January 13th ENSEMBLE Activities
People in the Inuit Community who are homeless in Milton-Parc and downtown Montréal guide and direct us in all that we do. This photo of an inukshuk is shared with the gracious permission of those who built it.
Saturday, January 13th, 2018
3:00 – 8:00
Galeries du Parc – 3590 Jeanne Mance
between Milton and Prince Arthur
Enter Les Galeries du Parc mall and the centre is to your left.
Please Note: If you are interested in participating in activities at Solidarité Milton-Parc’s renamed ENSEMBLE Space, we ask that you read and reflect on the values-based approach to the space and why it’s been created. We request that people begin to be mindful of their thoughts and actions towards others, as a collective experiment of how to have difficult and often painful dialogue about colonialism and ongoing oppression. We ask that people join us in the spirit of critical open-mindedness and open-heartedness. Please click here to read our approach.
For information on why we changed the name from the Decolonization Space to ENSEMBLE, please click here.
If you would like to volunteer to support these activities or the ENSEMBLE space, please connect with Su at [email protected]
Saturday, January 13th, 2018
3:00 – 5:30: Connecting Stories: Peer Workshop on Mental Health and Wellness
2017 was a rough year for many of us, particularly those of us who are sensitive and experience distress and suffering. That said, Solidarité Milton-Parc is kicking off 2018 at ENSEMBLE with a popular education workshop on mental health and wellness through an anti-colonial and anti-capitalist lens. We hope that participants will leave with new questions about how we approach mental health, along with some coping strategies for when things get difficult.
We will begin by exploring mental health with a critical look at the current biomedical theory of brain chemistry imbalance (mental illness). Other theories of why and how people suffer, and the impact that ongoing colonization and capitalism has on our overall wellness will be explored during this part of the workshop.
Participants will have the space to talk about their own experience and how ongoing colonization and capitalism affects their capacities for wellness.
Participants are encouraged to share strategies of what works for them when struggling with strong emotions and suffering, and how these strategies have helped them to get through. This may include creating a “Personal Support Guide” for friends and family for times when things become difficult.
Participants will have an opportunity to share as much or as little as they are comfortable with. We ask that people use the guidelines of ENSEMBLE in order to make and keep the space safe throughout our time together. This is a critical point, so please read the guidelines and come prepared to practice them in the workshop.
Please note that this is a peer-run workshop and will not have mental health professionals present. We will be critically questioning psychiatric diagnosis, so for people who have a diagnosis, and are uncomfortable with it being questioned, this is NOT a good workshop for you. Su will be available for tea or a phone call after the workshop, should anything come up for participants.
The ARMP Community Centre is a lighting controlled, fully accessible space. For accessibility needs, or for any questions, please contact Su at [email protected]
This workshop is free.
6:00 – 8:00: Where Is Home? Documentary on Indigenous Homelessness in Canada
2nd in our series on Homelessness, Indigenous World View and Nations, Solidarité Milton-Parc is offering a screening of “Where Is Home?”, an extraordinary documentary on the reality of ongoing colonization and the impact that it has on Indigenous Peoples across the country. The film is 75 minutes long, after which we will have a discussion.
“Where is Home?” is an eye-opening documentary film focused on homelessness and the complex social issues facing the city of Lethbridge, Alberta and many other communities across Canada.
The film presents unique perspectives from many individuals, including members of the homeless population, municipal government, law enforcement, service providers, doctors, educators, health professionals, as well as members of the local business community and the general public.
Through these perspectives, and supported by multi-perspective historical information and expert lectures, the film presents a thoughtful, respectful look at history, the reality of the current situation, and hope for what can be done to make things better for everyone in the future.
For people who want to show solidarity with people in the Homeless Community in Milton-Parc, you can start by learning more. We highly recommend reading the following 2 documents:
Definition of Indigenous Homelessness in Canada, written by Jesse Thistle, with contributions by dozens of First Nations, Inuit and Metis Peoples across the country. The comprehensive definition and summary are available in English and French here.
Canadian Observatory on Homelessness Position Paper: Defining and Measuring an End to Homelessness written by Dr. Alina Turner, Melanie Redman and Dr. Stephen Gaetz. This paper explores the reality that we don’t have a definition of what an end to homelessness actually looks like, and explores the complexity of this reality for made-vulnerable people.
Warm thanks to Dan Berdusco for giving us permission to screen this film.
8:00: Space Closing and Collective Cleanup