Reflections on The Circle's 10 Year Anniversary Gathering


(Justin Wiebe) #1

On September 24th, I was fortunate enough to attend The Circle’s 10 Year Anniversary Gathering in Winnipeg on Treaty 3 Territory and the Homeland of the Métis.

The Circle was founded 10 years ago in Winnipeg, with the mission to support Indigenous-led organizations and the philanthropic sector in building relationships, strengthening capacity, and to help foster new approaches to philanthropy grounded in Indigenous knowledge.

I joined Elders, Indigenous young leaders, The Circle staff, fellow past and present Governing Circle members, and signatories of the Philanthropic Declaration on Truth and Reconciliation. We came together in ceremony to reflect on the past, celebrate the successes, and dream into the future. Our day together was filled with important conversations and even more important laughter. The work we did together will help guide The Circle into our next 10 years.

There was so much wisdom in the room and I feel obligated to share 5 insights that were illuminated for me during our time together.

  1. Philanthropy has and continues to harm Indigenous peoples and communities.

  2. A new approach to philanthropy is needed. We need to start in ceremony and build meaningful relationships grounded in respect and reciprocity.

  3. Indigenization, reconciliation, and decolonization must include the spirit.

  4. The systems we have in place weren’t designed for Indigenous people to succeed. We have to challenge who holds power, who makes decisions, who decides what counts as evidence, and listen to community.

  5. Take risks, lead with love, be in relationship, and speak your truth.

Please take the time to learn more about The Circle, and I look forward to these ongoing conversations in our pursuits for reconciliation, and equity and inclusion.

(T Surani) #2

Thank you Justin for this and for sharing back the insights of Elders and leaders in the space. Can we continue the conversation around these 5 guideposts with a commitment to be and do differently?