The Winter We Danced is a vivid collection of writing, poetry, lyrics, art and images from the many diverse voices that make up the past, present, and future of the Idle No More movement. Calling for pathways into healthy, just, equitable and sustainable communities while drawing on a wide-ranging body of narratives, journalism, editorials and creative pieces, this collection consolidates some of the most powerful, creative and insightful moments from the winter we danced and gestures towards next steps in an on-going movement for justice and Indigenous self-determination.
Royalties from the sale of this book will be donated to the Native Youth Sexual Health Network.
|Subject||Indigenous Studies/Colonialism & Post-Colonialism/Human Rights|
|Pages||440 pp (Paper)|
|Dimensions||5.5″ × 8.5″ × 1.0″|
Taiaiake Alfred is a Professor and the founding Director of the Indigenous Governance Program at the University of Victoria. He specializes in traditions of governance, decolonization strategies, and land-based cultural restoration. Taiaiake has been awarded a Canada Research Chair in the studies of Indigenous Peoples, a Canadian National Aboriginal Achievement Award in the field of education, and the United States’ Native American Journalists Association award for best column writing. He has served as a researcher and advisor for his own and many other Indigenous governments and organizations for twenty-five years and is the author of Wasáse (University of Toronto Press, 2005), named one of the decade’s most influential books by the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association in 2010; Peace, Power, Righteousness (Oxford University Press, 1999); and, Heeding the Voices of Our Ancestors (Oxford University Press, 1995). Born in Montréal in 1964, Taiaiake is Kanien’kehaka from Kahnawake. He now divides his time between Kahnawake and the territory of the Wsanec Nation, where he lives with his wife and three sons, who are all Laksilyu Clan of the Wet’suwet’en Nation.
Siku Allooloo is a Haitian/Inuit woman from Somba K’e, Denendeh and is part of a strong lineage of leaders and activists. She has a BA in Anthropology and Indigenous Studies from the University of Victoria, primarily concerning Denendeh’s political history and forms of Indigenous resistance across the country. Her work continues to support the resurgence of Indigenous nationhood and autonomy, with particular focus on the strength, resilience and power of Indigenous women in the healing and emancipation of our communities.
Through museum interventions, large-scale installations, sculpture, photography, printmaking and paintings, Sonny Assu merges the aesthetics of Indigenous iconography with a pop art sensibility in an effort to address contemporary, political and ideological issues. His work often focuses on Indigenous issues and rights, consumerism, branding and new technologies, and the ways in which the past has come to inform contemporary ideas and identities. Assu infuses his work with wry humour to open the dialogue towards the use of consumerism, branding and technology as totemic representation. Within this, his work deals with the loss of language, loss of cultural resources and the effects of colonization upon the Indigenous people of North America. His work has been accepted into the National Gallery of Canada, the Seattle Art Museum, the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Museum of Anthropology at UBC and in various other public and private collections across Canada and the United States. Sonny is Liǥwildaʼxw of the We Wai Kai First Nation (Cape Mudge). He graduated from the Emily Carr University in 2002 and is currently enrolled in the MFA program at Concordia University. He received the BC Creative Achievement Award in First Nations art in 2011 and was long-listed for the Sobey Art Award in 2012 and 2013. He currently lives and works in Montreal.
Christi Belcourt (Pitawehaanikwatok) is an Otipemisiwak (Michif) visual artist and author whose ancestry originates from the historic community of Manitou Sakahigan, Alberta. Like generations of Indigenous artists before her, Belcourt celebrates the beauty of natural world within her paintings while exploring nature’s symbolic properties. She is author of three books: Medicines To Help Us (2008), Beadwork (2011), and co-author of Jeremy and the Magic Ball (2008). Belcourt previously co-coordinated the Willisville Mountain Project, an activist art project that resulted in Inco/Vale reversing a decision to begin quarrying the Willisville Mountain within the LaCloche mountain range in Ontario. Currently, she is the lead organizer of the Walking With Our Sisters project. Involving over 1,200 artists in an eight-year international exhibit tour, the project honours the lives of missing and murdered Indigenous Women in Canada and the United States.
Lesley Belleau is an Anishnaabekwe writer, mother of four, educator, and activist from the Ojibwe nation of Ketegaunseebee Garden River First Nation, located outside of Bawating/Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. She is a Ph.D student in the Indigenous Studies Department at Trent University in Nogojiwanong (Peterborough, Ontario), and is focusing on studying Indigenous feminine literature and narratives. She has been on staff teaching Indigenous Literature, Creative Writing, and Theatre at Algoma University in Sault Ste. Marie, and is currently a Ph.D Teaching Assistant at Trent University in the Indigenous Studies Department focusing on Oral History. Lesley enjoys writing fiction, essays and poetry and is the author of The Colour of Dried Bones, a collection of short fiction published by Kegedonce Press, as well as other poetic, fictional, academic and blog publications both nationally and internationally. Lesley is currently awaiting the release of her second novel, Sweat, a full-length fiction novel, due to be launched in Spring, 2014, and is editing her newly completed manuscripts entitled Indianland Poetry and a third full-length novel called Unbraiding. She has just completed co-editing a dossier of Idle No More writing for Matrix Magazine, and is currently collaborating on two upcoming academic projects surrounding ideas of Anishinaabe Literature, poetics, and ethics. Lesley also performs her poetry, fictions and performance art nationally.
