We came here for many reasons. Learning being one of them. A few days ago I had the pleasure and privilege of attending the final session of the Indigenous Voices Cafe here in Barrie about an hour North of Toronto. The round table discussion Cafe being an initiative of the Native Community and Social Development Program at Georgian College, Barrie Campus. Someone thought that it may well be a good idea when thinking about developing an indigenous health program to listen to the voices of Indigenous people. Oh where do such crazy ideas come from!! The results were a DVD and a booklet, but as everyone kept saying, the relationships that were built between health professionals, academic staff, business people and Indigenous peoples, was the aspect of real importance. And while I heard many times that further action was indeed necessary, I also heard repeatedly that the conversation and the very developing and nurturing of relationships was in itself part of that action.

And to guide them, the group came up with a Code of Honour which appears in rough form below.


And here held by Austin Mixemong, austincsjpg Pottawatomi man and Traditional Teacher, my host and friend…
…a more elaborate and neater version. Possibly more beautiful. Both noble.

And apart from anything else, one of the things I really like about this code of honour, is that there isn’t a single ‘DON’T’ anywhere to be seen.

This morning I told Austin that he was up on my website. He said: ‘Cool.’ (Old Indian saying).

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