Orange Shirt Day 2020

Original version. Edited version was published: Hibbert, A. (2020, September 12). Orange Shirt Day at UBC – September 30. Retrieved September 13, 2020, from https://hr.ubc.ca/working-ubc/news/september-09-2020/orange-shirt-day-ubc-september-30

My name is Alicia Hibbert, I have a prairie Metis perspective, and I’m a guest living, working, and resting with gratitude on the traditional, ancestral, unceded territory of the šxʷməθkʷəy̓əmaɁɬ təməxʷ (Musqueam), səl̓ilwətaɁɬ təməxʷ (Tsleil-Waututh), and skwxwú7mesh-ulh Temíx̱w (Squamish) peoples. Our team is focused on supporting physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing at both the individual and community levels. We believe that wellbeing requires safe, healthy, and supportive environments, including equity and human rights.

One of the ways we can work towards these supportive environments is to learn more about residential schools and their intergenerational impacts – there are many resources available online through UBCs Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre. Many people aren’t aware that the last residential school closed quite recently, in 1996. When you learn about this past in a reflexive way, you will hopefully feel more comfortable exploring your actions, roles and responsibilities, and connectedness to others in future.

I’m writing to encourage you to participate in Orange Shirt Day on September 30th, a day when we wear orange shirts to honour residential school survivors. Phyllis Webstad’s story – having her new orange shirt taken away on her first day of residential school – continues to inspire this collective remembering.

Shirts and other items are available to order online from the Orange Shirt Day organization and other Indigenous designers. This is a win-win, because giving back is good for your own wellbeing.

The impacts of residential schools can be emotionally triggering and there are community mental health resources available to those of you in BC:

Looking forward to seeing your orange shirts on social media on September 30th!

4 Steps to a Better Land Acknowledgement

By Alicia Hibbert & Rebecca Shortt

  1. Identify the lands where you learn(ed), live(d), and work(ed). Visit native-land.ca to find Indigenous territory names and nations for these areas.
  2. Incorporate (authentic) gratitude related to these territories.
  3. Identify your relations: your mentors, your communities, your family, & Indigenous communities and individuals you have learned from.
  4. Identify your relation to the work: your reasons for doing a land acknowledgment (in your own words), your motivation to do decolonization work, your inner gifts and wisdom, your privilege and commitments for change.

Feel free to get in touch with us to support you as you develop your own personal and authentic land acknowledgement. We are available for 1:1 support, including editing speaking notes, as well as team-based support through a workshop. Together, we bring a Metis and settler-ally perspectives.


Team Reflection Questions inspired by the Medicine Wheel

Below are some reflection questions, which we used in the 30 Day Engagement challenge for National Indigenous History Month. I’ve used these with teams as a lighthearted way to connect authentically – and introduce Indigenous ways of knowing – in virtual settings.

They are centred around the four key areas of the medicine wheel: the Physical, Mental, Emotional, and Spiritual aspects of ourselves. I would recommend grounding these for participants by sharing some of your knowledge of the medicine wheel.

Physical:

  1. How are you doing today physically? Please share an emoji.
  2. What is your favourite way to stay moving in these times? Feel free to recommend social media accounts that inspire you!


Spiritual:

  1. Thinking about our connection to others, who is one person you’re grateful for this week? If you’re open to sharing, please share why!
  2. Spiritual: Thinking about your connection to all living things, what’s your favourite tree or flower?


Mental/Intellectual:

  1. Our brains are pretty “on” all day. What is one way you relax your mind at the end of the day so you rebuild your thinking capacity?
  2. What is one thing you do to relax your mind on the weekend that any of us could do?

Emotional:

  1. Thinking about showing acceptance and love for ourselves, what is one word to describe your favourite quality about yourself?
  2. Which of the 4 areas (physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual) are you doing well in?

If you have other ideas, feel free to comment them below to add to this list!


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National Indigenous History Month: 30 Day Engagement Challenge

Please join me and Rebecca Shortt on a 30 day challenge to engage meaningfully during National Indigenous History Month.

All activities are listed in the calendar below – click on the description for links!

All activities will be posted on my @edifiedprojects Instagram stories through June 2020 – these images will be made available here as a resource after June, so that you can continue the practice of decolonizing your personal and professional settings.

Photo by Drop the Label Movement on Unsplash

Click on the calendar below and navigate to June 2020 for an overview of events. Or, review our posts on Instagram from the same time period.

https://calendar.google.com/calendar/embed?src=jidck4b48fmmpsvejcoo052d38%40group.calendar.google.com

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Decolonization Reflection Activity – 35 minutes

Developed by: Alicia Hibbert & Rebecca Shortt

The following activity is an adapted 1-2-4-All Activity with the theme of decolonization. This was first completed in a setting with 15 people with a limited timeframe of 35 minutes – I include it here in that short format so you can see how it can be applied easily within limited parameters.

5 minutes – Introduction:

  • Land Acknowledgement: I begin with a land acknowledgement for the territory where the group is being facilitated. I situate my own knowledge and experiences (ie: within or outside of that territory).
  • Oral Tradition: For this activity, I don’t use slides, etc. as one means of getting groups comfortable with oral approaches to learning, as is common across Indigenous groups.
  • Safe Spaces: A skilled and knowledgeable facilitator can help to create a safe space for sharing within the group, while also having some answers to the group’s questions. A primer in UNDRIP and TRC Calls to Action for your industry/area would be greatly beneficial. I let all participants know that it is acceptable and safe in this setting to answer questions with “I don’t know.” In an ideal setting, this might include grounding the discussion in ceremony and allowing for enough time for reflection. For this discussion, I pre-chose a set of with/out modernity cards to provoke further thought at a level I thought would fit best with the group.

5 minutes – On your own, write down your thoughts about these 2 questions:

  • What does decolonization mean to you? Or, how could it look to you?
  • How can you do the work of decolonization or Indigenous engagement in your role? (Prompt: How could you get more information to learn more? What could you change about what you’re already doing at work to include Indigenous perspectives?)

5 minutes – In pairs – ie: turning to your network – discuss what you have reflected on. Note any questions that have arisen during your reflections.

5 minutes – In groups of 4, choose a with/out modernity card, which asks a question to provoke further thinking.

15 minutes – As an entire group, sit in a circle, using an item of significance or grounding to pass around to each person, speaking in turn going clockwise around the circle. I begin myself to provide a template for others. For this discussion, I use my Metis sash, but have also used rocks, especially those received from an Elder. With the short time available to us, I had the group respond to:

  • Describe a word or quick remark about the process we went through today or any lingering questions you have about decolonization and Indigenous engagement.

Please comment below if you used this activity – let me know how it went!


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