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Life Affirming Practices

Arts-based Methods for Transformative Engagement: A Toolkit

by SUSPLACE Sustainable Place Shaping

This open access toolkit offers a collection of almost 30 methods, practical examples, workshop outlines and tips for creative facilitation, as well as resources and relevant academic references. The ideas and methods collected in this toolkit are intended to support new ways of thinking and doing in our work as change agents towards regenerative societies. Compiled by a research team collaborating through the SUSPLACE Innovative Training Network, it is the result of our collective research and experimentation with creative and arts-based methods of engagement.

Mi’Kmaq Youth: Our Reality – Our Hope

Erika Gideon Marchand is writing her Master’s Thesis on “What does the Lnu’g language teach us? Transferring ancient ancestral teachings and wisdom in the 21st century by maintaining and reclaiming our spirit as Lnu’g.” Paulina Meader (Membertou) was raised Traditional and is currently studying to be a nurse. Rosalie LaBillois (Eel River Bar) drums and sings for Ceremonies. She recently sailed to Europe as a part of an Indigenous Youth Leadership program. Juisen Bartibøgue (Esgenoopetitj) grew up as a part of the Wabanaki Cultural Centre which worked to preserve Indigenous cultural and spirituality. Wasgeesc is still in elementary school. She travels with her grandmothers to traditional gatherings and helps with Ceremonies at her home in Acadia First Nations.

Sherri Mitchell – On the times we are living in, women and water and healing

Sherri Mitchell (Penobscot) is a lawyer, author, world-wide speaker, community organizer and inspiring person. She shares her thoughts on the times we are living in, women and water and healing and empowerment. She is also a member of Apaji-wla’Matulinej

Marian Nicholas, Mi’Kmaq Water Protector

Marian Nicolas, (Mi’kmaq) has dedicated her life to being a Water protector. She is often found on the front lines protecting the Shubenacadie River from the Alton Gas Project. She learned the Water Ceremonies from Josephine Mandamin. While originally being from Eskasoni she has lived in Sipekne’katik First Nation for over 25 years. Spoken in Mi’Kmaq with English subtitles.

Judy Googoo (Mi’Kmaq) a member of Apaji-wla’matulinej on traditional medicinal plants

Judy Googoo (Mi’Kmaq) shares her vast knowledge of medicine plants. Judy leads workshops on everything from plants, to hand drum making, tanning moose hides – everything connected to living on the land. She also is an artist and runs a craft shop in Wagmacook and a barber shop!

Christina Dunfield, on being an ally, Apaji-wla’matulinej

Christina Dunfield, MCC, speaks on her journey to becoming an ally with Indigenous people through the Peace and Friendship project. This project, for 13 years, has been bringing Indigenous people and settlers together for deep conversations, Ceremonies and teachings on Indigenous worldviews.

Cathy Gerrior (Inuit), member of Apaji-wla’matulinej on finding your way back to your culture

Cathy Gerrior (Inuit) speaks on the intergenerational impacts of residential schools; her experience of being raised in a white community and finding her way home again. She talks about building bridges between non-natives and Indigenous people.

Talking Circles

by Mikmaw Spirit

The talking circle is a traditional way for Indigenous people to solve problems. It is a very effective way to remove barriers and to allow people to express themselves with complete freedom.  The symbolism of the circle, with no beginning and with nobody in a position of prominence, serves to encourage people to speak freely and honestly about things that are on their minds. Read more about the Talking Circle from a Mi’kmaq perspective here

Miigam’agan on Women-Led

Miigam’agan, Righting Relations National Steering Committee Member and mi’kmaq clan mother from Esgenoôpetitj / Burnt Church New Brunswick, speaks about the forming of the Eastern Hub of Righting Relations through a women-led approach.

Empowered Dialogue Can Bring Wisdom to Democracy

Published as
“Wisdom, Democracy, and the Core Commons”
in Earthlight, Fall/Winter 2002/2003
http://www.earthlight.org

by Tom Atlee

The new democracy is grounded in
the power of true dialogue
among diverse people
to help The People (as a whole) transcend
the limits of personal perspectives and
resonate with each other and the world
through the fact of their interconnectedness,
revealing bigger pictures and deeper wisdom
than any individual or group
could find alone,
making it possible to create together
solutions, visions, communities and societies
that make sense
and serve Life
now and for generations to come.

Read the full article

Theatre for Living

The Art and Science of Community-Based Dialogue

by David Diamond

Theatre for Living approaches the community as a living organism and recognizes when plays are created, they are made to help us investigate ways to change the behaviors that create the structure, not only the structure itself.

 

Art Became the Oxygen: A Guide to Artistic Response

A Guide for Artists, Emergency Management Agencies, Funders, Policy-Makers,
and Communities Responding to Natural and Civil Emergencies

As natural disasters and social emergencies multiply, the need has grown for ethical, creative, and effective artistic response—arts-based work responding to disaster or other community-wide emergency, much of it created in collaboration with community members directly affected. Art Became The Oxygen was created to engage three categories of readers who share the intention of offering care and compassion and helping to create possibility in the midst or wake of crisis

To download the guide here

 

Games for Actors and Non-Actors

Games for Actors and Non-Actors is the classic and best selling book by the founder of Theatre of the Oppressed, Augusto Boal. It sets out the principles and practice of Boal’s revolutionary Method, showing how theatre can be used to transform and liberate everyone – actors and non-actors alike!

¡Viva!: Community Arts and Popular Education in the Americas

With examples from community arts projects in five countries, this collection will inform and inspire students, artists, and activists. ¡VIVA! is the product of a five-year transnational research project that integrates place, politics, passion, and praxis.

Learn from Central America: Kuna children’s art workshops, a community television station in Nicaragua, a cultural marketplace in Guadalajara, Mexico, community mural production in Chiapas; and from North America: arts education in Los Angeles inner-city schools, theatre probing ancestral memory, community plays with over one hundred participants, and training programs for young artists in Canada. These practices offer critical hope for movements hungry for new ways of knowing and expressing histories, identities, and aspirations, as well as mobilizing communities for social transformation. Beautifully illustrated with more than one hundred color photographs, the book also includes a DVD with videos that bring the projects to life.

Turning Theory into Practice: What we are learning about the work of Righting Relations

by Rehana Tejpar, capturing the learnings emerging from the Righting Relations Network

As we make the road by walking on this journey of building a women-led network of adult educators for social change across Turtle Island, in the spirit of Righting Relations, we are constantly learning and unlearning.  We have captured and shared some of our learnings to date and will continue to evolve these ideas and practices as we continue to journey on this path.

  • Involve Indigenous Peoples, Knowledges and Perspectives
  • Understanding Colonization – It’s Contemporary History and Impacts
  • Build Deep, Kin-like Relationships of Trust
  • Integrating Mind, Body, Heart and Spirit brings forth Higher Level Solutions
  • The Personal, Interpersonal and Systemic are all Inter-Connected
  • Healing is a Valid Part of the Process
  • True Collaboration Requires a Commitment to Ongoing Self Reflection and Inner Work

Read more: Turning theory into practice- Righting Relations 

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