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Unpack Indigenous historical baggage at library’s next Learn & Live session
Learn & Live returns to the Niagara-on-the-Lake Public Library Oct. 30. FILE PHOTO

This June at the Niagara-on-the-Lake Public Library: an opportunity to take a closer look at what Indigenous people in this country carry.

The library is hosting an educational session raising awareness on Indigenous issues called “Unpacking Indigenous Baggage – Updating your Carry-ons” on Monday, June 5.

This is part of its ongoing “Learn & Live: Enriched Living For All Ages” educational series.

Willow Shawanoo-Kechego, the Niagara Regional Native Centre’s outreach and fundraising coordinator, will lead this session. 

“We will look at where we are today, discuss some of the headline history along with break down some of that old luggage. In unity, we can bring light to the truth and start the path to reconciliation,” reads a description of the session on the library’s website.

Cindy Grant, one of Learn & Live’s organizers, says she hopes Shawanoo-Kechego will hone in on some of the Indigenous baggage relevant to the Niagara region, discuss what people should be aware of and how they can help moving forward.

“There is a lot that we can all learn about Indigenous issues both nationally (and) globally, but more particularly in the Niagara region,” said Grant. 

The Learn & Live program aims at enriching residents’ lives through educational presentations. 

“Diversity, inclusivity and equality are so important for people to learn about and try to incorporate them into their daily lives,” said Terry Mactaggart, one of the Learn & Live organizers, in an email to The Lake Report. 

Past sessions include  “Expanding the Options for Successful Aging in Place” and “Do you Want to Write a Memoir?”

Shawanoo-Kechego could not be reached in time for comment before publication. 

“I know from talking to other people that are working with her (Willow) on other projects that she is very passionate and very engaged,” said Grant.

There’s been a lot of interest in the upcoming session on Indigenous issues, Grant said.

She’s looking forward to seeing what Shawanoo-Kechego has planned for the presentation. 

The session will be held at the library on June 5 from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

To register, visit Notlpubliclibrary.libnet.info/event/8173665

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