Closing words

Given that we begin each of our weekly meetings with a formal opening, the Advisory Panel has also leaned on our Indigenous colleague, Aronhia:nens Derek Montour, to guide us in a closing practice as we leave our meetings to go our own ways. It has become a much-appreciated ritual for us to walk away from these often lengthy and tense engagements feeling grateful, empowered and rejuvenated.

Everyone who has read this final report has walked with us a short time and you have joined your mind with ours—so we would like to offer a short closing to allow our minds to become unbound as we go on our own journeys. We do this by first acknowledging and greeting the people in our lives; the Creator sends them all to us for some reason so we should be thankful for all who come across our path. We then turn our minds to honour, acknowledge and greet all those things in creation that we need to be thankful for: our Mother the Earth; the water that flows across her back; the fish that clean and purify the water; all the roots that nourish the plants in our gardens or the ones we pick the fruit from, the medicines, or the trees that shelter us; the animals that share Mother Earth with us; the insect life and the bird life; the Four Winds and the Storms; the Grandmother Moon who governs the cycles, our Brother the Sun who makes all things grow, and even the stars in the sky. Finally, we acknowledge the Creator—however imagined—and we thank them for the journey we are on. We ask for the strength to face our challenges, and we remember to always be grateful. It is said that a heart filled with gratitude has little room for anger or sadness. And with this, we close our final report

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