Today was the first day we got freedom to go to breakfast ourselves as long as we followed the group of 3 rule. After fiducial, we had one hour of project time to work on our lean canvas for the Design and Entrepreneurship project. We ideated solutions to our “how might we” statements to make a condensed business plan.
After project time, we went to the Mawita’mkw, the Indigenous gathering space, where we split up into two groups. One group participated in a blanket exercise, where blankets were used to represent the land Indigenous people had throughout Canadian history. We learned about how the Indigenous people lived before settlers came and how the settlers and Canadian government took land from the Indigenous peoples. It was very impactful for us to see how the blankets got a lot smaller and were separated from each other. In addition, we had a deep discussion about the racism that Indigenous people and people of colour face, as well as privilege and how we can be allies to Indigenous people.
The Sweat Lodge was personally one of the most rigid tasks we have completed. It was so challenging in fact, that some Shads decided to tap out. Here at Shad Mount Allison, secrecy is something we take very seriously. Many of us were very anxious in preparation for the Sweat Lodge. Luckily, we had a super experienced elder named Brett. He had a ton of experience with indigenous culture. It is structured in four rounds, with a different theme. The first round was to honour the women in our lives. It was an introduction to the pit and the rocks, called “grandfathers”. They are heated in a large bonfire, and placed in the lodge. There was about 30 Shads and staff in the lodge. Water is dumped into the pit, and the temperature is raised drastically. The second round was remembrance of mother earth. The third was suffering, but is ultimately to support those in our lives that are in physical suffering. The official last round was the forgiveness round, which for me was the most difficult. I guess people needed forgiveness from me. The unofficial final round left the lodge covering open. It was a life changing experience.
After a late lunch, faculty associate Chesky assigned us to a new project to give back to the Sackville community. We have to make a 5 minute confluent theatre piece, which combines music, dance, drama, and any other arts to tell a story about cultural or historical events that took place in the Sackville area. Today we went to Waterfowl Park to check out the locations for our performance and worked on a rough draft of our piece.
Finally, the Shads teamed up with the MASSIE students, a group of Japanese exchange students sharing the Mount Allison campus with us. Because of our large numbers, we combined with three Japanese students. Now this was not just any scavenger hunt, but it was an Amazing Race themed challenge. We ended tonight early to catch up on our sleep since we always fall asleep during the morning recreation.