On Sunday, September 24, members and friends of Preston Mennonite Church in Cambridge, Ontario, held a Three Sisters potluck. The date was chosen to commemorate The National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, which followed a few days later.
Many in attendance wore orange shirts designed by Indspire, a national Indigenous charity that invests in the education of First Nations, Inuit and Métis people.
Prior to the potluck, the congregation approved a new, extended version of the Preston Mennonite Territorial and Land Acknowledgement. We have been using a shorter version at the beginning of our worship services for many years. This is one of our responses to the 94 Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report. We have also worked with Clarence Cachagee in supporting Crow Shield Lodge and have offered many learning opportunities to our members. Reconciliation is a long journey.
At Preston Mennonite, no celebration is complete without food, and what could be more appropriate than a Three Sisters theme? One of the Indigenous traditions on parts of this continent is the practice of growing corn, beans and squash together, as the plants develop a synergy and support each other during the growing season.
Providentially, some of our members met Sydney Keedwell at an event earlier in the year. Sydney is the Food and Nutrition Coordinator at White Owl Native Ancestry Association, and we invited her to provide recipes and be guest chef at our potluck. Dishes included Mohawk Indian Corn Soup, Bannock, Three Sisters Vegetarian Chili and of course, Three Sisters Soup (two versions). Sydney judged them all as very good!