I am truly thankful to have been included last Saturday for a thoughtful conversation at Temple Kol Ami in Thornhill about the Jewish community’s responsibility to the Indigenous people of Canada.
The panel discussion was moderated by Sarit Cantor, community engagement co-ordinator at Ve’ahavta, and the panelists included: Michael Etherington, cultural program manager at Native Canadian Centre of Toronto; Jennifer Podemski, film and television producer and actor; and Kim Wheatley, an Anishnabee cultural consultant.
I was honoured to share what I have learned as the Member of Parliament for Toronto-St. Paul’s and Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs about the connection between Indigenous and Jewish values and histories. Both communities profoundly understand the importance of language and culture and a secure personal cultural identity and share the intergenerational trauma experienced by families of survivors of the Holocaust and residential schools.
As we work to ensure that the injustices that have been suffered are never repeated, the Jewish community continues to inspire me in its commitment to walk this journey of reconciliation with First Nations, the Métis Nation and Inuit people together.
Thank you to the Temple Kol Ami and Ve’ahavta for your hospitality, and for the exemplification of tikkun olam - repairing the world and helping others.
A video stream of the full panel can be viewed on the Temple Kol Ami website: http://kolami.ca/live-streaming