed to provide a safe space to explore reconciliation, decolonization, white fragility and ask hard or awkward questions about how to share this unceded territory in a way that moves us towards a better relationship.
Our topic for Monday, December 7th is a virtual exploration of the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre in Whistler.
Check out their virtual space, at https://slcc1.staging.wpengine.com/fromhome/, where they’ve posted Breaking Bannock conversations with indigenous influencers, craft demonstrations, the Where are the Children exhibit, and other resources. If you’ve not had a chance to visit the actual facility, this is your opportunity to get virtual.
REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED – so that we can send you the zoom link, and ensure we’re gathering in a safe space.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. You only need to register once to be able to access all of the sessions.
Tanina Williams is Lil’wat7ul. She is an educator, weaver, knowledge keeper about traditional plant use and storyteller, who has worked for decades with at-risk youth, children, and teachers, to try and raise awareness and appreciation for indigenous ways of knowing. She has just launched her consultancy firm, Amawílc, (Ucwalmictws for “come back to life”) with the mission to bring indigenous and non-indigenous people together, through workshops, presentations, and the practice of sharing circles.
What is a sharing circle?
A sharing circle is an indigenous technology that helps generate uplifting and respectful dialogue. This Circle is led by a skilled knowledge keeper, Tanina Williams. A sharing circle is a practice – it’s a way to practice sitting with discomfort, allowing people space to formulate their thoughts and to share, and allowing yourself to speak your own truth. It is a supportive and powerful structure that arose out of cultures that made decisions by consensus – not by dominating people, but by allowing a group to find its way to a place of coherence, by providing the space for everyone to feel seen and heard.
In my personal opinion, as a newcomer to this experience, it is a simple concept, that is utterly radical in our world today, and that does ask us to step up to the challenge of listening, supporting, being thoughtful and respectful.
What are the protocols?
The protocols are the guidelines or “rules” that govern the Sharing Circle – these are mutually developed by the group, and may change over time, and may be different in any Circle.
The protocols established for this Sharing Circle are:
- What is shared in the circle, stays in the circle. (Let us respect each others’ confidence, and keep what is shared confidential. We will speak only of our own reflection or experience. If we’re zooming in from a shared space, we’ll wear headphones.
- Everyone should feel safe to say what they need to say without any judgment. (We take our turns to speak, swearing is okay but angry outbursts will be muted, we can have our own feelings, we don’t need to self-censor as we explore).
- Please show up. If our technology allows it, we’ll keep our cameras on to share our faces, the sessions won’t be recorded.
- Always JOIN, even if you can’t do the homework, still come in.
- Should the gathering be hacked by outside trouble-makers (as can occur with Zoom), everyone will leave the meeting, to prevent any kind of harrassment or assault.
Everyone can uphold the protocols with their actions and words. If anyone feels one has been overstepped, you can unmute yourself and remind the group of the protocol.
Our intention is to uplift each other. We want to develop some skills and practice the protocols, but ultimately, we want to leave feeling good about ourselves.
Did I hear someone say homework?
On Monday December 7, the invitation is to explore an offering from the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre. Come to the circle with some personal takeaway you’d like to share with the group. If you find you haven’t been able to make the time to do the “homework”, refer back up to the protocols – come anyway, and learn from the group.
On Monday December 21, we will celebrate winter solstice, and learn how do close a circle, so we can complete this series with a feeling of resolution.