In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Today is International Inuit (ee-noo-eet) Day, a day to acknowledge and celebrate Inuit culture and contributions, but most importantly to affirm the voices of Inuit across the world, especially in polar regions.
This week (November 6-12) is Treaties Recognition Week. During this week we reflect on the importance of treaties (binding agreements, or promises) and increase awareness of the treaty relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities in Ontario. We recognize Treaty Week as part of an ongoing journey of healing and reconciliation walked together by Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. As we continue this journey together, we gratefully acknowledge that our York Catholic schools rest on traditional territory of the Anishinaabe, (ah-nish-in-ah-bay) Haudenosaunee (hoh-Dee-no-Shoh-nee) and Huron-Wendat (hoo-ron-when-dat)
During Treaties Recognition Week, we acknowledge the many Treaties that the Canadian Government signed with the First Peoples of this land. These Treaties compel all people in Canada, all of us, to be Treaty people. Each of us has an obligation to ensure that the Treaties be honoured.
We celebrate the contributions of Indigenous Peoples to the development of Canada. Indigenous peoples were the first stewards of the land, waters and resources. Indigenous Peoples offered assistance to the first European travelers to this region, and shared knowledge for survival in what was, at times, a harsh climate.
Each day we will say the Treaty Week Prayer:
Let us remember that Indigenous peoples gently walked this land,
Let us remember that Treaties are promises.
Let us respect those promises.
Let us remember all of the promises in our lives.
Let us remember that bullying causes pain and hurt.
Let us remember to be kind to everyone.
Let us remember to stick up for someone who is being bullied.
Let us remember to treat others the way we want to be treated.
Let us remember to love our neighbours.
We close in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.