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Giving up Privilege, Pursuing Decolonization

Steve Heinrichs, Leah Gazan, Reina Neufeld

“Giving Up Privilege: Pursuing Decolonization”
Global Mennonite Peacebuilding Conference & Festival
Banquet, Friday, June 10

Opening Ceremony
Mino Ode Kwewak N’Gamowak
Good Hearted Women Singers
Blessing on the Meal

Welcome and Acknowledgment of Banquet Sponsor
Ten Thousand Villages
Salad
Main course from buffet tables

Conversation with Steve Heinrichs and Leah Gazan
​hosted by Reina Neufeldt

Leah Gazan is a member of Wood Mountain Lakota Nation, located in Treaty 4 territory in the province of Saskatchewan. She teaches in the Faculty of Education at the University of Winnipeg.

Steve Heinrichs is Mennonite Church Canada’s Director of Indigenous Relations.

Dessert from buffet tables
Mino Ode Kwewak N’Gamowak
Closing Song


The banquet on Friday (June 10) focused on exploring Mennonite settler-indigenous relations with a focus on Canada.  Conrad Grebel University College acknowledges it is located on the traditional territory of‎ the Neutral, Anishnaabe and Haudenosaunee peoples.  It is part of the Haldimand Tract, the land promised to the Six Nations that includes six miles on either side of the Grand River.

Settler-indigenous relations are complex, and an important focus for peacebuilders today.  While some are Mennonite and indigenous, many others are Mennonite and settler in Canada.  The banquet content focused on ways of rethinking our relationship, our history and ways of living on this land together in the shadow of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission report (2015). During the banquet program, we sat with Leah Gazan and Steve Heinrichs, and heard about how they work with this legacy in Winnipeg; we listened to their stories and reflections on experiences working together on the process of decolonization, how they partner, and what it might mean for Mennonite Peacebuilding.   Over the evening, we were accompanied by Mino Ode Kwewak N’gamowak, a drum circle made up of indigenous women and settler allies who have been working at bridging communities through song. 

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