Kâkesimokamik – The Healing Garden

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Kâkesimokamik in Cree means “healing garden”.  There is a rich symbolism of nature held safe within the garden.  This is a spiritual place that brings together the earth, sky, water and air.

August 9, 2018 celebrates the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, which came into being by the General Assembly of the United Nations resolution 49/214 of 23 December 1994.   This marked the beginning of the first International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People proclaimed for the decade, 1995 to 2004.   A Second International Decade occurred from 2005 – 2015, with the theme of “A Decade for Action and Dignity.”

This year, I celebrated International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples by visiting “The Healing Garden” in St Albert, Alberta.

The Healing Garden was officially opened on Friday, September 15, 2017.  It is a place of peace and comfort, a testament to St. Albert’s commitment to healing and reconciliation.

Situated along the scenic Red Willow Trail across from St. Albert Place, The Healing Garden is “to be a place of truth and reconciliation, a visible sign of our community’s commitment to walk in right relations with First Nation, Métis and Inuit peoples, and with all Nations.”

May we continue to celebrate inclusivity and diversity, experiencing the profound healing power of reconciliation in our lives and within our communities.

19 thoughts on “Kâkesimokamik – The Healing Garden

  1. Wow, what an amazing place. It reminds me of the Japanese Garden in Kew Gardens, where I found peace and calm on many occasions. How lucky we are to have access to these beautiful oases.

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    • I agree, Liz. We need to create sacred spaces where we feel a freedom of thought within a place that offers unconditional acceptance. I love Joseph Campbell’s thought: “Your sacred space is where you can find yourself again and again.” Kew Gardens is still on my bucket list. The last time we were in the neighborhood, we went to Kew Steam Museum. I thought we were visiting the Kew Gardens. You know “who” organized this visit, so I have been promised a return trip. There is always an adventure waiting to happen!! Hugs!

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      • We used to visit Kew almost every weekend. I always felt a very real and tangible sense of the spirit as I walked through the gates. It is a wonderful place and I really miss it. You will love it when you eventually get to go. (And yes, interesting though the Steam Museum is, it is rather a poor substitute lol!). Xxx

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      • I always smile at my chagrin when I finally realized that “someone” simply mentioned “Kew” and never finished with the word “garden.” I had assumed the destination. I had never heard of the Steam Museum but I have a feeling that the “someone” had only heard of the Kew Steam Museum. Another confirmation that we focus on our interests. LOL!

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    • It is indeed! We live in a perilously divided world that is in deep need of healing and compassion. Every act of kindness, however small or seemingly insignificant, is essential. When a city comes together to create a space such as the Healing Garden, this sends a marvelous message to the entire community. Thank you for joining me on my walk!!

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  2. I believe healing has begun. In Toronto many of the new pieces of street art gracing our walls are First Nations/Indigenous artists. They are much admired. However, we need to get water to the communities that have none. One community has been on a boil water advisory for 25 years. It’s fab that there’s days and places for healing, but without clean water can the wounds be thoroughly cleansed?
    You are a very beautiful person, Rebecca! ❤

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    • How very well said, Resa. Healing is a powerful weapon against darkness, for it opens our communities to hope that we can work together. And providing clean and safe water to ALL communities is where we see hope in action. It is a matter of survival and one the most complex conversations that we will continue to have. According to the World Economic Forum (2015), 840,000 people die each year because they do not have clean reliable drinking while 2.5 billion people lack access to improved sanitation. This is unacceptable and a call to action for all of us. We can, and must, be part of the solution. Many hugs coming your way, my dear friend.

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  3. This is a very important place and a beautiful testimony to reconciliation. A post very well written and the resulting conversation is excellent.. It is to St. Albert’s credit that it is a leader in this movement to recognize, once again, our First Nation’s value and contribution to our country. It may be interesting, at this point, to point out that your Father had First Nation heritage through his Father and Grandmother.–an honor.

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    • Reconciliation is essential to finding joy and hope. I believe that we must first seek reconciliation within our lives – recognizing that before reconciliation can occur, there must be truth. Perhaps the greatest difficulty is finding truth and forgiveness within ourselves. Sometimes it is easier to forgive others. Thich Nhat Hanh wrote: “Do everything in mindfulness so you can really be there, so you can love.” When you are mindful, you consider the entirety of a situation. That is what I believe that St. Albert did, as a community. It is no wonder why people enjoying living in St. Albert.

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