Two Spirit and Queer Liberation Movements

Two Spirit and Queer Liberation Movements
From Radical Revolt to Freedom Fighting Justice

7:00pm – 9:00pm
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
at Montgomery Legion Hall
330 Kent Street near Somerset Ave
(wheelchair accessible)

With presentations by:

  • Jessica Yee, Executive Director of the Native Youth Sexual Health Network
  • Gary Kinsman, co-author of “The Canadian War on Queers”
  • Ashley Fortier, Q-Team
  • Zaheen, Agitate! Ottawa

Suggested donation $5-10, no one turned away
Advance tickets available at OPIRG Carleton (326 UniCentre), OPIRG-GRIPO (631 King Edward Ave, 3rd floor) Venus Envy Ottawa (320 Lisgar St), and Octopus Books (116 Third Ave)

Talk descriptions:

>> Two Spirited Indigenous Feminist Freedom Fighting with Jessica Yee <<

Jessica Yee is a self-described Two Spirited Indigenous Feminist Freedom Fighter – and as such will outline how frameworks like reproductive justice and movements like Indigenous feminism come into play with her work with Two-Spirited youth specifically as the founder and Executive Director of the Native Youth Sexual Health Network – currently the only Aboriginal organization in North America to work within the full spectrum of reproductive and sexual health.

Jessica Yee is a 23 year old Two Spirited young woman from the Mohawk Nation. She is the founder and Executive Director of the Native Youth Sexual Health Network, a North America wide organization working on issues of healthy sexuality, reproductive justice, cultural competency, and youth empowerment.

>> Remembering Revolt and Resistance: Queer Struggles Against the Canadian National Security State with Gary Kinsman <<

Queer liberation started as a radical revolt against heterosexual hegemony in alliance with other groups fighting against oppression and for social liberation. This presentation actively remembers queer organizing against the Canadian national security state from the late 1950s to the 1990s. This resistance undermined and dismantled the Canadian War on Queers which had led to the purging, surveillance, and harassment of thousands of queer identified people. This presentation draws from the just-released book “The Canadian War on Queers: National Security as Sexual Regulation” which will be available for sale at the event.

Gary Kinsman is a longtime queer liberation and anti-capitalist activist. He is the author of The Regulation of Desire: Homo and Hetero Sexualities (1996), co-editor of Whose National Security? (2000), and Sociology for Changing the World (2006). He is a professor of Sociology at Laurentian University in Sudbury.

>> Queer Organizing Against Apartheid with Ashley Fortier <<

Drawing on a long history of queer solidarity organizing against South African apartheid, and in response to Israel’s branding of itself as a safe haven for queers in order to distract from its racist policies towards Palestinians, a growing movement of queer solidarity against Israeli Apartheid has emerged in recent years. This presentation will highlight some organizing successes and challenges throughout Canada and the U.S. and demonstrate the importance for queers to learn about and join in the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions campaign against Israel.

Ashley Fortier is based out of Montreal where she organizes around radical queer, prisoner justice, and Palestine solidarity struggles. She’s also a part-time activist researcher with the Collectif de recherche sur l’autonomie collective, works as a coordinator at QPIRG Concordia, and hopes one day to complete her graduate certificate in Editing and Publishing from Ryerson University.

>> Agitating Ottawa: A Local Perspective on Queer Anti-Racist Organizing with Zaheen <<

Think Ottawa’s bureaucratic and stuffy reputation is a drag? Unfortunately, this reputation has permeated many facets of our community, including the activist and queer communities. Anti-racist and queer organizing has never been easy in this city, but we have definitely come a long way. Zaheen from Agitate!, a local collective for queer people of colour, will address some challenges in doing this type of organizing in our city, as well as successes and ways we have overcome and continue to overcome these challenges.

Zaheen is a local community activist and has been a member of Agitate for almost 5 years. She is also involved with other community organizations such as Ladyfest Ottawa, SASC, and has recently joined the staff at OPIRG-GRIPO as one of their Coordinators. In her spare time, she likes to eat ice cream, be a Muslim heathen, and rock out to Whitney Houston.

* * *

Endorsed by the CUSA GLBTQ Centre for Sexual and Gender Diversity, the CUSA Womyn’s Centre, the CUSA Aboriginal Service Centre, the Carleton Centre for Aboriginal Culture and Education, OPIRG-Ottawa/GRIPO-Ottawa, the Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement-Ottawa, Agitate! Ottawa, Queer fAction, Q-Team, the Native Youth Sexual Health Network, PTS LBTTQ Women’s Health and Sexuality Program, Students Against Israeli Apartheid-Carleton, After Stonewall, Venus Envy Ottawa, and Octopus Books.

Brought to you by OPIRG Carleton . . . research, education and action on social and environmental justice issues, since 1980.

For more info, contact or 613 520 2757.

Organizing For Justice workshops

The Organizing For Justice conference happens from Oct15-18 in Ottawa/Gatineau. It is focused on social, economic and environmental justice and healthy communities. This year’s theme is ‘Grassroots Responses to the Economic and Environmental Crisis’.

IPSMO will be tabling as part of the Book/Info-Fair on Saturday Oct 17 at 440 Albert St, as well as helping to put on two of the workshop panels that day:

12:30pm – ‘Queer Struggles in an Economic Crisis‘, with:

  • Nadijah Robinson from Agitate! Ottawa
  • Jeremy Dias from Jer’s Vision
  • Percy Lezard from 2 Spirited People of the 1st Nations
  • Gary Kinsman, Author and Activist

2:30pm – ‘Indigenous Peoples and the Law‘, with:

  • John Moore, a First Nations person from Serpent River First Nation currently living in Sudbury who has been fighting for justice for nearly 23 years against racism in the Canadian Court System
  • Romola Trebilcock from Circle of All Nations, who will be speaking on the legacy of Donald Marshall Jr both in terms of the criminal system and land rights issues
  • Beverly J. Pyke from the Akwesasne Peoples Fire, who will be speaking about the current community resistance to the border situation, as well as some history

Details about the conference can be found at or by contacting or 613-656-5498

The conference consists of five different events:

  • Thurs Oct 15, 6:30 pm – Keynote Panel Discussion, at the Ottawa Public Library main branch auditorium (120 Metcalfe St)
  • Fri Oct 16, 7:00pm-midnight – Music, Theatre, Spoken Word and Social Event, at the Atomic Rooster (303 Bank St)
  • Sat Oct 17, 10:00am-8:00pm – Full day of Workshops, Book/Info-fair, followed by Community Dinner at 6pm, at 440 Albert St (the Old Ottawa Technical High School)
  • Sat Oct 17, 7:00pm – Table Ronde (panel discussion in French), at le Dépanneur Sylvestre, 9 Fortier, Gatineau
  • Sun Oct 18, 10:30am-4:30pm – Ateliers [workshops in French], at UQO, Pavillon Lucien-Brault, 101 rue Saint Jean Bosco, Gatineau