On February 26th and 27th, MCC Ontario in partnership with Bloomingdale Mennonite Church presented the third symposium in the Dancing Towards Reconciliation series entitled Jingle Dress. Over 150 people attended the weekend event as part of the ongoing work of education and reconciliation with Indigenous communities. In addition to the animated stories told by Andrew and Esther Wesley, attendees viewed a screening of the film Jingle Dress – First Dance, a powerful piece by filmmaker James Buffin who told the story of Jules koostanchin and her healing journey with both her mother and grandmother. We were privileged to have James Buffin, Jules Koostachin and EJ Kwandibens together for a rich question and answer.
The film’s trailer can be viewed at www.jingledress.ca, where DVDs can also be purchased.
Martha Snyder, a member of Bloomingdale Mennonite Church, opened the weekend with a prayer for reconciliation.
Creator God, we come before you this evening, asking that you touch and heal our brokenness. We have been divided too long, forgive us. We want to, we need to, come back together again. Creator God, teach us to walk together in good and sacred ways. We know that unless we have love and compassion for each other, healing and reconciliation will not come. As we hear the stories of wounds from the past, O God, may we have a new understanding that, with the Spirit’s guidance, will lead us to healing and reconciliation. We have gathered together to listen to our friends. May we be surprised by you O God of all peoples, in ways we find unexpected, unexplained and life changing. O Lord, come from the four winds of this land, O Breath of God, fill us with your Spirit of compassion and heal our brokenness. Call us to Justice, in your ways of peace, as we join together as sisters and brothers. We thank you God, Spirit, Creator for this evening as we anticipate your peaceful healing. Amen
In all, Jingle Dress was a moving and transforming symposium. Mennonite Central Committee would like to thank Bloomingdale Mennonite Church for offering up hospitality and welcoming in new teachings and possibilities.
The next component of the Dancing Towards Reconciliation series is a five day Learning Tour that will explore the significance of the land or the 'Aski' to Indigenous people in north eastern Ontario. Stay tuned to MCC Ontario events for more information as it becomes available.