Wednesday, July 28, 2021

94 Quilt Blocks 16-21

I acknowledge that I am living on unceded territory of Anishinabewaki, Attiwonderonk, and Myaamia on the shore of erielhonan, (Iroquoian word meaning 'long tail') now called Lake Erie.

On Monday, July 26, Mary Simon, the first Inuit Governor General of Canada was sworn in. Such a historical moment, it gives me hope for a better Canada.

The post that explains my 94Quilt project is here.  Since July 1 I've been making a flying geese block a day as I read one of the 94 Calls to Action, its accompanying explanations and progress report, and links that go with each one.

The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation is the main website with a wealth of information.

to finish Language and Culture

16. Create university and college degree and diploma programmes in Aboriginal languages.
In progress.
Many post-secondary institutions do this. I had heard of First Nations University of Canada through taking Indigenous Canada last summer. Check out the Lone Star quilts on their About Us page!

17. Enable residential school survivors and their families to reclaim names changed by the residential school system by waiving administrative costs for five years for the name-change process and revision of official identity documents.
In progress. Several provinces and NWT have waived fees for those that pertain to provinces like driver's license, and there is no fee for name change on SIN.

I played in EQ8 a bit with a potential layout for sewing the geese into the Puzzle blocks, with the hearts. I will have 100 geese blocks by the end of the 94 Calls, with six hearts, one for each section. Perfect! So a layout of ten by ten is perfect, and will make a 60" quilt. Here is the first column of blocks on one side of my design wall. I thought this might be more interesting than a bunch of white gridded flannel on either side of the column!
It's quite the hot quilt, definitely not in my colour comfort zone, but I'm liking the movement.


I must say as a white privileged woman, I had just assumed health care is the same for every Canadian, no matter where you live. I know we are a vast country with people living in extremely remote areas, so I understand that there is that difference by geography.

18. Recognize and implement the health-care rights of Indigenous people. The call is that all levels of government acknowledge that the current state of Aboriginal health is a direct result of previous Canadian government policies, including residential schools.
In progress. Health care is under provincial jurisdiction but funded in part, per capita, by the federal government so it's tricky.

19. Identify and close the gaps in health outcomes between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities. This is in progress but it's pretty dismal. Covid certainly did highlight the gaps. The government needs to establish measurable goals.

20. Recognize, respect, and address the distinct health needs of the Métis, Inuit, and off-reserve Aboriginal peoples.
In progress. Again Covid highlighted disparities and health care challenges.

21. Provide sustainable funding for existing and new Aboriginal healing centres.
In progress. Projects are underway. Nunavut's first residential treatment centre for addiction and trauma should be open in 2024.

Sites/Articles/ Books of Interest
I was elated to see that Together Rising, an American crowd-sourced charitable organization founded by Glennon Doyle, gave $250K to the Indian Residential Schools Survivors Society. This just squeezes my heart with awe that she'd do this to help as they grapple with the ongoing discovery of unmarked graves of children who died in these 'schools'. I also was impressed that she acknowledged that it is not just a Canadian problem, that our residential 'school' system and practices were based upon the boarding 'schools' for Native Americans in the US. This is another #dosomething act that any privileged white person can do, donate to the IRSSS.

I read Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese last year. It is an excellent, though gut-wrenching read. The film adaptation is now on Netflix.

I thought I had scheduled this post to go live this morning, but apparently not! Also, I have had to close comments early because I got so much spam on this post. You can always email me directly if you have something you'd like to say. ephdra at gmail dot com.


  1. It is definitely a time to listen,learn and do better.

  2. I really like the hearts and it's very appropriate that the layout will use all the flying geese and 6 hearts for the sections. Thank you for sharing so we an learn along with you.

  3. Your geese are amazing and thanks for sharing. As a Native American my mother left the reservation to provide a better life for herself and baby (me). As I have grown older I have learned listening to the Aunties. I remember as a teen hearing from an uncle about the abuse he received at the residential school---no one would believe him or me when I told it to someone else....that would never happen! What many people do not understand is that we now are in the process of healing from multi generational traumas which have triggered rampant alcoholism, and drug abuse....but we are healing, taking back our ways, relearning our culture. Which frankly scares the crap out of many.

  4. I like the layout of the flying geese and hearts. I think Mary Simon will be a great governor general!

  5. Our small group in Port Perry has been making a few quilts to donate to survivors, one of them also using flying geese blocks. We have left some blank spaces in the layout that will be shadow quilted to represent those who didn't make it back. Thank you for the visibility you have been bringing to the indigenous plight, not just now when it's convenient but also in the past.