Guest Blog: Duluth’s “Living Our Resiliency” Symposium an Opportunity for Healing and Change for City’s Native Peoples

Christina Woods
Christina Woods

On March 7, the All Nations Indigenous Center in Duluth and Churches United in Ministry (CHUM) held an event called “Living our Resiliency Symposium,” that brought together the city’s Indigenous people and people from the mostly white religious communities to discuss the historical and ongoing trauma that exists in Native American communities. Event Coordinator Christina Woods (Anishinaabe) was invited to write a guest blog to share about the event and follow up. It offers a powerful model for us to consider replicating in the metro area.

“As a life-long Catholic, I was certain my moral grounding through Catholicism was the compass I could rely on to guide all my decisions,” said a community leader who attended the Living Our Resiliency Symposium. “But now, my eyes are open.”

The March event brought together 100 members of the Duluth community, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, to view and discuss the Sheldon Wolfchild documentary, Doctrine of Discovery. The documentary is making its way into many communities through Christian faith venues. I believe these opportunities are to enlighten non-Indigenous people about the systemic oppression that has followed Indigenous peoples around the world. For us, it was important to use the documentary to help reveal eye-opening issues that plague the Indigenous community in Duluth.

The Symposium was unique in many ways. It was led by Indigenous elders and leaders. The parallel development model was used as a means to include religious leaders to participate in this important dialog. Continue reading