Photo from the programming at OAHAS (Ontario Aboriginal HIV/AIDS Strategy https://www.oahas.org/mission-vision-goals.html

Who doesn’t like a good story? Whether it is a page turner or one that folds out on a screen, these gems can add so much to our lives. As a movie buff, a book reader, and a writer, I feel very blessed by the magical tales that can be bestowed upon us.

But it is not just simple entertainment I am referring to. It is the awe and inspiration and education that is shared. Stories that help us move forward and to grow.

Story telling can offer us so much in the way of experience.

  • Laughter.
  • Sadness.
  • Love.
  • Heartbreak.
  • Compassion.
  • Understanding.
  • Awareness.

 

The list could go on……

September 30th 2021 has been declared National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, a new federal statutory holiday. The day recognizes the colonial legacy of residential schools, to honour Indigenous survivors, and is vital to the ongoing reconciliation process.

I think maybe it is also a day where we can and should engage in stories, stories that can help us find those points I listed above, and much more. Stories can help us discover, rebuild and experience.

I recently watched the movie ‘Indian Horse’, an adaption of Ojibway writer Richard Wagamese’s award-winning novel. Incredible and breathtaking! A story I will never forget.

There is also Tanya Talaga’s ‘7 Fallen Feathers’, a tale about systemic racism, education, the failure of the policing and justice systems, and Indigenous rights.

Visit the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack website, tune in and listen to some heartfelt Indigenous voices. https://downiewenjack.ca/a-day-for-truth-and-reconciliation/

Read and listen to some stories from the Chippawas of Georgina Island, https://www.georginaisland.com/

The stories are there, they are all around. They deserve to be heard, they need to be heard. One of the simplest but perhaps also hardest things to do is to just listen, read, learn and understand.

The strongest connection to other people is through storytelling, and those stories are what help us navigate this crazy world.

By Mark Koning

Mark is the Manager of Communications & Operations with CAYR COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS. Mark is also an Author and Blogger of Challenging Barriers and The BIST Blog. (Brain Injury Society of Toronto)