First Voices! First Women Speak! A Teach-in and Community Gathering

You are invited to attend First Voices! First Women Speak! A teach-in and community gathering featuring renowned Indigenous scholars, writers and artists Lee Maracle and Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, as well as Claudette Commanda, Viola Thomas, Vera Wabegijig, Moe Clark, and others!

Please click the image to download the poster.

1:30 ~ 9 pm
Friday August 24, 2012
Odawa Native Friendship Centre
12 Sterling Ave.
Ottawa, Unceded Algonquin Territory 

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/409497419085733/

We will meet, share knowledge and generate ideas about how we – as Indigenous and non-Indigenous people – can work together in solidarity to the benefit of all living beings.

There will be a lecture, a book launch, discussion circles, spoken word performances, traditional drumming and a feast!

Please register by August 17th – space is limited! Click here (http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/firstwomenspeakto confirm your spot. The registration fee is $20 or pay what you can. You can pay in advance or at the door. 

EVERYONE IS WELCOME!

This is an amazing opportunity to have so many inspiring women in the same place, sharing their wisdom and experience! We especially want to encourage youth to participate. If you are a youth and/or non-waged, registration is free.

If you are unable to attend but would like to support this event, please make a donation by clicking here. Once the cost of the event has been covered, any additional funds will be put towards the publication of ‘Honouring Indigenous Women: Hearts of Nations- Vol. 2’, an initiative of IPSMO. For details on this publication, please see: www.ipsmo.org.

Programme

MC: Viola Thomas

Part I

1:30 Opening and welcome by Claudette Commanda with drumming by Greg Meekis and Brad Picody
2:00 Lecture by Lee Maracle: There is a direct connection between violence against the earth and violence against women: looking to the past to restore our future.
3:00 Break
3:15 Circle responses, reflections and crafting plans of action (circles lead by Claudette Commanda, Lee Maracle, and Leanne Simpson)
5:00 Spoken word and poetry performance by Vera Wabegijig
5:30 Closing for the afternoon with drumming by Greg Meekis and Brad Picody

5:45 Feast!

Part II 

7:00 Ottawa Launch of Leanne Betasamosake Simpson’s recent book: Dancing on Our Turtle’s Back: Stories of Nishnaabeg Re-Creation, Resurgence and a New Emergence with an opening by Greg Meekis and Brad Picody
8:00 Performance by Moe Clark and Leanne Simpson
8:40 Closing remarks from Lee Maracle
9:00 Closing for the day by Claudette Commanda 

*If you are unable to come for the whole day you are welcome to come only for the launch of Leanne Betasamosake Simpson’s new book ‘Dancing on our Turtle’s Back’ which will be happening from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

This event is a collaboration between Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement Ottawa (IPSMO) and KAIROS Canada.

About our guests and presenters:

Claudette Commanda is the Executive Director of the First Nations Confederacy of Cultural Education Centres, where she works tirelessly in the preservation and maintenance of First Nations languages, cultures, and traditions. She is also a part-time professor for the Common Law Section of the Faculty of Law, the Institute of Women’s Studies, the Aboriginal Studies Program and the Faculty of Education at the University of Ottawa. (from the Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa)

Lee Maracle is a writer, activist and performer from the Stó:lō nation located in the area now known as British Columbia. She is currently the Aboriginal Writer-in-Residence for First Nations House, and an instructor in the Aboriginal Studies Department at the University of Toronto. Lee 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. (from CBC 8th Fire)

Books written 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
  • Daughters are Forever – 2002
  • Will’s Garden – 2002
  • First Wives Club: Coast Salish Style – (Theytus Books Publishing) 2010

