Local Akwesasronon Takes Part in Canada's Historic 'C3' Voyage
Akwesasronon and Native North American Cultural Educator, Donovan Thompson was granted the opportunity of a lifetime as he was selected to be a participant on Leg 1 of Canada's C3 epic journey.
'The Canada 150 (ice breaker vessel) is a signature project consisting of a 150-day expedition from Toronto to Victoria via the Northwest Passage, It will inspire a deeper understanding of our land, our peoples and our Country. Canada C3 is a platform for people to envision an even stronger Canada and explore what it means to be Canadian - a country rooted in the power of our diversity, the inspiration of our environment, the energy of our youth and the promise of our commitment to reconciliation.' according to the Canada 150 website.
Thompson boarded C3 in Toronto to begin his 10 day journey. At first he felt a bit of uncertainty on whether to join this journey stating, "I'm Onkwehonwe, not Canadian. And more to the point, I focus within Akwesasne and not on the outside. Being part of C3 I had the opportunity to talk and share who we are and focus on the differences between Canada and Onkwehonwe and how we do things. I spoke about our role in the Truth and Reconciliation and the 'Call for Action'. We need to be more respectful and to understand one another. There are people who are ready to listen to us, people who are ready to reconcile."
Thompson went on to say, Yes, we have issues in the past and we recognize that. People now need to look ahead Seven Generations. This has inspired me to learn more about myself and being Onkwehonwe and to share this when I present.
MCA Council of Chiefs welcomed Thompson and the passengers of Canada C3 on Friday, June 9, 2017 as it docked in the Cornwall Harbour for a 3-day visit.
The Canada C3 passengers were invited to A'nowara'ko:wa Arena where they were officially welcomed by the Chiefs. The agenda was tailored to explore the four key themes of Canada 150: Diversity and Inclusion, Reconciliation, Youth Engagement and the Environment. The honored guests were treated to presentations from the MCA Environment program, dialogue on Truth and Reconciliation, lunch, and a short lacrosse demonstration.
The expedition is divided into 15 legs and will have a cross-section of Canadian society on board, including scientists, artists, Indigenous Elders, historians, community leaders, youth, journalists and educators. These diverse and accomplished Canadians will connect with communities, conduct research, create art and music and together celebrate Canada. You can follow their journey through multimedia and digital platforms, where they share the stories of people they meet en route and engage the voices of all Canadians in national discussions covering Canada C3's key themes: Diversity and Inclusion, Reconciliation, Youth Engagement and the Environment.
The Canada C3 project is an initiative of the Students on Ice Foundation (SOI). Since 2000, SOI has led more than 30 educational expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic, and is an internationally acclaimed leader in polar education and youth engagement. Over 2,500 students from 52 countries have experienced a polar region with SOI and these alumni continue to make a positive impact in their communities around the world.