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Group wants to add Indigenous elders' 'spiritual, cultural knowledge'

'While the Culture Alliance has First Nation and Métis committee members, we are missing elders from these communities,' Culture Alliance in the Heart of Georgian Bay official says
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The Culture Alliance is looking to add some Indigenous perspective to its meetings.

The north Simcoe group wants to recruit First Nation and/or Métis elder members to attend its monthly meetings.

They would then start the meetings with either a smudge or prayer and would participate in and contribute to the conversation at all meetings, according to Liz Cascagnette, cultural development coordinator for the Culture Alliance in the Heart of Georgian Bay.

“While the Culture Alliance has First Nation and Métis committee members, we are missing elders from these communities,” she said. “Elders hold spiritual and cultural knowledge and the Culture Alliance has respect for the leadership and guidance they can provide.”

Cascagnette says the positions are volunteer and noted that as a committee of Midland, Penetanguishene, Tay and Tiny Townships the alliance receives an annual allocation from each community, pending annual budget processes.

The deadline to submit an application is Feb. 9 at noon.

“The Culture Alliance also applies for grants to support specific projects,” Cascagnette told MidlandToday.

The organization was established as a way for municipalities to work collaboratively with its community partners to identify, highlight and grow the unique culture that is the heart of Georgian Bay.

“The Culture Alliance is a dynamic committee,” Cascagnette says. “The members are committed to building partnerships, to learning from each other and to celebrating culture, and everything that includes, in our region.”

Cascagnette said that although the alliance was only formed a few years ago, it has made great strides and had a positive impact on the communities it serves.

“Committee members are proud of what has been accomplished to date,” she said. “They recognize that culture in our area is not defined by municipal boundaries and they look forward to growing the Culture Alliance and further engaging with community members.”

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Andrew Philips

About the Author: Andrew Philips

Editor Andrew Philips is a multiple award-winning journalist whose writing has appeared in some of the country’s most respected news outlets. Originally from Midland, Philips returned to the area from Québec City a decade ago.
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