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Building Bridges: A Transformative Learning Experience

"Building Bridges Through Understanding the Village"- Facilitator: Kathi Camilleri

Recently, I was able to attend a Building Bridges workshop led by Kathi and I am shouting far and wide that if you ever have this opportunity take advantage of it! Kathi has an incredibly soothing manner and voice but she hits on the tough topics (the many 'faces' of the 'red hat'coloniser through role play) so skillfully and emotionally that I do not believe anyone left the workshop unchanged. The 'red hat' uses terms such as: "one day you'll know this is for your own good", "where did you get the idea my people want to look afer you?", "how long will you use the residential schools as an excuse?", "here is a list of red hat mandates you can use to help your people if you do them in the way I want you to".

Moreover, during the role play you learn about the village and you learn about experiences of trying to protect children from the residential schools and how today many of these children are now adults facing the emotions of re-entering their community and not understanding why the community was unable to protect them and many of the children who were not taken to the schools are left with the responsibilities of maintaining the traditions of the community. I cannot say any of this as well as Kathi (and I apologise if it comes across in an offensive way because I am not giving enough detail and explanation) does but the workshop is extremley eye opening and also addresses the idea that despite the importance of ceremony, many of these children have not yet been welcomed back into the community through ceremony and how this is an important piece now becoming realised in the #healingjourney.

Some of the teachings I am working through today include:

1. do your own healing & then #walkalongside others to help them find their resilience (as an approach to trauma and culturally informed counselling but, still has lessons for those looking to work in allyship)

2. the important of #experientialearning

3. entering and maintaing relationships require us being vulnerable enough to go to our own wounded areas and heal them as part of "preparing ourselves to come together with others in a #goodway"

4. part of returning to the #originaltreaty is holding the #valuesof:love,respect,kidness and generosity for both others and ourselves

5. how do we pull together (as settlers and Indigenous peoples) without a common vision? (in regards to the struggles of reconciliation being more than a word)

6. learn the waves of colonisation and their roles in the shame and coping methods exhibited intergenerationally

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