Although many of us have worked informally together for 14 years, we came together in the spring of 2016 at the invitation of the Catherine Donnelly Foundation. The Foundation wondered if we wanted to form an eastern hub of Righting Relations. The 35 women gathered gave a loud yes. And Apji-wla'Matulinej (Righting Relations) was born.
We agreed we wanted to change the story of Indigenous women from one of being a victim to one of resilience, power, hope and love.
After brainstorming on all the things we could do for our communities, we realized we needed to heal and strengthen ourselves first. We needed to build trust among ourselves and we needed to re-learn and remember how Creator intended us to be.
Since then we have had many activities. A brief description of some of our activities is listed below:
1/ Supported and provided direction for Waking With Our Sister's exhibit at Mt. St. Vincent's University br providing travel and accommodations for elders.
2/ Supported a men's gathering held at Acadia First Nations.
3/ Sent 2 members to a Matricculural conference at the University of Ottawa.
4/ Created 12 videos on Indigenous women in the east
5/ Held a 4 day gathering in NB where we discussed strategies for reducing violence against women and children, shared oral history, crafts and language markers of matricultural societies.
6/ Supported mid-winter gathering at St. Thomas University by covering travel and accommodations for elders.
7/ Participated in raising Wi'Kuom at Mt. St. Vincent's University.
8/ Sent 2 members to Turtle Lodge to learn more about rites of passage
9/ Sent 12 members to national gathering of Righting Relations (Apaji-wla'matulinej in Manitoba
10/ Met with Pres of Mt. St. Vincent's University to discuss partnering and creating a centre or institute for Indigenous Women's Studies
11/ Held a 2 weekend gathering of women, men and children in Nova Scotia.
12/ We decided we also needed to be a separate non-profit and so Women of First Light was created for the long term goal of becoming a centre both within and outside of a University that focused on Indigenous women's knowledge and wisdom.
13/ This summer we started a land-based education centre and held first youth- elder gathering.