The Dress of Our Hopes
WE WILL PUT AN ENTIRELY NEW SUN IN THE SKY
-The Mohawk Treaty with New France at Three Rivers, 1645
“We welcome you to share and respect the land as you respect the land you come from, it is the same mother Earth that welcomes you”. - Francis Boots, Mohawk spiritual leader and Native Immigrant member.
The Dress of Our Hopes includes women’s secret hopes for a new world, children’s innocent hopes amidst an uncertain future, and the desperate hopes of Syrian refugees; this particular dress seeks to create a safe space in which all people can finally be heard. While it has become increasingly difficult to safely and openly dissent, art might be one of the last safe, peaceful, and fruitful arenas for resistance movements such as the Williche's plea or the Chilean Student Movement.
Thank you for sharing your visions and hope for a new world, your object, your story.
NATIVE IMMIGRANT AT THE WORLD SOCIAL FORUM
On April 22, 2016, Tehatsitsahkwa and Onasadakha officially welcomed Syrian refugees in person, at Place de la Paix in Montreal. The traditional ceremony is called At The Woods Edge, and it involves listening and validating one’s journey to a new homeland. Native immigrant launched its 6th dress on this day - The Dress of Our Hopes which was worked on until the World Social Forum on August 9 - 14th, 2016 (www.fsm2016.org/en).
As a collective, Native Immigrant believes that the best route to a sustainable future is to follow the leadership of First Nations and Indigenous Peoples, who have been coexisting in harmony with the natural world since time immemorial. Native Immigrant collaborated with the leadership of the World Social Forum 2016 (in Montreal) to facilitate the greeting of participants on unceded Mohawk territory by Traditional Practitioner, Francis Boots, in a welcoming ceremony, preceded by the Ceremony of Words Before All Words. In this way, we bring forward the idea that the state of Canada exists on occupied land and it is by the grace of the original inhabitants that we are able to gather on this land for the occasion of the WSF.
BRIDGING FIRST NATIONS OF THE NORTH WITH THE SOUTH
As part of The Dress of Our Hopes, Native Immigrant started a campaign to show support to the Williche, the First Nations people of Chiloé, an island that survived one of the worst environmental and social crises of Chile.
Native Immigrant launched a crowdfunding campaign to help the resistance movement of one of the First Nations group of Chile, the Williche. As a result of the campaign, we were able to bring anthropologist and member of the collective, Felipe Bravo to Montreal. He brought objects donated by the Williche to contribute to the dress as well as their messages.
Francis Boots, Mohawk spiritual chief, sent back a message of hope. Watch below his inspiring and universal words.
APTN News: Tom Fennario reports on ceremonial welcome of Syrian Refugees by Tehatsitsahkwa and Onasadakha