Unity Walk Thunder Bay – October 18 2016

Culture Community Ideology Society Principle Concept

Walk Seeks to Make Thunder Bay United and Inclusive of All

THUNDER BAY – I am writing to invite you to “Walking in the Light – Addressing Racism in Thunder Bay Guided by Faith” an upcoming event we are hosting on Tuesday, October 18, 2016 from 1:00 – 5:00 pm.

We will be beginning with a Unity Walk starting near the International Friendship Gardens on Victoria Avenue East at 1:00 p.m. We will walk on the sidewalk from there to Thunder Bay City Hall. I encourage all church leaders and their congregations to join us in this 20-minute walk with your flags, signs and placards reflecting positive messages.

You will be joined by First Nations people and leadership from the Matawa communities of Aroland, Constance Lake, Eabametoong, Ginoogaming, Long Lake #58, Marten Falls, Neskantaga, Nibinamik, and Webequie First Nations. Some of whom, may be existing members of your congregation. The purpose of this walk is to show how First Nations and people of diverse faiths and denominations can come together in unity, peace and understanding.

We will be concluding with a Symposium at the Knights of Columbus Hall at 301 South May Street from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. (refreshments provided). This will be an opportunity for dialogue to begin on how faith- based values can be part of the solutions to societal and systemic racism that exists in the city of Thunder Bay.

We are hoping that the discussion will be innovative and play a role in changing the conversation to-date. The Symposium will result in a Consensus Document which will be shared as a moving forward tool. The Draft Agenda and Speakers List are currently being developed. It will include fellowship, prayer and focus on solutions-based approaches. Should you be called to share your perspective, I encourage you to express your interest in participating. Updated information will be provided at: Facebook.com/MatawaFirstNations/Events. I am also enclosing a poster that I request you place in a public area and for you to use to update your congregation.

As believers that racism not only stands as a barrier between people, but as an offence between us and God—I firmly believe there is a role for the churches in Thunder Bay in addressing our current challenges. We cannot continue to be discouraged about the prospect of never overcoming the racial divisiveness that permeates the city. We must act now and work together in unity and respect for a healthy community.

Should you have any questions, or to RSVP, please contact me on my cellular at 1(705)347-2410 or by email at dariusferris@hotmail.com. Alternatively, you can contact Carol Audet at Matawa First Nations Management on her cellular at 1(807)632-9663 or caudet@matawa.on.ca.

In peace and friendship,


Darius Ferris,
Board President

c.c.            Matawa Board of Directors, First Nations and Chief Executive Officer His Worship Mayor Keith Hobbs and Thunder Bay City Council Ontario Regional Chief Isadore Day, Chiefs of Ontario

Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler, Nishnawbe Aski Nation

J.P. Levesque, Chief of Police, Thunder Bay Police Service

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