Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Seeking reconciliation through song and prayer

Shawville United Church held a reconciliation service on Sunday morning, seeking to expose their congregation to Indigenous culture. From left: Denis Dupont, Sébastien Beaudoin, Rev. Dr. Richard Hollingsworth, Glenda Cahill, Trevor Pearce and Chris Jones lead the group in traditional cultural songs.
Shawville United Church held their first Indigenous reconciliation event, inviting members of the Broken Arrow Drummers to educate church members through ceremony and song. From left: Broken Arrow Drummers’ Doreen Rutter, Skye Kenny, Joan Lewis, Keigan Sarazin and Melissa Liedthe.

Donald Teuma-Castelletti
SHAWVILLE June 17, 2018
It was a scene that Broken Arrow Drummer Sébastien Beaudoin would have never imagined possible just 30 years ago, as a live performance of Indigenous songs filled the air in front of the Shawville United Church, fully supported by the gathering of locals.
But that’s exactly why the reconciliation event took place on Sunday, as the church’s congregation sought to acknowledge a marred history of nationwide discrimination towards Indigenous culture, while renewing a commitment to right the wrongs of past generations, as best they can.
In accordance with Indigenous Sunday on the United Church’s calendar year, it was arranged to have the Broken Arrow Drummers join the Shawville location in an effort to educate their group.
Service that morning started with an outdoor gathering, as the congregation started their day with a different kind of ritual – a smudging. Wafting the cleansing smoke of sage over the body, much of the group took part as they sought to understand and expose themselves to the culture.
From there, everyone gathered round as Rev. Dr. Richard Hollingsworth was invited to join the drum circle of the Broken Arrow Drummers and share the pipe with them. Together, they sang and performed two traditional Indigenous songs before the group moved inside of the church.


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