The Peoples’ Social Forum in Ottawa – an invitation for Indigenous participation

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


Overall

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, rogrash@videotron.ca or 613-236-7230 #7971
  • Darius Mirshahi: Culture and Mobilization, People of Colour and Queer, darius_mirshahi@hotmail.com or 613-236-7230 #7977
  • Ana Collins: Logistics and Mobilization, Original Peoples, Youth and Women, anapsf2014@gmail.com or 613-868-6983
  • Sakura Saunders: Communications, (dis)Ability, sakura.saunders@gmail.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 ipsmo@riseup.net or http://www.ipsmo.org – or by phone, via OPIRG/GRIPO-Ottawa, at 613-230-3076.

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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.

Nya:weh,

Wes Elliot, wes.at.6@gmail.com
Neecha Dupuis, neecha@hotmail.com

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Families of Sisters in Spirit Zine Callout! Our Voices Matter : Talking Back

CALLOUT TO INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES!!

SEEKING SUBMISSIONS FOR UPCOMING ZINE BY FSIS – DEADLINE SEPT 30, 2013

Our Voices Matter : Talking Back

Families of Sisters in Spirit (FSIS) believes in centering stories and voices of Indigenous women, youth, families, communities and Nations. Highlighting our lived experiences as well as our power, resilience and strength are absolutely essential if we are to move forward as Indigenous peoples together in a good way; in a way that nurtures strong relations with non-Indigenous and settler peoples and ensures our collective futures are free from violence and oppression.

What?

An online and print zine for and by First Nations, Métis, Inuit and mixed-heritage Indigenous peoples, women, youth, families, Elders, elders, two-spirit/queer/gender fabulous, and grassroots folks. Please send us your submissions!

We are accepting a wide variety of submissions including memoirs, personal testimonies, short stories, short plays, prose, poetry, lyrics, photographs, art, collages, paintings, drawings, carvings, sculptures or other creative commentary by Indigenous peoples. We encourage emerging and unpublished as well as more established storytellers to submit. Topics are fairly broad but should speak to historical and ongoing colonial violence in Canada and what we need as Indigenous people to heal, resist and live as we were always meant to be.

Why?

We are making this zine in order to and validate our many and varied experiences of interpersonal and structural violence and celebrate our resilience and community power. Sharing our struggles and triumphs are acts of resistance and survival and show us that we are not alone. Our voices matter and affirm our self-determination as well as interdependence to one another and Mother Earth, and strengthens our families and communities.

Why else?

Because it feels like hardly nobody listens to us! Because Indigenous stories and experiences, especially those of women, are not valued as they should be. Because too often our complex realities are ignored and erased. Because we are tired of policies, decisions, and committees made on our behalf by people who are far removed from our realities. Because we are tired of people speaking for us and about us. Because we need to be the ones telling our stories. Because we are the experts in our own lives and we are talking back!

Who?

Families of Sisters in Spirit (FSIS) is a grassroots, non-profit, all volunteer, unfunded organization by family members of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls with support and solidarity from Indigenous and non-Indigenous allies and friends. FSIS is committed to extensive public education, media and social media engagement, fundraising, and especially capacity and relationship-building with/among Indigenous families of missing and murdered women and girls. We believe in facilitating safe(r) spaces for families to share, grieve and strategize together, privately and publicly. FSIS follows anti-oppressive, anti-colonial and Indigenous feminist frameworks that root our work in radical relationships with the land, one another, our ancestors and future descendents.

Two members of FSIS Colleen Cardinal (Hele) and Kristen Gilchrist have taken the lead in launching Our Voices Matter: Talking Back

Colleen Cardinal (Hele): zhaawanongnoodin mihingan dodem, saddle lake n’doojbah

My name is Southwind woman, I am wolf clan originally from Saddle Lake Cree Nation, Alberta on Treaty 6 territory. I am a Plains Cree mother of four young adults and grandma to a lively granddaughter named Rosalie. I am in the beginning stages of producing a documentary called The Sixties Scoop: A Stolen Generation that follows six First Nation women and men who were forcibly adopted out of their Nations and placed into non-Indigenous households far away from their families or homelands in the middle of the 20th century. I am a Sixties Scoop survivor raising awareness about how historical colonial violence has impacted and continues to shape my family. My sister Charmaine Desa was murdered in 1990 and my sister-in-law Lynne Jackson was also killed in 2004. I have been involved with FSIS for more than a year, often engaging in public education about violence(s) against Indigenous women and girls.

