LETTERS

The following are comments from readers on articles in past issues of Winds&Waves. Please send your comments  to Letters to the Editor, Dharmalingam Vinasithamby (dvinasithamby@yahoo.com)

A Sharing Platform
I think the magazine is a great platform for us to share our actions and plans with the ICA network. So, thank you very much on behalf of ICA Nepal. I will be forwarding and sharing the copy with everyone in our contact.

Pritha Khanal, Kathmandu, Nepal


Being Culturally Appropriate
On reading the articles in the First Peoples section of the September issue, I was reminded of an event in New Zealand, another country where the trauma of colonization still exists for Indigenous people.

I spent an amazing week in 2009 with an ICA training team made up of Australians, two New Zealanders and the Maori leader of Te Mauri Tau.  She invited us to meet in their Whaingaroa Environmental centre in New Zealand. The idea was to explore what it would take for us to ensure that ToP training in New Zealand was as culturally appropriate as possible. 

Underlying this concern was a deeper issue: was ICA really colonialist like so many others?  Our host asked many difficult questions, especially about Fifth City, ICA’s first community development project.  What did we do there and why?  And as the ICA elder on the team, I shared stories of the pilot work done there to train local leaders and to facilitate serious reflection and participation within the community to create together a desired future.  I also shared the strong influence Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement had on that early work.  In between these conversations, we explored the work of the centre, walked by the sea, participated in powerful rituals, ate delicious food, sat by the fire and got to know one another.  At the end of three days I held my breath to see what her verdict would be.  And our host said: yes, we have common values.  A deeper trusting relationship had begun.  This paved the way for a partnership in designing and facilitating culturally appropriate events.

When I visited Australia in 2014, who do I discover in Uluru, the profound desert centre of Australia and spirit place for the Aboriginal peoples? Yes, my New Zealand and Maori colleagues. What are they doing in the outback of Australia, thousands of kilometres from home?  They have just been to a Facilitator conference in the nearest town, Alice Springs, where they have been learning and sharing their discoveries about creating culturally appropriate facilitation events. I am grateful for that magical meeting in this place where one experiences 50,000 years of humanity encompassed in a Rock.

Jeanette Stanfield, Toronto, Canada



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