Leanne Betasamosake Simpson is a writer and scholar of Michi Saagiik Nishnaabeg ancestry and is a member of Alderville First Nation. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Manitoba, is an Adjunct Professor of Indigenous Studies at Trent University and an instructor at the Centre for World Indigenous Knowledge, Athabasca University. Leanne has published three edited volumes including Lighting the Eighth Fire: The Liberation, Resurgence and Protection of Indigenous Nations (2008, Arbeiter Ring), and This is An Honour Song: Twenty Years Since the Barricades (with Kiera Ladner, 2010, Arbeiter Ring). Her recent book, Dancing on Our Turtle’s Back: Stories of Nishnaabeg Re-Creation, Resurgence and a New Emergence was published in May 2011 and turns to Nishnaabeg theory and philosophy for guidance in building and maintaining resurgence movements. It is her hope that this work will inspire the regeneration of Nishnaabeg systems of governance, language, and knowledge – systems that place women back at the centre of Kina Gchi Nishnaabeg‐ogaming. (from Leanne Simpson’s web site: http://leannesimpson.ca/)

Moe Clark. With humble beginnings as a Calgary native, Moe received mentorship from Sheri-D Wilson, who was integral in launching her career as a spoken word artist at the 2005 Calgary International Spoken Word Festival. Following the success of her debut, as well as winning the Calgary CBC Poetry Face-Off (2007), Moe released a debut album “Circle of She: Story & Song” (April ’08) and toured across Canada. Her award winning poem “Intersecting Circles” was made into a video poem in 2009 (Bravo!Fact, CCA, AFA) and became part of the permanent collection at the Peace River Museum, Archives and Mackenzie Centre. (from Moe Clark’s web site: http://www.moeclark.ca/. You can also listen to her on her web site!)

Vera Wabegijig is an Anishnaabe mother from the bear clan of the Mississauga First Nation and Wikwemikong Unceded Reserve. She is also a poet, writer and media artist. Her poetry has been printed in many anthologies including XXX NDN, Surviving in the Hour of Darkness, Breaking the Surface, Our Words, Our Revolutions, Reclaiming the Future, and Sweetgrass Grows All Around Her. Currently, Vera has completed a collection of poetry, Manomin – Wild Rice Dreams, and with her daughters Storm and Grace, will launch a new media website this summer called Ishkode/Fire. You can read her blog at: http://verawaabegeeshig.wordpress.com/.

This event is also supported by Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), OPIRG-Carleton (the Ontario Public Interest Research Group at Carleton University), Quakers, Project of Heart, Amnesty International Canada and Canadian Centre for Policy Alternative and Arbeiter Ring Publishing!

     

   

Walk 4 Justice

Please spread the word!

On June 21, 2011, Walk4Justice began their long walk from Vancouver, Coast Salish Territory to Ottawa, Algonquin Territory to raise awareness about the plight of the far too many (over 3000) missing and murdered Indigenous women across Turtle Island (Canada). On Monday, September 19, they will be ending their walk at Parliament Hill where they will continue demanding justice for these women and their families.

Please come out and show your support for the walkers. Bring your banners, signs or placards and good spirit to the rally!

March & Rally
Monday, September 19
9am at Minwaashin Lodge (424 Catherine St), 10am Parliament Hill

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=112167435552467

Please join the walkers at Minwaashin Lodge at 9am and walk with them to Parliament Hill.  If you can’t make it then, please come to the rally on Parliament Hill at 10am.

Feast and Fund-raiser 
Monday, September 19
5:00pm at Mac Hall on 211 Bronson Ave.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=242669869108872

Community celebration, feast, entertainment, and fundraiser! Featuring Walk4Justice co-founders Gladys Radek & Bernie Williams and Beverley Jacobs from Families of Sisters in Spirit.  Headliners for the performance: Elaine Kicknosway, Nancy Myatt, Vera Wabegijig, Sandy Scofield, Elizabeth Riley Band and Jamie Koebel!Please spread the word!

