‘This is an opportunity to think about how we can go forward in a more respectful way,’ professor says
A First Nations leader who has promised to set up five urban reserves in Winnipeg within the next two years will speak at Canadian Mennonite University during a discussion about urban reserves.
Terry Nelson, Grand Chief of the Southern Chiefs’ Organization, is one of the panelists at Canadian Mennonite University’s next Face2Face discussion. Hosted by Dr. Jarem Sawatsky, Associate Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at CMU, the event is titled, “On Being Good Neighbours: Urban Reserves in Winnipeg.”
The event happens Thursday, March 27 at 7:00 PM in CMU’s Great Hall (500 Shaftesbury Blvd.). Admission is free, and everyone is welcome to attend. Face2Face is a series of conversations with CMU faculty designed to engage the community on a wide variety of current events and issues at the intersection of faith and life.
Sawatsky says he likes Nelson’s idea to develop urban reserves because he sees it as an opportunity for non-First Nations Canadians to be good neighbours to First Nations Canadians.
“This is an opportunity to think about how we can go forward in a more respectful way,” Sawatsky says. “So much of the land in and around Winnipeg has been promised as treaty land at some point. First Nations people have been waiting around a long time to get their land. For us to figure out how to extend friendship to the First Nations people who were here before us seems to be a good plan.”
Joining Sawatsky and Nelson on the panel are: Dennis Meeches, Chief of Long Plain First Nation; Deanna Zantingh, a student from CMU’s Graduate School of Theology with an interest in indigenous relations; Kenton Lobe, Instructor in International Development Studies at CMU; and Jeffrey Ansloos, a Canadian born Cree PhD student of Clinical Psychology at Fuller School of Psychology in Pasadena, CA.
Sawatsky hopes that the event will build confidence in the idea of creating urban reserves.
“I think some people have questions and concerns about an urban reserve in their backyard, and some of them have nobody to ask those questions—First Nations people are not people they have a relationship with, so they don’t know how to pursue those questions,” Sawatsky says. “We’re trying to build a space where people can pursue the questions they have.”
“On Being Good Neighbours: Urban Reserves in Winnipeg” is the last of six Face2Face events CMU will host during the 2013-14 school year. For details, please visit www.cmu.ca/face2face.
A Christian university in the Anabaptist tradition, CMU’s Shaftesbury campus offers undergraduate degrees in arts, business, humanities, music, sciences, and social sciences, and graduate degrees in Theology and Ministry.
CMU has over 1,600 students, including those enrolled in degree programs at the Shaftesbury Campus and in its Menno Simons College and Outtatown programs.
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