Reconciliation Café Nov 19, 2023

Nov 24, 2023

Calgary’s Indigenous Learning Team, comprised of both First Nations and Settler members, hosted another of their quarterly “Reconciliation Cafés” at the downtown coffee shop adjacent to Prince’s Island, Gravity Café. Gravity is owned by Andy Fennell, a gracious local businessman who is unusually sympathetic to the cause of Reconciliation, and the son-in-law of Cochrane Bahá’í, Pat Verge.

The packed house included members of the Bahá’í Community, First Nations students from Mount Royal University, their professor, and interested Calgarians wanting to meet others who shared the goal of good relations and increased understanding with our country’s Indigenous people. Guests were honored to hear Skip Wolf Leg, well-known Blackfoot drummer and speaker from Siksika First Nation, share his encouragement to “Never be afraid to ask questions…” and share songs from his culture. He also drummed for the young Blackfoot grass dancer, Kiilan, and his little sister, Kate, as they delighted the crowd with their dancing.

Members of the Indigenous Learning Team shared personal stories of how they met, allowing people to glimpse the impact of the Bahá’í  Faith on their lives — including the influence of its fundamental beliefs — and how its community life was the context in which they were able to become personal friends and co-workers.

 Bev Knowlton, originally from Piikani First Nation, acted as the team’s capable MC. She asked team members to share prayers from both Bahá’í and other backgrounds, which added to the glow of good will that permeated the evening. It was topped off by a Friendship Round Dance, accompanied by Skip Wolf Leg, and the giving of thank you gifts. Everyone received a hand-made memento before they left which featured Baha’u’llah’s quote, “Dedicate the precious days of your lives to the betterment of the world,” on one side, and a piece of sage — sacred to First Nations — on the other, along with the Calgary Bahá’í website address. Virtually every guest in attendance asked to be notified of the next such event. Needless to say, this filled the hearts of the team members with gratitude for the confirmations received.

David Vink

David Vink