Seven Generations Plan I had a vision – Aaron Paquette

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Aaron Paquette I had a vision

Aaron Paquette I had a visionEDMONTON – A Seven Generations Plan. I had a vision. I kept it to myself for a while, then shared it in little moments on Facebook, on Twitter.But it’s time to share it, as undeveloped as it may be, I feel that it’s right. And there’s something in me that won’t allow me to stay silent about it any longer. Take it or leave it, I’m releasing it now.

Seven Generations Plan

In my vision I saw something new. Something like government but unlike it completely.

I saw true representation for The People of Turtle Island, starting right here in Kanata.

I saw three levels of governance:

The Elders Circle

The Congress of Spokespeople

The Youth Assembly

I saw the Youth give the dreams and the vision. The hope and the energy.

I saw the Elders give the wisdom and perspective. The guidance and calm.

I saw the Congress of Spokespeople combine these things into action, carrying out the will of the people.

Where did they come from? They didn’t run for office or position, they were nominated by their regions, their communities. In fact, attempting to campaign for a position immediately disqualified the person.

They were asked to serve and they served. It was all volunteer, no money paid. They served for one year.

There was equal representation by the sexes, whether one spirit or two-spirit.

Who was a member?

Anyone who claimed the smallest drop of Indigenous blood. No blood quantum discrimination. You could be 1/64th for all it mattered. But you had to claim it. Stand up and say, “Yes. I am one of The People.”

And you had to give precedence to Indigenous Ways of Knowing, Honouring, and Sharing. Ceremony and smudge, discussion rather than heated debate.

There were only three directions to follow

-Promote the well being of the earth, water, sky
-Promote the well being of communities
-Promote education & peaceful relations

Anyone who went against these directions disqualified themselves from having a voice, as there were those who wanted to subvert the process, to act for other parties with special interests.

The only special interest here was the Common Good.

This organization had no official powers, was not part of government, was separate from Indian Act governance.

It had no funding. Not from Ottawa, not from Corporations. It was run through service.

It made use of all our modern technologies.

And before it began there was a Large Assembly, a Gathering.

At the Gathering the people voiced their thoughts, they spoke their concerns and hopes and cautions. They shared their visions.

And a Document was conceived.

A plan for the road ahead. A Seven Generations Path.

It was made available for everyone physically, and digitally. A practical, spiritual document. It was painted on hide. It was made into songs.

It was a gift for the people now, and the people to come.

It detailed the way we should walk forward in every aspect of life: Economic, Political, Financial, and so on.

It showed a new way to think about Kanata and it’s relation to the world and All Our Relations.

That is what I saw and share with you today. Can it happen? Will it happen?

It must happen. In my vision it already existed, already thrived.

I ask that our leaders step forward and step up. I ask that those who know how to organize such matters devote some small part of your time to making it happen.

There is no room for negativity here, no room for lateral violence, for hate, for anger.

If those are the gifts you bring, perhaps you should reconsider your approach.

Bring only the best of you, the greatest version of you, the version of you that is becoming free from colonization and the culture of fear and blame.

You are standing on the precipice of a great change

And it’s only the beginning. Once the Indigenous claim a voice, everyone will have a voice, together.

Peace, organization, and a giving, healing spirit.

That’s our gift to everyone and to our generations to come and it starts here.

It starts now.

Light the flame.

Light the Fire.

Open yourself to your greatest possibility.

Are you ready?

Then bring forward your best and let the dreaming and the creation begin.

Hiy Hiy

Aaron Paquette

Seven Generations Plan Aaron Paquette

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Aaron Paquette is one of Canadaʼs premiere First Nations artists known for his bright colours, strong lines and for sharing new ways of looking at age-old experiences and beliefs. Based in Edmonton, Alberta, Aaron has been creating art for the past 20 years. He apprenticed and has become both a Cathedral Stained Glass artist and a Goldsmith, influences of which can be seen in the line and structure of his paintings – displayed in various galleries throughout the country. Aaron is also an experienced facilitator, trainer and engaging public speaker. He has worked with the Royal Conservatory’s adjunct program -Learning Through the Arts- as both a Mentor Artist and as the First Nations Representative and Consultant in Alberta. This experience focused on providing the skills and background knowledge for infusing differentiated learning within the general curriculum in Alberta and the Northwest Territories. Aaron has collaborated with Ministries, Teachers’ Associations, and various community members and teachers, providing region wide teacher workshops and in- school experiences related to the art curriculum that also provide an FNMI perspective. Through this collaboration, he also provides student workshops, professional development sessions and artist-in- residence programs. A skilled communicator, Aaron has worked with Alberta Education in reconciliation, specifically between communities and school administration. He has worked for years with the Edmonton Public School Board with both in-class sessions and special sessions for promising young artists. The Catholic School Boards in the Central and Northern Alberta region have also enlisted Aaron in many projects ranging from elementary school visits that tie art into curricular learning to mural painting with High School students.