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This article was published 13/10/2014 (1349 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Traditional food was shared and new friends made as about 60 people gathered in the warm fall sunshine for the First Nations All Nations Potluck Feast at The Forks' Festival Stage area on Monday afternoon.
There was plenty to give thanks for on Thanksgiving Monday as it was also the official launch of a special tablecloth art project through the Manitoba Arts Council, said Laurelle Perry, director of the host group KidBridge.
"We arrived today and ate our meals on blank tablecloths as strangers — and the next time we gather, we will be eating around them as friends," said Perry, who for the past five years has directed KidBridge, an English conversation/play group for newcomer mothers and their children.
"We will set our tables with same desires for our kids and our futures."
There are now two KidBridge locations: downtown inside Calvary Temple at 400 Hargrave St., and the recently opened North End location at Turtle Island Community Centre at 510 King St.
The tablecloths project is called First Nations All Nations: Setting The Table.
"We want to build bridges to friendships between people living side-by-side (in these areas)," Perry said, noting the tablecloth project will involve funding from the Manitoba arts Council with creative direction from artist Karen Cornelius.
About 40 tablecloths will created with silk-screened symbols designed by KidBridge moms from diverse backgrounds in conjunction with Cornelius to reflect the kinds of people they wish their children to become.
"How we set the table today as mothers will determine the atmosphere around the table when our kids join us and as they grow," Perry said.
"When they grow up seeing us sharing together, eating together, it will be second nature for them to become friends. "
The potluck featured blessings delivers in Ojibway by Leona Boulanger, in Arabic by Baraa Diab and in English by Christine Penner, director of Grannies Gone Global-a North End group which raises funds for grandmothers in Africa who are supporting their grandchildren.
Updated on Monday, October 13, 2014 at 8:30 PM CDT: Adds photo
8:45 PM: Adds slideshow, fixes typo