The Project: Rooted in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and guided by recommendations contained in the Truth and Reconciliation Findings and Call to Action, Kingston’s Engage for Change project seeks to re-frame the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Kingston. Through the facilitation of a deeper understanding and appreciation of the histories, cultures, and systems of knowledge of the Indigenous peoples of Kingston and surrounding areas through local events and initiatives, Engage for Change
will create dialogues between communities to develop a City of Kingston Relationship Protocol with local Indigenous peoples based on honesty and respect. In a commitment to equality and to honour Kingston’s communities, the project’s
name is multilingual. Engage for Change is also: Tewaterihwayè:na ne takaté:ni (Mohawk: “let us all embrace the issue of change”); Anoonigozidaa ji-aanjichigeng! (Ojibwe: “Let’s get engaged so changes happen!”); and Contribuons au changement (French: “Contribute to change”). This commitment to equality is also symbolized in the balanced placement of the words “Engage” and “Change” in the logo type. The two words are stabilized by each other, symbolizing the importance of maintaining a balance between reconciliatory acts of engagement and actions that will lead to profound change. As the name suggests, “engaging” and “changing” cannot be separated: we must engage for change. Engagement through education, awareness, and appreciation will create the conditions for the enactment of positive social and political transformation.
The Solution: Symbolizing community and collaboration, the Engage for Change logo is a circular drum, with seven drumsticks striking it in unison. In Indigenous cultures, the drum is considered the centre of life and the living heartbeat of Mother Earth. The drum’s round shape is representative of the circle of life and is therefore symbolic of movement and transformation. Because of this connection with Mother Earth, the drum has the ability to heal and the power to bring people and communities together through the communal and collaborative act of drumming to a single beat. Made from wood and animal hides, the drum represents our interdependence with the natural world and the commitment to care for it and for each other. The seven drumsticks, each representing one of the Seven Grandfather Teachings - Honesty, Humility, Respect, Truth, Love, Courage, and Wisdom – signify the sacred teachings by which Indigenous peoples live their lives. These teachings should be embodied by all peoples, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, to create strong relationships and to ensure a more positive and inclusive future for Canada.