More than hashtag, this model of working collaboratively, sharing responsibilities, ideas and workload is one of the fundamental differences in world view between Indigenous Peoples and settlers on Turtle Island. It is rooted in the concept that everything and everyone is related. This belief that people, objects and our environment are all connected was the cornerstone Msit No’Kmaq: All My Relations. This project demonstrated how governments, organizations, NGO’s and the private sector can walk a path together with shared values, commitments and trust. It exhibited how 45 young people, all with diverse backgrounds and lived experiences could, rooted in ceremony and using the Seven Sacred Teachings and Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit as a basis for the understanding, of how they could successfully sail across the Atlantic Ocean in late summer 2017. On August 1st, they were strangers – connected by a shared experience as Indigenous youth. On August 25th, porting in France, they were family. The evaluation and outcomes of the training along with cultural and healing components demonstrated partnership in action: the young people tackled great odds with an approach of ‘together we can’. Working side by side, the youth sailed almost 7000 nautical miles, through storms and physical, emotional, mental and spiritual challenges. By working together, as a community, they thrived in their experience, learning and connection. Overall this project highlighted the importance of working together and reconnected the young Warriors and partner organizations to the traditional way of being for many Indigenous Peoples.
Conversations about reconciliation and how Indigenous and non-Indigenous people can share, learn and develop (re)new relationships for a stronger Canada continue, though the ‘how to’ has not been fully understood. Using the experience of two of the organizational partners of Msit No’Kmaq: All My Relations and four of the Warriors of the Red Road at Sea, we proposed that we would host discussions and activities with First Nation youth about how Nations and systems can address challenges rooted in the idea that, #TogetherWeCan.