Mennonite Heritage Village

Social Engagement

September 8, 2022

By Gary Dyck

On September 5th, with warm temperatures and a cool autumn breeze in place, Mennonite Heritage Village (MHV) hosted our Fall on the Farm festival. This year we received 2380 visitors, which is the largest number we have on record (our average is around 1700)! A big thank you to Summer in the City’s ‘Cultural Showcase’ stage which brought an additional festive flavour to the day and a wider variety of people. As museum expert Nina Simon says,

We need to matter more to more people if we want our work to shine.…If you believe in the work of being relevant to new communities, you have to believe those people are out there. You have to elevate their voices in your head. You have to believe that their assets and needs and dreams are just as valid as those of the insiders who are already engaged.…Communities are made of people with shared dreams, interests, and backgrounds. The more you understand them, the more easily you can unlock relevant experiences with them. You can build a bigger room, together.

Nina Simon – The Art of Relevance

At MHV we desire to make the Mennonite story relevant to other cultures and visitors far and wide. We also want to make sure we hear from our local communities and that we can have a positive common relationship. Please check out our events below.

kairos blanket exercise
The Kairos Blanket Exercise starts with many blankets.

Upcoming Events:

All My Relations series, Kairos Blanket Exercise, September 13, 7pmThis fall MHV will be hosting a truth and reconciliation series about Indigenous and Settler relations. The Kairos Blanket Exercise (KBE) is developed in collaboration with Indigenous Knowledge Keepers and educators, and is an interactive and experiential teaching tool that explores the historic and contemporary relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in the land we now know as Canada.

During this workshop, participants walk on blankets representing the land and into the role of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples. They are guided by trained facilitators, including an Indigenous Elder, who cover pre-contact, treaty-making, colonization, resistance and much more. Participants read scrolls and respond to cues in the script. The KBE concludes with a debriefing, conducted as a talking circle.

All participants should bring along a blanket that can be laid on the floor and walked on in socks or bare feet. Participants will be asked to remove their shoes and are welcome to bring slippers if desired. Space is limited and you can RSVP by calling MHV or booking on our website.

All My Relations series, Unpacking the Doctrine of Discovery with Josh Dueck, September 29, 7pm – The Doctrine of Discovery has become a buzzword in the media and in conversations connected to Truth and Reconciliation. This evening’s conversation will unpack this and better equip Settler-Canadians in more thoroughly understanding how historic wrongs (including the church) have created present barriers for Indigenous people. It will challenge us to consider what our next steps are towards meaningful reconciliation.

Our Climate Quest Exhibit, September 17 to October 1MHV will be hosting a national interactive exhibit about how small steps can lead to big change. It promises to be an engaging experience for the whole family.

National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, September 30 There will be free admission and handouts for a self-guided reconciling history walking tour. Visitors are also encouraged to visit the Dirk Willems Peace Garden and take time to reflect and pray for the healing for our nation throughout the day.