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Talk on Indigenous culture and history at Oneness Centre

Organizers and volunteers who’ve been working hard to make the Wazin Ichinabi Ti (Oneness Centre) a reality in Cochrane have come full circle and are inviting anyone interested to learn about indigenous culture.
With the aid of a forked stick, astronomer-priests used only the naked eye to observe and calculate the path of Venus and other celestial bodies. From their their observations they could calculate with precision events such as solar eclipses.

Organizers and volunteers who’ve been working hard to make the Wazin Ichinabi Ti (Oneness Centre) a reality in Cochrane have come full circle and are now opening the doors to anyone interested in learning about indigenous culture in the first of what will be a series of talks open to the public.

The learning sessions will take place on the first Wednesday of each month, for the first hour of the Oneness Circle meetings.

The first module will be presented at 7 p.m. on April 5 at Wazin Ichinabi Ti, the former Information Centre, located at 521 First St. W. between Thanh Thy Vietnamese restaurant and Little Caesar’s Pizza.

“The modules are intended to be offered to the general public and now this is the chance to reach out beyond our circle. Anyone who wishes to join in the learning process is welcome,” said organizer Pat Verge.

The 30 minute presentation will be followed by a 30 minute discussion.

The Oneness Circle has now had two sessions with the Board of Wazin Ichinabi Ti, and three other meetings previously, for a total of five meetings since they started in November, with increasing numbers of people showing interest.

The Circle was started as a way to learn about Indigenous issues and to take action, particularly in supporting the new centre. The group is now looking to become more systematic with the learning component.

In 2018, six modules were developed by Michael and Judie Bopp for Rotary members and Town of Cochrane staff to learn about Indigenous culture and history over a number of months.   

“The modules are a good fit for our learning objectives, and have some content on Nakoda culture as well,” said Verge.

Topics to be covered in the series include: the impacts of european settlement and the founding of Canada (two parts); Indigenous resistance and conditions; and, Indigenous innovation and frameworks for future action.

How the Indigenous peoples of North America lived before European contact will be the topic of the presentation on April 5.




The Board of Wazin Ichinabi Ti is looking for a volunteer to help the three-member team that is writing grant applications for the Centre.  This volunteer would, in essence, be searching the internet and various websites for grants that can be applied for in the areas of technology, culture and heritage, education or operating costs for non-profits.

They would bring these opportunities, including the deadlines for application, to the attention of the team which would then do the work of applying for the grants.

Interested parties can contact Melissa Engdahl at [email protected].


The reconciliation team for the Chinook Winds Region of the United Church is organizing a reconciliation feast in Morley for Maundy Thursday, April 6, at 5 p.m. in the Morley gym.

They are inviting all churches and interfaith groups to share a meal. This will be an opportunity to share the idea of the last supper with reconciliation commitments on the Thursday before Good Friday.  There are several opportunities to assist, including set up and take down, decoration and making plates, and the making and donating of food and supplies to the feast.

There will be egg coloring for the kids, and organizers have asked for donations of bags of candy and small gifts to give to the kids who compete in the egg painting contest.

To help out contact Pat Verge at [email protected].

Howard May

About the Author: Howard May

Howard was a journalist with the Calgary Herald and with the Abbotsford Times in BC, where he won a BC/Yukon Community Newspaper Association award for best outdoor writing.
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