So on Friday December 9th, BE THE CHANGE occurred at Indian Family Centre. There were between 35 and 40 people in attendance and many people brought a food item to share. We had arranged to have Kevin Chief come by to attend the festivities, as well as hoop dancer Evander Twoheart.
We asked 2 community members to describe what happened @ The Bell Tower that night as our usual blogger had a work related commitment. Find below their words:
Evander (guest Hoop Dancer)
I’m from Sagkeeng, MB and Rat Portage, Ontario I have been dancing my whole life and I have been hoop dancing for 8 years now danceing is important to me because I love doing what I do I’m proud to b native and I love putting smile on peoples face’s and I’m volunteering at the bell tower because I feel that is what I need to
It was a good turnout with different people attending. It was a little hard to get warmed up to march. We arrived a little late so the gathering had moved inside. Our photo at the bell tower was after the march rather than at the start and a lot of people didn’t want to join the photo, so I would recommend not doing it that way around in the future so we can capture more of the crowd meeting at the bell tower. We need to have some slogans or songs to sing on our march. Also we need someone to ring the bell at 6 to remind people about the rally and for someone else to ring it as we march down the street. It would have been good to have a drummer with us, but it might have been too cold for his drum. But for sure the number one thing we need is to make sure someone is ringing the bell! Rosanna said she heard it last week and it was inspiring. That means it was inspiring others…. it will also help us draw people.
The group gathered at the Indian Family Centre, and Michael opened the evening before heading to another event. A number of people brought food for the pot luck.
The group then walk West down Selkirk and cross the street by the Merchant’s Hotel, in chorus shouting, “Stop the Violence” and “Be The Change”. Community members, though one was intoxicated, joined the group as we walked. We stopped at the Bell Tower and a couple of guys made a human pyramid to ring the bell once. Everyone gather at the Indian Family Centre again for the potluck fest and enjoy a demonstration by a Hoop Dancer Evander TwoHeart.
Before everyone ate, we had a prayer and honour song in memory of a young lady who had recently lost her life to violence. The Hoop Dancer offer a great show, and Ko’ona shared a drum song. Before the night was over, the floor was opened for people to share stories, encouragement or thoughts. There were a couple of people from Philadelphia, as part of a project to bring them to Winnipeg, who shared thoughts about started something similar in their community.
Community members indicated they will gather again on December 16, to sing Christmas Carols around the Bell Tower, and once again a community potluck. One suggestion was for someone to bring drinks, as we had food, but very little to drink. We ended the night by learning a Chief Dan George Song, lead by Ko’ona, and sang together as a group. Ko’ona will keep sharing this song with the group at each gathering. There was a question about where people should sign up to be a guest on air with Michael. I suggest a Facebook page or email.
Thank you to all those who shared the lead, the food and stories in this community event! We can be the Change together!
And then..Keep Ringing The Bell…
Without the usual suspect (MC) in the house, the others in attendance quickly stepped up to take charge (as you can read above). At the end of the evening it was decided that we would come back next Week, December 16th for our 5th Met Me @ The Bell Tower event called ‘ Keep Ringing The Bell’.