Building First Nations Dialogue

Image: Lewis Cardinal with Aboriginal singer Johnny Huckle at the Global Indigenous forum at Caux, Switzerland

What can we as Australians learn and gain from the First Nations people of Canada, when in conversation with First Nations people of Australia? How will this enhance our understanding of our national search for Voice, Treaty and Truth?

From 19-28 February, the visit of five Canadians will open up dialogues which draw on the spiritual strengths of their elders and practical experience of their long journey towards justice and healing.
Your support will enable their interactions with a range of stakeholders – from political leaders to grassroots activists to corporate players and Aboriginal youth at risk.

The party consists of:

Lewis Cardinal, a Woodland Cree from Alberta and a leader in communications; project manager for Canada’s first urban Indigenous ceremony grounds.

Chief Lee Crowchild, hereditary and former political sitting Tsuut'ina Chief from Treaty 7 area in Southern Alberta, and governance consultant.

Rainbow Cardinal, a poet and healer of the Sucker Creek Cree First Nation.

Dr Ian MacNairn, a physician and anthropologist, who has written about traditional knowledge and land use.

Samantha Myers, photographer and videographer, mental health advocate and domestic violence survivor, who will make a video of the visit.

They are being hosted by Initiatives of Change Australia

Treaties are integrated into Canada’s Constitution and cover 75 percent of the nation. ‘Treaties have brought strength to Canada, but also have taken us back to focus on relationship,’ said Lewis. ‘We can learn from each other. It is not an easy process… It means recognition that we are Spirit people with deep connection to the land, to great mystery, to God. We have to live in harmony with all that is.”

Lewis also represents the Global Indigenous Dialogues being held at Initiatives of Change's centre in Caux, Switzerland, in July 2023. And the Parliament of World’s Religions, in Chicago in August. He is keen to open these dialogue spaces for First Peoples and their allies from Australia to share examples of good practices of on-the-ground actions and projects being undertaken.

Itinerary -- This visit will include dialogues and meetings in Melbourne, Sydney, rural NSW, and East Arnhemland.

Budget -- The Canadian group are funding their international air fares, but IofC Australia is responsible for domestic travel and accommodation, including on the expensive leg to and from Arnhemland. The target to be raised by 28 February is $22,000.

The group will be welcomed in Melbourne at an event co-hosted by IofCA and the Sustainable Architecture Forum at the Australian Institute of Architects, as part of the Sustainable Living Festival
First Nations Wisdom for Regenerative Futures
Date: Sunday 19 February
Time: 11am - 1 pm
Venue: Capitol Theatre, 113 Swanston Street, Melbourne.


Ildi Klein
Hawksburn VIC

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