Indigenous Sovereignty Week
Celebrating Indigenous Cultural Resistance!
Saturday, Oct. 24, 2009
Odawa Friendship Centre
12 Stirling Avenue, Ottawa, Ontario
The kickoff for Indigenous Sovereignty Week in Ottawa, followed by a week of events focused on Indigenous struggles for justice. Join us in celebrating Indigenous knowledge and culture through traditional and contemporary performance.
3 pm – 5 pm
Workshop: Circle Stories Rising Strong: Love Your Voice, Share Your Song
facilitated by: Moe Clark, Métis, and Emile Monnet, Algonquin – together the Bird Messenger Collective
We all have stories to share. Through acting and singing games, we will support participants in discovering their true voice and celebrate with pride their unique expression of that voice. Be ready to move a little, share and sing quite a bit and have a whole lot of fun! Perfect for teens and adults of any skill level with a willingness to share.
6 pm – 10:30 pm
Community Dinner served with Buffalo Chili with bannock
Kick-off concert for Indigenous Sovereignty Week
- Albert Dumont, Algonquin
- Every Women’s Drum Group
- Moe Clark, Métis and Emile Monnet, Algonquin – Bird Messenger Collective
- Mosha Folger, Inuit – Eskimocentricity
- Suzanne Keeptwo, Metis of Algonquin/French and Irish
- Christopher Herodier, Cree
- Rachel Wuttunee, Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug
- Luis Abanto, Peru
More about the performers:
Algonquin, Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg
Albert Dumont is an activist, a volunteer and a poet who has been walking the Red Road for over 20 years. He has published 3 books of poetry and short stories and several organizations, both native and non-native, are currently featuring his poetry in their promotions, among them are the Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health and the Native Veterans Association.
He is the founder of the Pagahamatig Poetry Circle, the founder of the Turtle Moons Contemplations greeting card company and the founder of the Activists for the Protection of Aboriginal Arts.
Albert has dedicated his life to promoting Aboriginal spirituality and healing and to protecting the rights of Aboriginal peoples particularly those as they affect the young.
Bird Messenger Collective
Moe Clark and Emilie Monnet come together to form “Bird Messengers”, an independent collective of two female Aboriginal performance artists. As young Indigenous artists, we feel deeply concerned with the destruction of Mother Earth and Indigenous ways of living. We believe that our ancestral ways of prayer, peacemaking and healing are vitally needed today. It is our intention to bridge the wisdom of Indigenous peoples of the Americas, from the past, present and future generations, through storytelling and song. Our vision is to serve as messengers, follow the migration, and support the reconnection and reconciliation of the peoples of Mother Earth. Through ethical transmission, reflection and artistic action, we wish to celebrate traditional knowledge with contemporary performance. This is how we hope to contribute towards a better world.
Métis sound artist Moe Clark fuses her unique understanding of performance narrative with traditions of circle singing and spoken word. With a background in voice, spoken word, and visual arts, she creates a lyrical style, steeped in ritual and poetic exploration. Her poetic songs resonate with the power to heal, to celebrate spirit and to connect with authentic purpose.
After her debut album release “Circle of She: Story & Song” (April ’09) Moe toured extensively across Canada and recently made her debut performances in Europe and South America. As a featured artist in the 2009 Maelström ReEvolution Poétique FiEstival in Brussels, Belgium, she performed alongside Wemotachi elder and storyteller Matotoson Iriniu (Charles Coocoo, Quebec). Her work will be published in a bilingual poetry book in Spring 2010 through Maëlstrom publications, with translations by Marseilles poet Pierre Guéry. Preliminary translations of the texts were performed bilingually with Guéry at the Maelström Festival also. Feature highlights include performances for the ’07-’08 Canadian Festival of Spoken Word, the 2009 festival voix d’Amériques, the 2009 Diverse as This Land Performance at the Banff Centre, and the 2007 CBC Calgary Poetry Face-Off. Moe has collaborated with and performed alongside established artists such as Ian Ferrier (Montreal), D.Kimm (Montreal), Sheri-D Wilson (Calgary), and Tanya Tagaq (Nunavut).
