April 22, 2015: Celebrating the Defence of Mother Earth

IPSMO’s 4th Annual Celebrating the Defence of Mother Earth

Celebrating Indigenous Women, Girls, Two-Spirits and the Defence of Mother Earth

“There is a direct connection between violence against the Earth and violence against women.”
– Lee Maracle

Wednesday, April 22 (Earth Day) at 6:00pm
Centretown United Church, 507 Bank St.
Pay What You Can ($5 -$10 Suggested)]
Art by Gregg Deal

Join us this Earth Day for a feast, movie and panel celebrating Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-Spirits and the defence of Mother Earth.

The Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement Ottawa will be hosting our 4th annual Earth Day event. This year we will celebrate the defence of mother earth with a feast, a screening of the movie Karistatsi Onienre: The Iron Snake, and a panel discussion with Jocelyn Iahtail (Cree), Gabrielle Fayant (Metis) and Lynn Gehl (Algonquin).

The event is also a fundraiser for Shawnejeagamik, the 510 Rideau Indigenous Drop-In Centre. Shawnejeagamik means “House of Compassion” in the Algonquin language, and has recently had its government funding cut. If the funding isn’t restored, or alternate funding isn’t found, then the
shelter will be forced to close.

6:00pm Welcoming by Annie St. Georges (Algonquin)
6:15pm Free Feast
7:00pm Movie – Karistatsi Onienre: The Iron Snake
8:00pm Panel Discussion
9:30pm Closing


Karistatsi Onienre: The Iron Snake

The tar sands are the most polluting resource extraction operation in the world today. This film examines issues surrounding the tar sands and the impending development of pipelines in eastern Canada and western Canada to open up markets for this dirty energy. This documentary concentrates on Indigenous struggles against tar sands and pipelines.

The film talks specifically about the proposed Energy East pipeline that would pass through Ottawa and cross the Rideau River, as well as Line 9, which passes through Akwesasne and Cornwall, on its way from Sarnia to Montreal.


Karistatsi Onienre: The Iron Snake was directed by Clifton Nicholas

Panel Discussion

The panel will focus on the ways that the water, the earth, and indigenous women are interconnected, as well as their resistance to the violence that they experience.

After the panel there will be time for questions and discussion.


About the Panelists

Jocelyn Iahtail: Jocelyn is a mother, a survivor and a cultural teacher and consultant at Mother Earth and Child. She speaks out against the violence faced by Indigenous women and girls, and the historic and ongoing abuse of Indigenous children through the Residential School System, Indian Day schools, 60s scoop and the Millennium scoop.

Gabrielle Fayant: Gabrielle is the co-founder of a youth-led and youth-driven organization called Assembly of Seven Generations (A7G) and Program Manager of a youth economic program called Reach Up! North in partnership with the Digital Opportunity Trust.

She has worked for a number of national Aboriginal organizations such as the National Association of Friendship Centres, Native Women’s Association of Canada, and the Aboriginal Healing Foundation. She has experience on a number of local, regional, and national advisory committees and councils, such as the Canadian Commission of UNESCO’s Youth Advisory Group, Ottawa Youth Engagement Committee, and Walking With Our Sisters Ottawa Youth Committee.

Gabrielle also serves as a board member for the Odawa Native Friendship Centre, and she sings with a female drum group called Spirit Flowers and as backup for a men’s drum group called the Ottawa River singers (aka O-Town Boyz). Gabrielle is the recipient of the 2015 Indspire Metis Youth Award.

Lynn Gehl: Lynn is an Algonquin Anishinaabe-kwe from the Ottawa River Valley, Ontario, Canada. She describes herself as a learner-researcher, thinker, writer, Black Face blogger, and she has been an  Indigenous human rights advocate for 25 years.

Lynn works to eliminate the continued sex discrimination in the Indian Act, and she is also an outspoken critic of the contemporary land claims and self-government process.

She has a doctorate in Indigenous Studies, a Master of Arts in Canadian and Native Studies, and an undergraduate degree in Anthropology. She also has a diploma in Chemical Technology and worked in the field of environmental science for 12 years in the area of toxic organic analysis of Ontario’s waterways. While advocating for change is currently part of what she does, she is also interested in traditional knowledge systems that guide the Anishinaabeg forward to a good life.

Along with many journal and community publications, she has three books:

Anishinaabeg Stories: Featuring Petroglyphs, Petrographs, and Wampum Belts The Truth that Wampum Tells: My Debwewin on the Algonquin Land Claims Process Mkadengwe: Sharing Canada’s Colonial Process through Black Face Methodology Her website: http://www.lynngehl.com/

On April 23 in Ottawa, Lynn will be speaking at Black Squirrel Books at the event :’The Truth that Wampum Tells: Learning Canada’s Constitutional History through Wampum Diplomacy’

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