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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May 4 – Open Meeting for the Indigenous Peoples’ Solidarity Movement Ottawa

 

Are you interested in doing Indigenous solidarity organizing?

Do you want to learn more about how to effectively oppose colonialism and to support Indigenous people, communities and nations?

If so, come out to the IPSM Ottawa’s upcoming open meeting, and get involved!

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Open Meeting for the Indigenous Peoples’ Solidarity Movement – Ottawa (IPSMO)

Image by Tania Willard.
Image by Tania Willard.

Sunday, May 4th at 2:00pm

Jack Purcell Community Centre, Rm 101
320 Jack Purcell Lane, near Elgin and Gilmour (Bus # 5 & 14)

www.facebook.com/events/264685173702861

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Everyone Welcome!

Wheelchair Accessible

Contact us if you require ASL/LSF, bus tickets, child care:
ipsmo@riseup.nethttp://www.ipsmo.org

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We are currently one of the anchor groups working on organizing an Indigenous Solidarity Assembly during the Peoples’ Social Forum (PSF) in August of 2014.

In addition to this we will be doing other organizing to support the Forum, including activities such as designing and doing workshops about Indigenous Solidarity similar to, for example, our Indigenous Solidarity for Settlers workshop.

 

Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement Ottawa (IPSMO)
Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement Ottawa (IPSMO)

About the IPSM Ottawa

The Indigenous Peoples’ Solidarity Movement of Ottawa started as a group of activists who did some solidarity organizing in support of the six nations land reclamation near Caledonia, in the summer of 2006.

Since then we have been doing Indigenous solidarity organizing in many varied ways and in support of many different people, issues, communities and nations. Some of this work includes supporting the Tyendinaga Mohawks during their occupation a quarry on their territory, supporting the Ardoch Algonquin and the Shabot Obaadjiwan First Nations in their opposition to a uranium nine on their territory, and supporting local anti-racist organizing at Carleton University.

Most of the work that we have done in the past 6 years, however, has been in support of the Algonquin community of Barriere Lake and supporting initiatives and groups struggling for justice for missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and two-spirits.

 

Our Basis of Unity:

The Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement – Ottawa (IPSMO) is a grassroots organization that directly supports indigenous peoples in diverse struggles for justice. We also work within communities to challenge the lies and half-truths about indigenous peoples and colonization that dominate Canadian society. The organization is open to both indigenous and non-indigenous people, and focuses on local and regional campaigns.

As we act in solidarity with indigenous people, we build relationships where we can learn from indigenous cultures. By doing this, we can further decolonize ourselves, and so learn to better challenge the racist and colonial ideas that dominate Canadian society.

We provide support to actions and campaigns for Indigenous sovereignty, self-determination, defense of the land, environmental protection, cultural revitalization, and the honouring of treaties and agreements.

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IPSMO member Sylvia Smith receives Governor General’s Award for educational project on residential schools

IPSMO member Sylvia Smith receives Governor General’s Award for educational project on residential schools

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 9, 2011

OTTAWA – Sylvia Smith, for her work as coordinator of Project of Heart, will be presented with a Governor General’s History Award for Excellence in Teaching on Monday.

Sylvia Smith presenting Project of Heart at Ontario Institute for Studies in Education

Project of Heart is a hands-on, collaborative, inter-generational, inter-institutional artistic endeavour that commemorates the lives of the thousands of Indigenous children who died as a result of the Indian Residential School experience.

Participants have used the learning module to connect with a specific residential school history and the Indigenous people whose traditional territory the school was located on, and have shared the experience with an Aboriginal elder and/or residential school survivor. Follow-up research and social justice action is part of the process for each participant.

Smith founded Project of Heart in 2007 in collaboration with her students at Elizabeth Wyn Wood Alternate High School Program in Ottawa, and over 50 schools, faith communities, and workplaces across Canada have since taken part.

Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement Ottawa (IPSMO) member Pei-Ju Wang states, “We are very pleased to see this award recognizing the work that Sylvia and others with Project of Heart have done to help non-Aboriginal Canadians acknowledge, and take ownership and action for, the devastating policy of residential schools that continues to have lasting effects on Indigenous peoples here. Her contributions to our group’s work have similarly been about moving people towards achieving justice, understanding and healing in the relationship between the Canadian state and the First Peoples of this land.”

