Living History: Indigenous and Mennonite Stories of Encounter


Saturday, October 27, 2018 - 10:00am to 4:00pm


Great Hall, Conrad Grebel University College, 140 Westmount Road N, Waterloo, ON

Event type: 

  • Public meeting


How did you arrive here? What is your history on this land?

Join the Mennonite Historical Society of Ontario for a day of conversation about Mennonite settler stories and Indigenous histories.



10:00 - Opening
Welcome and Announcments
Land Acknowledgement - Mennonite Historical Society of Ontario
Indigenous greetings - Led by Mim Harder

10:30 - The KAIROS Blanket Exercise - Mim Harder and assistants
The KAIROS Blanket Exercise™ program is a unique, participatory history lesson – developed in collaboration with Indigenous Elders, knowledge keepers and educators – that fosters truth, understanding, respect and reconciliation among Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. The exercise aims to foster understanding about our shared history as Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada.

Mim Harder grew up in the Markham area Mennonite community. She currently works at Markham Stouffville Hospital. She also works as Grandmother, facilitator and trainer with KAIROS and MCC Indigenous Neighbours to offer the KAIROS Blanket Exercise to interested groups.

12:00 - Group Storytelling
In small groups, participants will be encouraged to tell our own stories of coming to this land, and reflect on points of connection to Indigenous histories. Kandace Boos will lead us in a timeline exercise.

Kandace Boos is the Program Animator for MCC’s Indigenous Neighbours Program, working out of the 50 Kent office. She has 2 children, aged 4 and 2 and makes her home with her husband in downtown Kitchener. When she’s not at MCC, Kandace works as a freelance illustrator and fine artist, specializing in therapeutic and community building art projects.

1:15 - Lunch

2:15 - A Healing Journey: Clarence Cachagee with Seth Ratzlaff
Clarence grew up in the Region of Waterloo, raised by a Mennonite farming family. He was displaced as a child, his father a survivor of Canada's residential school system. After struggling with substance use for most of his life, Clarence began his healing journey by getting in touch with his Indigenous identity. Writer Seth Ratzlaff is assisting Clarence to publish his story as a book to be called North Wind Man. Learn more about their project

3:15 - Living History: Where do we go from here?
A time for questions, reflections and suggestions

4:00 - Closing


Lunch registration

The event is free. The cost of lunch is $12. Please register for lunch by October 17. Payment, by cash or cheque, is due upon arrival for the meeting. There is no need to register if you are not buying a Grebel lunch.

To register for lunch, email Laureen Harder-Gissing, or phone 519-885-0220 x24238. Please indicate the name(s) of people in your party and any food allergies or sensitivities.

If you bring your own lunch, please respect that the Conrad Grebel dining hall is a nut free environment.


This Mennonite Historical Society of Ontario fall meeting is presented in cooperation with the Institute of Anabaptist and Mennonite Studies and Mennonite Central Committee Ontario.