NNEEC is committed to the principles of Reconciliation and is exploring opportunities for partnerships
The Dokis First Nation and Near North Enviro-Education Centre (NNEEC) announced a new partnership on the eve of the Annual Dokis Pow-Wow and NNEEC was invited to attend the Dokis Pow Wow on June 24, 2017 as valued guests of the Dokis First Nation. This opportunity was the result of discussions between Jocelyn Palm (NNEEC), Kelly Lendsay (CEO of Indigenous Works) and Doug Dokis (Indigenous Coordinator ACTUA) on how to begin conversations between the two groups and explore future relationships. NNEEC’s intent is to involve members from the Magnetewan, Nipissing and Dokis so that all inhabitants of the Almaguin area can have productive conversations. The Dokis Pow Wow provided a place to begin a discussion and NNEEC valued the opportunity. NNEEC sponsored the Pow-Wow “Give Away Special” to thank the community of Dokis First Nation and surrounding communities for listening, learning and sharing.
NNEEC’s delegation included President Jocelyn Palm, Vice-President Jim Schmidt and many members of the Almaguin community. Arriving shortly before the grand entrance they were directed to reserved seating. The afternoon began with dancing, drumming and ceremony. As the Grand Entry was staged, Jocelyn Palm was honoured to be included amongst delegate members from the host Dokis First Nation, visiting members of other Canadian and US First Nations, chiefs, mayors of local towns, and other honored guests.
At the conclusion of the Grand Entry Jocelyn was invited to take part in a greeting line, she met many members of the Indigenous community young and old.
A “talking tent” was added as a new addition to the 2017 Dokis Pow Wow, it featured Pat Madahbee, Anishinabek Grand Council Chief, speaking about “Truth & Reconciliation”, and Jocelyn Palm, President Near North Enviro-Education Centre, speaking about “Renewing Relationships” as two of the three speakers. Chief Pat Madahbee was first up and with no ready audience Jocelyn encouraged him to give his presentation to her and another NNEEC attendee who was present. Chief Pat shared his extensive knowledge and experience with them and soon others joined to listen. He started with the history of Indigenous people, from pre-contact, to contact, treaties and the history that has brought Canada to this point in time. NNEEC delegates were attentive as the Grand Council Chief explained his point of view, so much so that the talking tent was active for an hour and the discussions had gone right through the time allocated for Jocelyn to speak, however as her talk was about the renewing of relationships of the Indigenous populations and the rural communities that surround them, the goals had been met as the conversation had begun.
The conversation ended with promises of continued communication, a reunion and renewed discussions at the NNEEC grand opening September 30, 2017 and related events at the Near North Enviro-Education Centre in Sundridge.