Warren McBride, a fellow teacher at Elizabeth Wyn Wood, observes, “One of the main attributes of Project of Heart is that it provides an opportunity for students to apply their knowledge of the past to issues that are continuing today. Sylvia has been able to create an educational experience that has direct relevance to the news headlines of December 2011.”

Smith herself says, “Project of Heart is something that belongs to all who embrace it.  Indeed, it is the collective aspect of the Project that gives it its strength. I am honoured to be the name attached to it.”

Contact:
IPSMO: ipsmo@riseup.net

For more information:

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March 3 – Decolonizing Social Justice: The Anti-Violence Movement and the Non-Profit Industrial Complex

Decolonizing Social Justice:
The Anti-Violence Movement and the Non-Profit Industrial Complex

The Institute of Women’s Studies of the University of Ottawa is pleased invite you to the Shirley Greenberg Annual Lecture in Women’s Studies entitled “Decolonizing Social Justice: The Anti-Violence Movement and the Non-Profit Industrial Complex” given by Andrea Smith, Assistant Professor, Department of Media and Cultural Studies, University of California, Riverside Co-founder of INCITE! Women of Color against Violence and The Boarding School Healing Project.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010 at 5:30 p.m.
Alumni Auditorium, 85 University Private, University of Ottawa
FREE ADMISSION
Info: womenst@uOttawa.ca or Kathryn.Trevenen@uOttawa.ca

BIO

Andrea Smith is a co-founder of INCITE! Women of Color against Violence and the Boarding School Healing Project. She is the author of Conquest: Sexual Violence and American Indian Genocide and Native Americans and the Christian Right: The Gendered Politics of Unlikely Alliances. She is also editor of The Revolution will not be funded: Beyond the Non-profit Industrial Complex and The Color of Violence. She currently teaches at the University of California, Riverside.

********** Articles related to violence against women **********

Montreal’s 1st Annual Memorial March for Missing and Murdered Women
http://www.missingjustice.ca/2010/02/montreals-1st-annumal-memorial-march-for-missing-and-murdered-women/

Eagles soar above Vancouver march for murdered and missing women
By Carlito Pablo
Publish Date: February 14, 2010
Source: http://www.straight.com/article-289757/vancouver/eagles-soar-above-vancouver-march-murdered-and-missing-women

In Our Own Words
Women living in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside weigh in on the Olympics
By by Stella August and Phillipa Ryan
February 14, 2010
Source: http://www.dominionpaper.ca/articles/2917

An Olympics Failure:
At lease 137 Native Women Missing and Murdered in BC since 1980
by Maya Rolbin-Ghanie
February 12, 2010
Source: http://www.dominionpaper.ca/articles/2982

Missing women’s initiative in limbo as memorial marches approach
By Mia Rabson, Winnipeg Free PressFebruary 13, 2010
Source: http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Missing+women+initiative+limbo+memorial+marches+approach+words+with+optional+trim+words+OTTA/2559398/story.html

All Eyes on Us: Revealing Over 500 Missing/Murdered Indigenous Women in Canada

All Eyes on Us!
Capitalizing on the 2010 Olympics to Call International Attention to
the 500+ Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women
By Carmen Teeple Hopkins
January 18, 2010
Source: http://no2010.com/node/1269

********** Action Alert **********

Please take FIVE MINUTES to ask that our elected officials take action to end the violence against missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada.

Indigenous women living in Canada are five times more at risk of dying a violent death than other women, according to a Canadian government statistic. A study by the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) concluded that 521 indigenous girls and women have gone missing or been murdered since 1980, and calls for an emergency strategy. Some activists believe the number of missing to be much higher, as many cases go unreported, often due to distrust between First Nations communities and police.

Amnesty International issued a comprehensive report in 2004 entitled “Stolen Sisters: A Human Rights Response to discrimination and violence against Indigenous women in Canada,” and the UN recently called on the Canadian government to investigate why hundreds of deaths and disappearances of Indigenous women remain unsolved.

Please ask that our elected representatives do something about this important issue:

SENT AN QUICK MESSAGE FROM THE WEBSITE OF THE JUSTICE FOR MISSING AND MURDERED INDIGENOUS WOMEN CAMPAIGN: http://www.missingjustice.ca/voiceyourconcern