The day-long workshops have been organized by Idle No More Prince Albert, with about 30 people turning up for Friday’s morning session.
With a comprehensive list of topics that the event is slated to cover, organizer Ashley Wilson said the goal is to inform, as much as possible, anyone who is interested.
“There are so many areas that need attention, and there’s little time, so we kind of jam-packed so much information into short sessions,” she said.
“We’re bringing in different people who are well-educated in certain areas that need to be brought to the public’s attention to educate people, and it’s really important that we work together,” Wilson continued. “The doors are open for everybody.”
The day started with a speech given by the Prince Albert Council of Women’s Randi Arnot. With Friday being International Women’s Day, Arnot retraced the day’s history and the struggles women have endured to obtain their rights, namely women’s suffrage.
“Our sisters, daughters, mothers, friends, missing and murdered, we shed tears and we remember,” she said. “Our ancestors have sacrificed so much so that women could have the right to vote.”
Arnot recounted the history of women’s suffrage in Canada and around the world, before concluding with a word about International Women’s Day.
“This year, the theme of the United Nations for International Women’s Day is the Gender Agenda - Gaining Momentum,” she said. “Celebrate with me the women who remain unique, active and alert. Let us look in all four directions and include women of all colours.”
Following Arnot’s presentation, Art Turner hosted a session regarding teepee teachings, though he said they could not be discussed “without discussing other teachings.”
The first three of the teepee’s poles are tied together, he said. They represent obedience, respect and humility.
“That is your tripod,” he said, noting that nine poles are used for balance. “Every pole is tied to the tripod -- all nine of them.”
He likened binding the poles together with binding the family unit together.
The 13th pole, which is the longest, has the wrapping, he said, while the 14th and 15th poles are for the flaps.
“And all poles are leaning against each other for support,” he said. “The 14 pins are to keep intact the teepee -- the covering -- symbolic of keeping intact the teachings, symbolic of keeping intact the family unit.”
Turner also questioned the Harper government’s authority to pass the Omnibus Budget Bill, a topic that would also be discussed by Angus McLean and Wilson later in the day.
Saturday’s workshop will begin with a seminar on the dangers of storing nuclear waste in Saskatchewan, hosted by Dave Geary and Pat McNamara.
“Tomorrow, they’re going to be doing nuclear waste, and there’s so much information,” Wilson said. “I hope that as many people as possible come out to more or less gather information and facts to educate themselves.”
The topics of racism and water will be covered in the afternoon.