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Wazin Îchinabi – I am one with you.

artsPlace September Cultural Learning Circle brings together a panel of Indigenous community members and Bow Valley community members
20210823 Talking Circle 0080
Talking Circle on Monday, August 23, 2021.

“Wazin Îchinabi” is a phrase that means “I am one with you” in the Stoney Language. It is akin to the phrase “All my Relations” which is an Indigenous prayer that acknowledges the interconnectivity of all beings.  

On Sept. 1, artsPlace will host an online Cultural Learning Circle that will bring together a panel of Indigenous community members and Bow Valley community members from a diversity of backgrounds to consider what we can do to live in right relations with each other in this beautiful Bow Valley home on this sacred land.

“When we first imagined the Cultural Learning Circles at artsPlace, we imagined people sitting in-person, in an actual circle of chairs, in the artsPlace theatre,” say artsPlace Programs Director, Nicole Fougère. “Because of the pandemic, these events were transitioned online in the fall of 2020. At first, we weren’t sure how it would feel to connect to people online with these important cultural teachings, but the positive response from the general community was overwhelming. It still felt like being in a circle with Bow Valley Community Members.”

artsPlace Indigenous Liaison, Travis Rider, has contributed many ideas for the content of these Circles, and hosted many of them himself. He had the inspiration to create an event where a diversity of people from the Bow Valley could talk about how to live together. “As Indigenous people to this land, we need to learn to coexist, not only with the white people, but also with all the other cultures that are coming to our ancestral homelands.” artsPlace will partner with Settlement Services in the Bow Valley to bring a diversity of community members to the panel discussion. 

The Cultural Learning Circles artsPlace will continue on the first Wednesday of the month for the rest of 2021. They will continue online, as this online engagement has opened the way for many community members to participate who may not yet feel ready to gather in-person. In the autumn, there will be two more events in collaboration with Settlement Services in the Bow Valley that will celebrate the diverse cultures of the Bow Valley and one more event where Travis Rider will again be the host. 

“There have been so many enlightening and enlivening moments in these sharing circles this year,” said Fougère. “I am excited to see where this community spirit leads us this year, and also for 2022 and beyond.”

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