The Nation to Nation Tour

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March, 2013

The Otesha Project's March Newsletter

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Nation to Nation Cycling Tour to uncover seldom told histories, envision a shared future for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples
Volunteers on the Nation to Nation Tour facilitate the Blanket ExerciseThis summer, Aboriginal peoples and newcomers; students, artists, activists and professionals; experienced and beginner cyclists, will unite with a common purpose: to understand what it means to be part of a Nation to Nation relationship.

Volunteers on the Nation to Nation Tour will spend 5 weeks as a mobile community, using their own pedal power to explore the landscapes and the nation-to-nation relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples in (present-day) Canada. As they visit territories in Ontario, participants explore our shared history and its impacts on the present. They build understanding, solidarity, and a shared vision for generations to come.

En route, the dedicated volunteers facilitate the Blanket Exercise in schools and community venues. This participatory workshop fosters attention and appreciation for a history of Canada that most people are not taught. Sharing laughter and challenges, participants will forge new friendships and live an unforgettable experience.

Are you ready to jump in? Applications for volunteers on the Nation to Nation Tour are being accepted immediately and positions filled on a rolling basis.
Learn More                  Apply

World Water Day 2013March 22 is World Water Day
Can you guess the amount of water required to produce 1kg of rice or beef? What about a cup of coffee? The global shift from predominantly starch based diets to meat and dairy has had the greatest impact on water consumption over the last 30 years. 1kg of rice requires about 3500L of water to produce, 1kg of beef about 15 000L, and 1 cup of coffee about 140L (stats here). Whoa!

Here are some resources to learn more and get involved:
UN World Water Day | Canada Water Week

Bear & Co.
See Great Theatre, Support Otesha
Bear & Co., Ottawa’s newest professional theatre company, is offering $4 off of ticket prices and donating $5 to Otesha when you buy tickets to see a rollicking performance of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew at the Gladstone Theatre.  Simply enter the code “Otesha” when you purchase tickets online. Thanks, Bear & Co.!

Welcome Laurel!News from Otesha HQ 
Welcome Laurel!
We’re glad to have a new smiling face on the team at Otesha HQ. Laurel joins us as part of the YMCA Digital Skills Internship Program, and brings with her a wealth of talent from her experience with Amnesty International, the Sierra Club, and Ecology Ottawa – to name a few! Welcome to the crew, Laurel!

Forum Theatre Workshops
The Native Women's Association of Canada and Mis au jeu are organizing two workshops for young adults aged 19-35 interested in working with youth using popular education modalities to look at issues of racism, lateral violence, and post residential school relationships.

Montreal March 9-10 (English/French) | Vancouver March 30-31 (English)

To register or learn more, contact Fiona Cook,

Olumni Spotlight
Alumni of Otesha’s Programs, affectionately known as “O”lumni, are continually inspiring us with what they are up to in the world. See for yourself...

Olumna Lindsey Tulloch with friends in NigeriaOlumna (Phenomenal Food Tour'11 and Water Works Tour '12), past Otesha staffer and Niagara Falls Native, Lindsey Tulloch increasingly sees the world as a huge interconnected web of communities. Some are defined by geographical location, others by our circumstances at birth. Other communities are formed around the choices we make in life while still others are defined less tangibly. We all belong to many communities simultaneously but we seldom participate equally in all of them.

On March second, Lindsey will be heading to Abuja, Nigeria for a yearlong volunteer placement with Cuso International. She will be working with university graduates participating in the National Volunteer Program in northern Nigeria in an effort to strengthen the education sector and decrease youth unemployment.

Her experience as an Otesha tour member and tour liaison has instilled the importance of community building and she strives to make it central to everything that she does. "I think that building strong communities of engaged citizens may be the most important element in creating positive and sustainable change," Lindsey says.

Those who would like to make a donation to support Lindsey’s Cuso placement can do so here.

Community Initiatives

Andrew Alford of C4CCCycling for Cooperatives Canada
Hello Folks/ Bonjour à tous! My name is Andrew Alford. I am about to embark on a 3 month (May to August 2013) cycling journey in support of the cooperative movement! The project, Cycling for Cooperatives Canada (C4CC), strives to discover areas to empower and strengthen farm and food-supplier cooperatives throughout Central and Eastern Canada. C4CC will offer a wide accessible information platform through: storytelling, podcasts, during/post trip presentations, blog updates and various social media instruments.

Interested in getting involved? Check out the website,, or email 

Riding for RestorationRide for Restoration
We are a group of students raising funds for an ecological restoration project by biking along the St. Lawrence River.

By biking from Toronto to St. John's, N.L., we hope to raise awareness and funds for a reforestation project on Hill Island. Pitch pine trees will be planted at an old quarry site where they once stood. A fence will also be built to protect the seedlings from the deer. The island is in the 1000 island portion of the St. Lawrence River.

Interested in getting involved or helping with fundraising? Contact us for more information.
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Austin, Kira, Kayla, Laurel and Elly | The Otesha Project | 153 Chapel Street | Ottawa | Ontario | K1N 1H5 | Canada