16 Nov G Day Victoria: All My Relations
All my relations is a traditional aboriginal closing prayer that acknowledges interconnectedness.
Connectedness is one of G Day’s core values, and we were thrilled to see it so beautifully reflected through the cultural lens of our location at G Day Victoria, which took place on September 20, 2015.
To be clear, G Day “Victoria” actually took place in Sidney BC, which is actually the traditional territory of the Pauquachin, Tsartlip, Tsawout and Tseycum First Nations. For readers not acquainted with British Columbia history and culture, it has become normative to begin events by acknowledging respect for traditional unceded Coast Salish land.
The day started with a blessing, acknowledging the power of the four directions and inviting their energies into our celebration.
There are so many things that I loved about this G Day: the location was definitely our most spacious so far (we needed it: in the end we were sold out!).
While we are continuously working on getting more men and non-female identified Champions to attend G Day, our numbers were definitely our highest yet – you can see two of them embracing their daughters in the video.
I had a very moving conversation with one of them, a widower who said that being at G Day had helped him to let go of feelings of inadequacy of being able to support his daughter at this time in life in her Mother’s absence. It was one of my most memorable G Day moments, knowing that we all need the support of the Village. No matter who or where you are in the journey: we all need support.
We were beyond blessed to have the extraordinary leadership of Carmen Spagnola. She is the second Community Leader who we have worked with to present G Day, and while they are very different as individuals, the feeling that I have for both of them is very similar. The analogy that I used on the day was that a G Day Community Leader is like a supremely kind, wise and loving Godmother who you are more than happy to entrust the care of your precious child to: she will teach them things that you can’t, and bring different gifts and experiences to their life.
Carmen’s gifts included lock-step organization of all the details, along with leading a superb meditation (no wonder: she is a professional hypnotherapist!). We all could have listened to her all day. Her team of leaders and volunteers was incredible: we could feel their warmth and pride as soon as we stepped into the venue.
Families traveled from as far away as Los Angeles and Tampa, Florida to attend this unique and precious day.
I particularly loved the inclusion of a Village Elder, in the form of 94 year-old Olive Bassett, who told a mesmerizing story of how she and her then-10 year old sister decided it would be a great idea to hitch a ride on the top of a freight train across rural Saskatchewan!
It was so lovely to see everyone – girls and champions alike – gathered at her feet to hear this remarkable woman tell this precious story of youthful caprice in another era. It was a fitting end to a truly magical day: thank you Carmen and your wonderful community for such a wonderful expression of G Day’s intention. See you next year!