Time to present and talk to a whole range of international visitors to our lands in Toronto September 21 - 23, 2018 where I am presenting and discussing Life, Death ~ Reconciled at the International Death Symposium. Panelists, speakers, and schedule can be found at www.torontodeathsociety.com which "sounds grim", as my boy used to say, and I am sure he is bent over hollering with guffaws and yelling, Dad, Dad...He was such a joker.
Anyhooo, I am locked on. And I see it, my task as educating the world as its an international event. But, it'll be nice also to mingle with other indigenous who share the same grim humour about dying and living, and the Oh, well expression all too common with Indigenous America. My second memory in life is holding my Grandpa's hand and walking up to a wake. And I was just a wee guy. Able to walk, but still needing comfort from an adult. The house still stands where we went. In those days, wake were held in homes unlike now.
So, www.itmworld.org has this fun event, and I am tickled to be asked to be there and open the event with a welcome, and more, descibed as,
"3 days to be engaged, be inspired,and transform how we live, die, and care for our dead."
How am I am able to do all that? I will try. Yes, I will. I will do my best. and I will talk about everything good and spiritual about our language and community. I fear many will not understand as we live under a cultural rubric foreign to the Western mindset. I know. But, I am leaving the door open to the one or two that get it. I know. I have come across a very few who understand the span and breadth of Nishinaabe culture. And it scares them. And rightfully so. But I will not scare anyone (intentionally). I will walk in peace and with love, as we again, mainly niin, in this case, try to educate with respect about respect, to name one virtue.
After the "Welcome" and "Opening Blessing", which I am on the schedule for, followed by "Cultural Grief and Healing", I shall complete the tour with a yet another seminar entitled "The Sacred Art of Dying." As you can see I'll be there the entire weekend and when not mingling or presenting, I can be found at my booth with my book, "When My Son Died" for purchase and signing. My friend and colleague Barb Nahwegahbow is there selling her custom made jewellery. She will be the nice lady next to my table. So come and say Aanii or Hello. Hope to see some of you there. And mention this article for a special hug or smile.
PS. My Uncle Antoine Maiangowi and I in that picture. He is the last surviving member of my grandparents children. He is 82 or 83 years old.