Engaging in Stillness

Wîtaskêwin

 Living together on the land

This week I had to opportunity to lead a seminar about Land Relationships and Experiences. It was different, scary, but also motivating and humbling being able to help my classmates in their treaty walks.

First, we gave them to think of the land that they connect with and fostered discussion around why they connect with this land, and how they show respect to this land. We talked about the relationships between treaties in the land. In preparation for our treaty walk we also discussed Treaty 4 Land. Lastly, we talked about how the land provides Indigenous peoples with a way of living, and what they need to thrive in the world. All of these topics led us to the most important part of our seminar, stillness.

We instructed our classmates to set an alarm for 15 minutes. They were then to go outside, pick a spot, and sit in solitude with the land. The rest was all up to them.

As I looked around, I could see other university students walking through the green staring in confusion at all the random people sitting contently on the green. It was like it was something they had never seen before, and that they were questioning what was going on. I was suddenly overwhelmed and almost felt bad that there were not able to experience this amazing moment. It also made me realize that we don’t engage in stillness almost at all in life. I am constantly rushing around from one thing to the next, that I never actually go outside and embrace and appreciate my surroundings.

When their timers went off, everyone arose in unison, and joined us for a circle talk. We discussed if anyone had any difficulties not looking at their phone during this time, how they felt during this time of stillness, and if this is something that they can see taking place during our land experience. It was so interesting hearing what everyone had to say. Some found it very challenging, while it brought others back to their childhood. Overall, I think everyone took something meaningful out of this experience.

Kā-miyikowisiyahk

– What the powers have given us

After taking time to engage in stillness, we asked our classmates to tell us how they felt during this experience through a menti. Some of the words that stuck out to them were calming, relaxing, happy and peaceful. I hope that we can take what we have done today, and apply it as we go into our land experience very soon.

– Ms. S

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