Aside from her poetry performance work, Moe has also stepped into larger artistic collaborations in areas of artistic production, composition and performance creation. In 2008 she collaborated with contemporary dancers Jenn Doan and Carmen Ruiz to create Transfiguration, an interdisciplinary performance show featuring dance and voice that ran to sold-out audiences in Calgary, AB. In Spring 2009 Moe collaborated with the National Film Board of Canada and film artist Emmanuel Hessler on a short poetry video entitled Circle Haiku, a production that involved translation work, compositional development and audio engineering. Most recently she received support from Bravo!Fact and other sources to create and direct a video poem for Intersecting Circles, a poem that won the 2007 CBC Calgary Poetry Face-Off and has since become a full-stage performance and part of a permanent archive collection in Northern Alberta. Continued collaborations include working with youth and adults on storytelling and writing workshops, performing with Ian Ferrier and his experimental group Pharmakon, and continuing to develop visual design work for festivals and other artists. Moe believes in the power of transformation and the continuum of the oral tradition through active involvement in communities, both locally and internationally.
Born to an Anishinabe mother from Kitigan Zibi and a French father, Emilie was raised between the Outaouais and the Celtic coasts of France. Her dual cultural heritage profoundly inspires her work as an artist and the stories she wishes to communicate.
In 2006 Emilie graduated from the three-year theatre program offered by the Native theatre company Ondinnok (in collaboration with the National School of Theatre of Canada). Since then, she has been working as a theatre artist and storyteller under the artistic direction of Yves Sioui Durand (Ondinnok), Peter Batakliev, and choreographer Denise Fujiwara. In February 2009, she was granted an artist residency from the Maison Internationale du Conte to create a contemporary storytelling show on indigenous erotica and sexuality (Sans réserve : contes coquins et autres indienneries, February 2009).
Emilie uses voice as a medium for artistic expression and a tool for fostering a stronger relationship to her Anishinabe roots. As a member of Odaya, an all Aboriginal women’s drum group, she is able to share her gift of song and empower herself and others. In the past year, Odaya has performed extensively around Montreal and Canada. Performance highlights include the Festival du Monde Arabe with Gnawa master Hassan Boussou (Théâtre Maisonneuve ‘08), Quebec City’s 400th Anniversary at the SATosphere, and alongside Samian at the 2009 Musique Multi-Montreal Festival among others. The group has also performed at various Aboriginal events to promote social justice and raise awareness on Aboriginal issues. In the coming year they plan to record an album.
Prior to becoming a professional artist, Emilie worked for many years with grassroots organizations both in Canada and Latin America, building bridges between indigenous peoples worldwide. These experiences have nourished her critical thinking and strengthened her commitment towards community development and social justice. She strongly believes that performing arts and music are vehicles for healing, transformation and social change. A key part of her intention as an artist is to inspire others in finding their own voice through creative expression. She facilitates theatre and sound workshops to women prisoners and sex workers as well as First Nations youth in remote communities as a means to fight against criminalization of poverty. She is also a founding member of Artivistic, a collective that promotes interplay of art, communication and activism and holds a Masters in Peacebuilding and Conflict Resolution (Spain, Sweden).
M.O. brings a pure distillation of hip-hop and the polar ice cap. Producing beats and using complex wordplay that has been likened to Prevail of Swollen Members, M.O. “hopes to update southerner’s perceptions of Inuit life.” (Kate Porter, CBC Radio One)
M.O. was born in Iqaluit, Nunavut (Frobisher Bay, NWT at the time) during the coldest November in the town’s recorded history. A product of an Inuk mother and a Brooklynite father, he and two sisters were raised by their father in Iqaluit and in Vancouver, BC.
There were varied musical influences floating through M.O.’s childhood: from classical Indian music like the sitar and sarod, the Talking Heads and Nine Inch Nails to Kool Moe Dee just to name few. This eclectic range of influences, coupled with M.O.’s cultural history and connection to the North, has led to a unique style of music, with beats and lyrics that soothe and inform and get your mind and body working.
You ain’t never heard nothin’ like this before!