Kristen Gilchrist self-identifies as a white settler, queer/femme, survivor of violence(s), living with invisible disabilities, and situated within/across intersecting dimensions of privilege and oppression, agency and constraint. I am a graduate student in sociology at Carleton University, co-founder and allied/non family member with FSIS, and ally in the sex workers’ rights movement in the Ottawa area — traditional Algonquin territories.

How?

Please send all submissions to fsiszine@gmail.com with SUBMISSION as the subject. If it can’t be emailed, mail it to:

Suite 601, 250 City Centre Ave
Ottawa, ON K1R 6K7
℅ FSIS (zine)

The deadline is NOW September 30, 2013 at 11:59 pm! All submissions and inquiries about submissions should be sent to fsiszine@gmail.com

In your submission, please include:

– Your name (or name you want to be published)
– RELIABLE Contact information (in case we need to talk to you about your work)
– A brief (50-100 word) bio or description of who you are/what you do, etc. (if you want to include it)
– Please make sure all attachments are either in PDF, JPEG, Word, RTF, BMP or any other compatible program.
– Your submission should be in an attachment, not copy/pasted into the email. (If you have trouble with attachments, email us for help!)

*We acknowledge the limitations and contradictions inherent in requesting and publishing submissions in the colonial English language. Our hope is this is a starting place for sharing and that many different translations could be possible in the future.*

Want to submit? Get involved in the planning/making of the zine?
Wanna support FSIS?
Got concerns, questions, etc?
Email us at fsiszine@gmail.com to talk and if you’d like to get involved.

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Official Opening May 16, 4pm – SAKAHÀN: Ground-Breaking International Indigenous Exhibition

Please join us for this ground-breaking, history making art exhibition by the National Gallery of Canada!

Van Gogh was not this big. Monet was not this big. Caravaggio was not this big! Nothing the gallery has ever done has been this big!!

188 art pieces by 82 Indigenous artists from 16 countries display contemporary Indigenous art that addresses social, political and cultural issues from around the world.

Full info on the exhibit: www.gallery.ca/sakahan/

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A Special Traditional Algonquin Welcoming Ceremony  - For the Indigenous Artists of SAKAHÀN
A Special Traditional Algonquin Welcoming Ceremony – For the Indigenous Artists of SAKAHÀN

Please come and join us for the OFFICIAL welcoming & opening for SAKAHÀN: International Indigenous Art Exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada!

Thursday May 16, 2013

Here’s what’s happening:

1-3pm Sacred Fire at Victoria Island with Peter Decontie

3pm Canoes to deliver Sakahán bundle to the river’s edge near the gallery

(This is where you come in!)

4pm Elder Albert Dumont (blessing/prayer) & Claudette Commanda (Sakahàn teaching) Ceremony with Indigenous Artists from around the world (Amphitheatre: outside in the front of the gallery)

5pm Sakahàn Exhibition opens (Galleries)

6pm Official Opening with the Director & Chair of the National Gallery of Canada, Chief Gilbert Whiteduck, Eagle River Drummers from Kitigan Zibi with Gabriel Whiteduck, Hoop Dancer (Rhonda Doxtator) in the Auditorium (break-out rooms with screens available)

7pm Tour the Sakahàn Exhibition (Galleries)

8pm After party with Inuit & Métis entertainment. Light refreshments will be served (Water Court & Terrace)

10pm after-after party tbd

For more information please contact Jaime Koebel, Sakahán Educator, National Gallery of Canada:jkoebel@gallery.ca or 613 991-4610

This event is open and free to the public. If you’ve ever wanted to learn about Aboriginal issues – this is the place to be.