Cancer Survivor (Stage 4-Aggressive) hopes his positive, welcoming, online approach to teaching will encourage more non-Indigenous people to meaningfully participate in Truth and Reconciliation.
Local man and Mohawk member Christopher Stock was diagnosed with cancer in 2018, beginning the greatest battle of his life. An experience he considers transformative and eye opening to what really matters – time. This sense of urgency inspired Christopher to develop an online learning platform that would enable people to gain
awareness of Indigenous history and culture even during Covid 19.
November 25th, 2021 marks the launch of A Journey Begins…An Interactive Indigenous Cultural Experience.(www.ajourneybegins.ca), a new website that offers interactive
workshops on Indigenous culture, history and language, including story-telling, art and music, and introductory and beginner Mohawk language coaching through classes taught directly by Christopher. Christopher is thrilled to teach people with any level of knowledge on the subject, including businesses, organizations and schools looking to offer group educational opportunities.
Recent discoveries on the grounds of residential schools have heightened the public’s awareness of Canada’s history with Indigenous people, but starting to learn more can be
an intimidating process.
“I’ve always shared traditional Indigenous teachings with those curious to learn. In light of recent events, it is crucial for people to learn, understand and accept the history that is Canada.” says Stock. “But I want this to be a positive, non-intimidating experience for people. I want people to walk away with the feeling of increased knowledge and the means to help contribute to the healing process.”
Although Christopher’s Cancer is considered to be non-active, he struggles with side effects of extreme neuropathy in both legs and feet, from the knees down into the tip of the toes – a constant reminder of the importance of time.
“Learning about our Culture, History, and Languages is now more important than ever, and gratefully there is a renewed interest in the general public to know more. “A Journey Begins” was created to promote awareness and understanding in a non-judgemental, welcoming environment. Learning will promote bridge-building to mend relationships and create active, and sustaining Truth and Reconciliation,” believes Stock.
With the winter season upon us and tourists flooding to Muskoka to enjoy the beautiful winter-wonderland the area is famous for, it is important to recognize the traditional stewardship, deep connections to the land that Indigenous communities have, and historically, has had in the region popularly known for outstanding lakefront properties, quaint villages and breathtaking natural scenery.