Neighbouring Communities

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The Neighbouring Communities Initiative began as a community response to build relationships between the people from Six Nations of the Grand River Territory and Caledonia Ontario Canada.  

April 20th, 2006 in the early morning the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) took action against a small group of Onkwehonwehnéha people (First People) from the Six Nations Native Reserve who had in February 2006 set up a peaceful protest halting the further construction of a housing development upon disputed land. 

The town of Caledonia became the flashpoint for the eruption of conflict related to very long standing land rights disputes between the Onkwehonwehnéha of the Grand River Territory and the Crown, represented by the Canadian Federal Government.

That was a very distressing time for both Six Nations and Caledonia communities as conflict overflowed to the streets and was magnified by the media. The NCP Community Document (2007) draws attention to what the conflict in less than a year had brought to the people from both communities:

"Members of both communities have endured hardship financially, emotionally, physically, and personally.  It has been difficult for the community members to know how to respond, and how to cope with such circumstances. … this story of conflict is what is called the “First Story”.  It involves the tension, hurt, hatred, violence, fear, mistrust, misunderstanding, and prejudice that resulted in the conflicts that ensued.  Indeed, the first story serves to separate, segregate and discriminate community against community, neighbour against neighbour, friend against friend, and family member against family member. (p.5)"

This project archives the common themes relevant to both communities and the ripples bridging the divide since the March 2007 community gatherings. The community assignment was led by Michael White and a cross cultural community team from the area and surrounding area.  For an understanding of the project and a list of the collaborators see www.neighbouringcommunities.net  

Articles of interest:

Cooper, S. (2011). Narrative Community Practice: Neighbouring communities re-visited. Journal of Systemic Therapies, V. 30, #3. Fall 2011, Guilford Press, New York

White, M. (2003) Narrative Practice and community assignments. International Journal of Narrative Therapy and Community Work, 2003 (2): 17-55.



© Scot J. Cooper Inc. 2016