Speaking on the ‘Breaking Cycles’ plenary at the international conference in Ottawa, unceded Algonquin territory, in July 2011.
From the Women’s Worlds 2011 program: “PROVOKER: A feminist thinker and anti-violence activist from the Cherokee nation, Andrea has garnered international respect for her advocacy on violence against women of colour specifically Native American women. Co-founder of “INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence”, Andrea currently teaches in the Department of Media and Cultural Studies at the University of California, Riverside. Prior to that, she was assistant professor of American Culture and Women’s Studies at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.”
Women’s Worlds 2011 was a five-day international women’s congress, consisting of 4 plenaries and approximately 300 sessions and other events. Over 2,000 women from around the world were in attendance, and 2011 marked the 30th anniversary of the first Women’s Worlds gathering.
The Breaking Cycles plenary consisted of Andrea Smith, Devaki Jain, Tanya Tagaq and moderator Joanne St. Lewis. See the full video of the plenary: http://vimeo.com/25984077
As a part of our Honouring Indigenous Women campaign, we are inviting you to join us in a short lecture with Lee Maracle, a highly respected woman from the Stoh:lo Nation and acclaimed author, poet, educator, storyteller and performing artist.
Last summer, we were very honoured to have Lee contribute a short piece of her writing to our Honouring Indigenous Women: Hearts of Nations Vol. 1 booklet. This Spring, we are very excited and feel so privileged again that Lee is coming to Ottawa to talk to us about a very important connection. A connection that cannot be missed, oversighted or disregarded. Because our survival and our freedom depend on it:
There is a direct connection between violence against earth and violence against women.
Then there is another connection Lee wants us to pay attention to:
There is also a connection between the past and our future; a relationship that allows us to turn around, to heal ourselves and our communities.
Are you intrigued?
Come and join us on April 26th at 233 Gilmour St. in Ottawa, Algonquin Territory! We promise it’s going to be a fascinating evening that will transform your heart, mind and spirit!
This event is brought to you by Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement Ottawa – www.ipsmo.org
A little be more about Lee Maracle:
Lee is currently the Aboriginal Writer-in-Residence for First Nations House, and an instructor in the Aboriginal Studies Dept. at University of Toronto. She is one of the founders of the En’owkin International School of Writing in Penticton, BC, and Cultural Director of the Centre for Indigenous Theatre in Toronto. She mentors young people on personal and cultural healing and reclamation. (CBC, 8th Fire)
Books by Lee Maracle
Bobbi Lee: Indian Rebel – 1975 (revised 1990)
Sojourner’s Truth and Other Stories – 1990
Oratory: Coming to Theory – 1990
Sundogs – 1991
Ravensong – (Press Gang Publishers)1993
I am Woman: A Native Perspective on Sociology and Feminism – 1988; Press Gang Publishers 1996
“Embodied in my truth is the brilliance of hundreds of Native women who faced the worst that CanAmerica had to offer and dealt with it. Embodied in my brilliance is the great sea of knowledge that it took to overcome the paralysis of the colonized mind. I did not come to this clearing alone. Hundreds walked alongside me – Black, Asian and Native women whose tide of knowledge was bestowed upon me are the key to every CanAmerican’s emancipation.”
– Lee Maracle in I am Woman: A Native Perspective on Sociology and Feminism
Lee Maracle speaking at May Day Assembly 2011
The Silence is Broken, But the Violence Continues: Now What? event at the Native Canadian Centre in Toronto on July 20, 2011
The Silence is Broken, But the Violence Continues: Now What? Part II event at the Native Women’s Resource Centre in Toronto on November 24, 2011
All dis-empowered people seek empowerment. Patriarchy defines empowerment as the equivalent of power – over someone. This is the unifying philosophy that binds racism and sexism together. Power over the natural world, power over people, power over the seas, the air, time itself. Empowerment is the personal quest for oneness with nature, oneness with people, the seas, the skies, and time. The quest for power dis-empowers the very people who need to be empowered in order to alter the course of our story.
– Lee Maracle (Racism, Sexism and Patriarchy in Returning the Gaze Essays on Racism, Feminism and Politics: p.129)
Tanya Tagaq was invited to participate in the first plenary, entitled ‘Breaking Cycles’, of the international Women’s Worlds 2011 conference, Her inspiring and heartfelt words touched on the topics of how traditional Inuit ways of keeping healthy communities were repressed under colonialism, about strong role models, residential schools, imposed community relocations, healing and breaking the cycles of sexual abuse, and even publicly announcing her 12-weeks-in pregnancy – plus she brought the plenary to a close with some beautiful singing.
She was on the panel with Andrea Smith, Devaki Jain, and moderator Joanne St. Lewis. She was there in place of Monica Chuji Gualinga from Ecuador, who had difficulties with her travel visa and was unable to attend.
This was one of four plenaries, and around 300 sessions overall, during the five-day international women’s congress which is Women’s Worlds, celebrating it’s 30-year history in 2011. It was held this year in Ottawa, Canada, and over 2,000 women from around the world attended. More: www.womensworlds.ca