Featured photo by K. Keithley, April 4 2020. Toronto, University Avenue. Homeless camp outside the Federal Court buildings and the US Consulate. Hospitals up the street are quiet. No traffic.
It has been a very quiet weekend in Toronto as people are struggling to understand and cope with the massive shut-down of businesses and services except those deemed “essential” by the government. Here is a list of agencies and orgs serving food and providing resources to the homeless in Toronto.
The subways, streetcars and buses are empty, as are the sidewalks. The Canadian military will be moving personnel and equipment through Toronto this week as they make their way to CFB Borden an hour north of the city.
One of the most disturbing things I have witnessed is the closing of the independent legal cannabis dispensaries, forcing people to use the overpriced and highly wasteful packaged products of the government outlets.
Meanwhile, the government owned and operated liquor stores remain open, with lineups stretching around the corners of buildings, people standing six feet apart.
This reminds me of the 19th century when the factory owners and mining bosses paid the workers in rum and whiskey – leading to massive addiction, broken homes, violence and despair. It reminds me of the assaults on the Native People of this land whose communities and families were destroyed and are still feeling the impact of this terrible poison.
We are very concerned that people who use cannabis as medicine to treat both physical and mental/emotional illness don’t have access to this proven medication, and are now turning to alcohol.
Many members of the homeless community – the most vulnerable and under-served in this city – are returning to drinking which is never a good solution. But it is all they have at this time when everything but the LCBO is closed and the drug supply is drying up. Everyone needs to be particularly aware and compassionate at this time. For there but for the Grace of God would we all be.
There are so many people on our streets – hungry, cold, alone and suffering from mental illness, trying to recover from addictions, and simply survive during this frightening time. We ask that you pray for the least of these, and whenever you are going out to run your errands, please take extra food to give away to those who are struggling.
Yesterday, while out on a walk I had the great pleasure of watching a Medicine Man praying around the Sacred Hoop in a nearby park. He was telling a story with his prayers, and my young friend – who is an amazing Inuit artist and storyteller – and I sat and watched him in wonder.
We are praying in Toronto, sending our prayers to the sky to join with the Chiefs, the Elders, Medicine People, drummers and all the people who have joined them on our reserves and in Native communities around the world.
Be strong everyone. This is going to be a difficult week. Let’s bathe it in prayer.
I would like to ask everyone to be very conscious of their neighbors and friends – and even strangers in the community at this time.
- Make sure you have their phone numbers and contact information.
- Share food and supplies with one another if you need to.
- Take meals and food to the homeless, less fortunate, and single parent homes. They must be going nuts.
- Look after your Elders. Find ways to connect with them every day.
- Create and plant a garden in your yard rather than wasting space to lawns. Great education for kids.
Facebook is a fantastic way to stay connected with our families during times like this. Seniors can really benefit from social media through connecting with other seniors in groups specifically created for them – or through family groups that each family can create and operate.
People in Toronto can contact me to learn more about how I can help you and your community learn how to connect through Facebook.
We are deeply blessed by the loving forces of the universe sent by the Great Spirit to protect us all, where we have been placed, to do our best work – but also to take care of ourselves. We are safe and loved and protected.
All honour and respect to each of you as you walk through this coming time of darkness. Be of great courage for the New Earth awaits us, right in our own kitchens and yards.
It is my honour to be your messenger.
It is my honour to receive and share these teachings from my guides and the Ancestors. These are messages received and written to the best of my understanding. If I have made mistakes, I would be grateful for your input. If these messages don’t resonate with you, that’s okay. I wish you well. And if these messages do resonate with you – welcome to the family.
— kandace keithley, namadaki aandeg miimiiwe gekek kwe ~ Tsa-La-Gi
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