KI Reconciliation Exchange 2013
In June 2013, forty-three Canadians flew over 600km from Thunder Bay, ON to Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI), a remote fly-in community on the shores of Big Trout Lake. They were invited by the communities residents, the Indigenous people of KI, to stay in their homes and experience firsthand the challenges, and joys, of living in a remote First Nations community. The event provided a space in which true reconciliation and cross-cultural exchange could transpire between the community and its guests.
(Click galleries for more photos)
During our 2013 Exchange the goal was to bring awareness about the issues the community faces; the high cost of living, the housing conditions, health care, etc. The exchange was not about placing blame or to make people feel bad, but to allow people to explore the conditions of the community and show that the community members and youth still hold hope for a better life for future generations to come. As the Youth Leaders of KI stated, “as Aboriginals we face many stereo types such as being seen as just alcoholics, drug addicts, lazy, or as living off the Government. We wanted to break these stereotypes, but avoid throwing our problems in the guests’ faces.”
This goal was accomplished and all participants left the exchange with new found views of the issues and gained many new friends in the process. The exchange inspired work in “The South” on reconciliation as well as further inspiration in “The North”. The exchange ignited the Youth Leaders’ in starting their own endeavors into social venture tourisms, attending university, and provided a source of pride and accomplishment for all involved.
Productions Cazabon still works extremely close with the Youth Leaders of KI, supporting and mentoring them in all their future goals.
This exchange was an immense success due to the commitment, determination and openness of everyone who took part. Thank you!