TORONTO, July 31, 2013 /CNW/ - This August, Indigenous and
non-Indigenous youth will participate in a unique bike tour through
southeastern Ontario to build bridges of understanding and respect
based on a deepened understanding of their shared history.
Billed as The Nation to Nation Bike Tour, the two and a half week
project is a joint initiative of KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice
Initiatives and The Otesha Project. Its 14 participants will cycle
along the St. Lawrence River, from the Kanien'kehaka (Mohawk)
communities of Akwesasne to Tyendinaga, learning from each other and
from the Indigenous and non-Indigenous host communities along the way
what it means to live in right relations.
KAIROS is a faith-based social justice organization that focuses on
ecological sustainability, human rights and Indigenous rights. The
Otesha Project is a youth-led organization that uses bike tours,
theatre, experiential activities and storytelling to inspire people of
all ages to create positive social change.
"KAIROS is committed to building respectful relationships between
Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. These relationships recognize
Indigenous peoples as distinct peoples and nations, with rights to land
and self-determination," says KAIROS Indigenous Rights Program
Coordinator, Katy Quinn. "We're also committed to engaging youth on
these issues in creative ways. This is why we're so excited to be
partnering with The Otesha Project".
Participants, most of whom are in their 20s, will spend several days
meeting with and learning from elders and community members in
Akwasasne. After a big community launch on July 31st, tour members
will set off on the cycling portion of the trip. They'll be hosted by
church groups in Morrisburg, Prescott, Brockville, Gananoque and
"The Nation to Nation Tour's focus on building right relationships fits
with Otesha's vision of empowering youth to create positive social
change," says Otesha Tour Coordinator Matt Schaaf. "This tour has
brought together a diverse and talented group of young people for what
we hope will be a life-changing experience".
Along with various special events, KAIROS' increasingly popular Blanket
Exercise workshop will be featured throughout the tour. The Blanket
Exercise is a highly engaging workshop that uses blankets to represent
the lands of what is now Canada. Used in introductory work on nation
to nation relationships, it often stirs emotions as the exercise guides
participants, standing on their blanket 'land', through a history of
treaty making, colonization and resistance that continues to this day.
Another tour highlight will be the Tyendinaga Pow Wow. Everything wraps
up with an end-of-tour retreat near Belleville where participants will
evaluate what's been learned and discuss next steps.
Tour members will be blogging and tweeting about their experiences.
Follow along at: @oteshaproject, @oteshaontour, @kairoscanada, @MediaKAIROS. For further information visit: www.kairoscanada.org and www.otesha.ca.
SOURCE: KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives
For further information:
Communications Program Coordinator
KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives
(613) 235 9956 ext. 221
(416) 463 5312 ext. 223
The Otesha Project