After over two years of cross-Canada planning, the Peoples’ Social Forum will be taking place August 21-24 in Ottawa, based at and around University of Ottawa facilities. Organizers are expecting thousands from across the country to attend this gathering that is aimed at fostering activist involvement of individuals and civil society organizations that want to transform Canada as it exists today. The Forum is intended as a space for social movements to meet and converge, for the free expression of alternative ideas and grassroots exchanges and for artistic manifestations reflecting a diversity of demands and aspirations.
The gathering will open on August 20 with a traditional Algonquin ceremony at sunrise. August 21 and 22 will see hundreds of participant-led workshops happen simultaneously at the University of Ottawa, and a celebratory peoples’ march in the afternoon. Saturday, August 23 will be a day of movement assemblies. The last day there will be a final all-movements assembly and closing ceremony. The Peoples’ Social Forum is also a joyous gathering with special exhibitions, work and peoples history tours, film screenings, critical mass rally, a pow-wow, street performances, concerts, games, and building new relationships. The Peoples’ Social Forum is a means of stimulating debate, discussion and furthering our sense of community and collective action.
The Peoples’ Social Forum is intended to bring a diversity of peoples together and is especially focused on bridging the English / French – Quebec / rest of Canada divide, as well as centering the participation and leadership of the Original Peoples of this land.
As such, we’ve prepared this short invite and welcome tailored to local Indigenous people and communities, on how to be involved in the lead-up process to the Forum, and during the Forum itself.
In advance / preparation:
Can you see yourself doing any of the following for the forum:
Giving a workshop? Performing music or dance? Creating art to display and/or sell? Serving as a healer in the healing space? Helping with programming for the children and youth? Participation in the different assemblies? Helping outreach to other local people and groups? Talk about how you want to change the world? Screening a film? Reading from and/or selling your book(s)? Drumming at the big opening event, or at the pow wow? Organizing the pow wow? Giving a guided walk? Offering traditional teachings? Guiding people in beading or making ash baskets, birchbark containers, or other art / cultural artifacts? Discussing Indigenous comics? Childraising? Hosting a hand games competition?
There are specific ways to propose your activity, listed below.
– If you don’t see your desired form of involvement, please use the contact info below to discuss how to sign up for what you’d like to do.
During August 21-24:
Bring yourself, bring your family, bring your friends – there will be a lot going on for everyone. Activities will be centred at the University of Ottawa, but there will be other venues as well, including Victoria Island and Sparks Street.
Stay tuned for a complete schedule, but please take a moment to register in advance: http://www.peoplessocialforum.org/register
* Note: A Solidarity Fund is set up to help support the participation of Indigenous, People of Colour, youth, elders, remote and low-income. Apply by July 31st: www.idlenomore.ca/peoples_social_forum_apply_now_for_financial_support
This guide is not an exhaustive description of everything the Peoples Social Forum has to offer. For more, please explore the website www.PeoplesSocialForum.org including the ‘FAQ’ (Frequently Asked Questions).
Contact information – for the local ‘expansion committees’ representing different locations across Canada, for the different Caucuses, and for the PSF coordinators as listed below – is all accessible at http://www.peoplessocialforum.org/contact
- Roger Rashi: Finance and Program, Labour and Quebec, firstname.lastname@example.org or 613-236-7230 #7971
- Darius Mirshahi: Culture and Mobilization, People of Colour and Queer, email@example.com or 613-236-7230 #7977
- Ana Collins: Logistics and Mobilization, Original Peoples, Youth and Women, firstname.lastname@example.org or 613-868-6983
- Sakura Saunders: Communications, (dis)Ability, email@example.com
Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement Ottawa (IPSMO)
IPSMO has put together this guide, and is committed to supporting this process of the PSF, especially involving Indigenous people and solidarity participation. To that end, we are doing some fundraising in order to support that participation – if you require financial support, please contact us (although we may have limited funds).
IPSMO will be facilitating some workshops during the Forum, as well as leading the coordination of an Indigenous Solidarity Movement Assembly. If you are interested in being part of that planning process, or know others who might be good, please do get in touch – you can see the initial description at https://ipsmo.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/indigenoussolidarity__thepsf.pdf
We can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or http://www.ipsmo.org – or by phone, via OPIRG/GRIPO-Ottawa, at 613-230-3076.
Native Caucus Invitation (August 18-20) – For Indigenous folks from all nations!
The Social Forum is scheduled for August 21-24 (Thurs-Sun) in Ottawa. The potential for good to come from this is tremendous, but the need for all of our Original Peoples’Caucus to meet ahead of time is more important.
This is an invitation to start our strategizing for positive solutions by meeting together before the Social Forum.
Our invitation is to meet August 18-20 (Mon-Wed) near Poltimore, Quebec, which is 30 minutes from Ottawa. Neecha Dupuis’s parents have offered their land located on 200 acres with a private lake. Bring your camping gear and tents. Remember to bring your personal items (soap, towel, etc.). Cooking can be taken care of by friends who helped with Theresa Spence’s kitchen staff. Because this is potluck, we request food donation and/or money donations.
Any further information or suggestions can be emailed to either of our contacts listed below.
This separate time will give all of us the opportunity to strategize together. Good minds coming together in our own way.
Hope to see you there.
Wes Elliot, email@example.com
Neecha Dupuis, firstname.lastname@example.org