Suzanne Keeptwo is Métis from Quebec of Irish/French & Algonquin heritage. She is the proud mother of two, wonderful children. She juggles independent work as a writer, editor, public speaker, consultant and facilitator of Aboriginal Awareness & Cultural Sensitivity Training with her teaching career. She recently started a master’s degree in Aboriginal & World Indigenous Educational Studies. She is also a freelance contributor to the Anishinabek News and writes poetry to help process the world around her. Suzanne is the recipient of two, consecutive Canada Council for the Arts writers’ grants for creative non-fiction and was recently short listed for her first work of fiction entitled Can’t Fool Me by the annual Writers Union of Canada short story competition.
An advocate for Aboriginal rights, Suzanne has volunteered extensively on various councils, committees and boards throughout the region; her work includes co-developing Aboriginal Education policies, Anti-racism documents, and Traditional Healing Justice programs.
Her true passion will be revealed in her next work of non-fiction which is about Traditional Aboriginal Spiritual Teachings and how to apply them in modern, mainstream society.
Rachel is from Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug in north western Ontario and Red Pheasant Saskatchewan. Her name is Kesigatic Sagastas Saali Rachel Wuttunee and she is from the Bear Clan. She has two daughters Niteh and Miyosiwin and lives in Nanaimo, aka Snuneymuxw Territory on Vancouver Island BC. She received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in First Nations Studies from Vancouver Island University (VIU) June 2008, and has committed to a one year volunteer term as an Aboriginal Mentor at VIU.
Rachel has worked in many First Nation communities as an outreach worker on an administrative capacity, which included raising public awareness as well as providing entertainment. Her highlights include facilitating workshops with the youth and incorporating First Nation culture and language into hip hop music.
Rachel has been appointed the youth representative of her nation, Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug, on International Issues. She is also experienced working as a positive Aboriginal role model in many Native communities. A large portion of her workshop is centered on colonization and its intergenerational impacts and the reclamation of Indigenous cultures and traditions. She believes that by reinforcing our culture via participating in the ceremonies that honor the Earth and our bodies, we will help our people reclaim their lives.
Rachel also worked with the Cowichan Tribes Youth Pilot Project to promote First Nations skills related to the media. During which time she created a music video called Learn Off the Land to teach people about First Nations culture http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lpw8I-1lWpM. Throughout her life she has modeled various First Nations designs including Bruno Henry from Ontario, and Trish Shaunassy, from Alert Bay British Columbia, as well as touring Europe twice with Pow Wow Dance Group White Braid Society and with her father Winston Wuttunee.
In October 2008, she went to a Water Policy Forum, which was held in Garden River ON where the First Nations declared their jurisdiction over all waters in their territories. In March 2009, Chiefs of Ontario hired her to present this declaration at a youth forum in Kenora days before it was released to the public. In December 2008, she went to Indigenous Cooperative on the Environment Elders Council in Ottawa where solutions were presented from many nations on environmental issues. She also presented this information for Chiefs of Ontario at Youth Council.
Her previous work includes Coordinating a 24 week youth work experience program called Higher Elevation for Snuneymuxw First Nation. This program was eight weeks of skill building and career searching, four weeks of community work in Snuneymuxw Territory and twelve weeks of work placement. All the participants secured employment after the program was completed and four of them went on to treatment centre’s to continue their healing journey.
Since January 2009, Rachel has done work with Vancouver Island University presenting on Women and Self-Governance to the fourth year First Nations Studies course. She has also MC’d the Welcoming feast, performed for Aboriginal Visitation day, feasts, and worked on leadership development with the FN Land is Life class. She also got one of the participants from the work experience program to help her work on a research contract with BC Aboriginal Child Care Society interviewing elders on traditional methods of child rearing. She is told the report will be published and used to develop the curriculum for Aboriginal Head Start programs in BC.
Rachel is currently working with the Chiefs of Ontario on two different jobs. She is doing note-taking/coordinating for the nuclear waste management meetings, and creating a song for their health department on healthy lifestyles, culture, and respect for tobacco protocols. All of the work she has done with First Nation’s communities is put into her music so she can spread the information to the youth in a positive way, which can be reinforced at anytime with the hit of a play button.