These 2 events are part of the 30 Days of Justice organized by the Families of Sisters in Spirit and their allies.  “30 Days of Justice” brings together families of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and the wider Ottawa communities to raise critical awareness on the violence against Indigenous women and demand justice and accountability for the disappeared and murdered women. For more details and other events during the 30 Days of Justice: http://30daysofjustice.wordpress.com

About Walk4Justice

The Walk4Justice is a nonprofit organization that was created by donation and volunteer since January 2008. Gladys Radek and Bernie Williams co-founded this group to raise awareness about the plight of the far too many missing and murdered women across Canada. Their supporters consist of family members who have lost their loved ones across the nation and grassroots women and men from all walks of life. Together with their supporters, the Walk4Justice demands justice, closure, equality and accountability.

Gladys’s niece, Tamara Lynn Chipman disappeared off Highway 16 out of Prince Rupert, BC, now dubbed the Highway of Tears in northern British Columbia. She vanished without a trace on September 21, 2005. Bernie is a long time advocate and voice for the women who have been forced to live on the streets of Canada’s poorest postal code, the DTES. She has been a frontline worker in the DTES for 25 years. Her mother and two sisters were also victims of violence who were murdered in the DTES over the years.

For more info: http://fnbc.info/walk4justice

About Families of Sisters in Spirit (FSIS)

FSIS is a volunteer grassroots non-profit organization led by families of missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada with the support of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities. FSIS was the vision of one family member named Bridget Tolley, an Algonquin grandmother and activist from the Kitigan Zibi First Nation whose mother was killed by a Quebec provincial (SQ) police car in 2001 with the ongoing support of Beverley Jacobs, Mohawk grandmother from Grand-River Territory, whose cousin Tashina General, pregnant with her son Tucker, was murdered in 2008, and non-Aboriginal student and activist Kristen Gilchrist. Together we are working to end violence, challenge interconnected inequalities in Canadian society, and transform ourselves and the world around us.

Visit their FB page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Families-of-Sisters-in-Spirit/169989823049052

About the performers

Elaine Kicknosway and her son Theland: Drummer and Hoop dancer

Nancy Myatt: Nancy is a Mohawk from Kahnesatake with Algonquin. Her family lives in Kitigan Zibi. She is a traditional dancer and drummer. She has two daughters and a granddaughter arriving in November. She has supported Take Back the Night and Sisters in Spirit by sharing songs in her culture. She is very happy to support and be involved in this cause because her great grandmother was also murdered.

Vera Wabegijig: Vera is a poet and Anishnaabe mother from the bear clan who writes for expression and to connect with the larger world. See Vera’s gift to us: http://verawaabegeeshig.wordpress.com/

Sandy Scofield: Sandy is a multi-award winning composer, musician and singer. She has studied classical, jazz, African, Indonesian gamelan and electro-acoustic music. A Métis from the Saulteaux and Cree Nations, she hails from four generations of fiddlers, singers and musicians. Among her four recordings to date, she has won five Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards, a Canadian Folk Music Award, an Indian Summer Music Award (U.S.A.), a Western Canadian Music Award and received three consecutive Juno nominations. Check out her web site: http://sandyscofield.com/

Elizabeth Riley Band: Ottawa-based Elizabeth Riley Band has a raw, contagious sound, with original songs and interpretations inspired by bluegrass, folk classics, and alt and traditional country music. Wielding banjo, acoustic and electric guitars, harmonica, djembe, stand-up snare, these four singer-songwriters speak out about personal, social and political realities. Their songs are infused with women’s lived experience. Vocally driven with an electrified edge, Elizabeth Riley Band has captivated audiences at an eclectic range of venues. For a taste of their music: http://www.elizabethrileyband.com/

Jaime Koebel: Jamie is Metis from Lac La Biche, Alberta. She is an artist, a performer, an educator and a public speaker. As a successful visual artist, she has been fortunate to have works that have been showcased world-wide and held in many prestigious personal and public galleries. Her art reflects fantastical plant life – all with a story! As a performance artist, She was a dancer with the well-known troupe, Jig on the Fly for five years until 2010 when she started a new dance group with her children called Jaime and the Jiglets. She also dances with the musical group, Fiddle Ground. Over the years, She has won many individual dance competitions in Canada and the United States. See her fantastic works: http://www.JaimeKoebel.com/