Nathalie Bertin originally hails from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. After working as a graphic designer for several years, Bertin began showing her art publicly in 2009. Bertin’s work is often described as luminescent, energetic, bold and colourful. She is also fond of strong shapes and textures. She incorporates elements of her French and Algonquin heritage into her work, including beadwork and furs, in concepts that blend her two cultures. Her most recent works are inspired from traditional storytelling and folk tales. Past projects explored the Canadian fur trade culture and her role within it as a modern subsistence hunter. In 2013, Bertin’s artwork was minted on a silver collector coin by the Royal Canadian Mint. In June 2010, Bertin was selected as an artist ambassador for the G20 Summit in Toronto, a volunteer position that garnered global media attention for Canadian artists from Muskoka. Her work can be found in collections of the Government of Manitoba, Government of Alberta, Métis Nation of Ontario, corporate organizations and private collectors across Canada, the US, Europe and Africa. She currently works from her home studio in Newmarket, ON and home-away-from-home in Muskoka, ON.
Eugene Boulanger is the Director of Strategic Partnerships and Planning at Dechinta Centre for Research & Learning. He is a Shutagotine Dene artist, hunter, community organizer and crossmedia producer originally from Tulita, Denendeh. Eugene has worked as a web and social media consultant in content management, branding, digital strategy, public outreach and audience engagement. He is a founding director of the Vancouver Indigenous Media Arts Festival, an advisor on a training and mentorship pilot program engaging urban Aboriginal and First Nations youth in careers in digital technology sectors, and a contributing editor of RPM.fm. Eugene has worked in the City of Vancouver’s Planning and Development Services department, DTES Neighbourhoods Group lending digital media support with the community’s Local Area Planning Process, and as program manager on the Vancouver Dialogues Project, a City of Vancouver initiative aimed at discerning challenges faced by First Nations, urban Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians seeking to build cross-cultural dialogue and collaboration. Eugene is a former communications officer for then W2 Community Media Arts Society, working on projects ranging from social and environmental justice issues to Indigenous media arts showcasing and large-scale event production.
Michael Redhead Champagne is a community organizer who was born and raised in the North end of Winnipeg. Originally from Shamattawa Cree Nation, Michael is the founder/organizer of AYO! Aboriginal Youth Opportunities and is working towards completing a university degree in education at the University of Winnipeg. Michael is a community youth advocate, a helper and public speaker addressing issues such as youth engagement, suicide prevention and advocating for healthy relationships. Michael is committed to breaking stereotypes, creating opportunities for young people and leading by example.
Glen Coulthard a member of the Yellowknives Dene First Nation and an assistant professor in the First Nations Studies Program and the Department of Political Science. Glen has written and published numerous articles and chapters in the areas of Indigenous thought and politics, contemporary political theory, and radical social and political thought. Glen’s book, Red Skin, White Masks: Rejecting the Colonial Politics of Recognition, is forthcoming from the University of Minnesota Press in 2014. He lives in Vancouver, unceded Coast Salish Territories.
Ethan Cox is Quebec Bureau Chief for rabble.ca and a regular commentator on television and radio in Montreal.
Isadore Day, Wiindawtegowinini, is the elected Chief of Serpent River First Nation, which is located on the North Channel of Lake Huron in Northern Ontario, Canada. Serpent River First Nation is signatory to the 1836 Bond Head Treaty and the Robinson Huron Treaty of 1850. Chief Day’s post-secondary education is comprised of complimentary credentials in the areas of Social Work, Business, Public Administration and Governance. Under Chief Day’s leadership, Serpent River First Nation has undergone a paradigm shift in the areas of fiscal stability, economic investment, health and social policy framework development. Currently, the First Nation is conducting a Community Comprehensive Planning exercise that focuses on a multi-sector approach seeking to achieve self-government goals for the next generation to inherit. As a part of the community’s economic direction, the First Nation has taken a strong stand on eradicating poverty and empowering change through economic prosperity. Chief Day believes that Community Development and transformative change can only be achieved when an individual achieves self-efficacy in a communal setting. To achieve this goal the community leadership is working diligently to bring a strong micro-loans program to the forefront of change. In conjunction with other Aboriginal leaders, Isadore holds a consistent belief that sustainable development will only occur for First Nations in Canada when social and economic justice replaces poverty and oppression from colonization.
Russell Diabo is Policy Advisor to the Algonquin Nation Secretariat, a Tribal Council and Senior Policy Advisor to the Algonquin Wolf Lake First Nation he is also Editor and Publisher of an online newsletter on First Nations political and legal issues the First Nations Strategic Bulletin. Mr. Diabo is a member of the Mohawk Nation at Kahnawake, Quebec. Mr. Diabo holds a B.A. in Native Studies from Laurentian University. In 1981, Mr. Diabo worked with the National Indian Brotherhood in Parliamentary Liaison. In the 1990’s, as an alternative to the federal Comprehensive Land Claims Policy Mr. Diabo helped to negotiate a pioneering Trilateral Agreement (Canada-Quebec-Algonquins of Barriere Lake) to develop an integrated resource management plan for forests and wildlife over 10,000 sq. km of the Barriere Lake Algonquin’s traditional territory based upon Algonquin traditional knowledge and way of life. From 1990-94, Mr. Diabo was Vice-President of Policy for the federal Liberal Aboriginal People’s Commission and helped develop the 1993 Liberal Aboriginal Electoral Platform, but left the Liberal Party due to broken promises. From 1996-97, Mr. Diabo helped to defeat a regressive Indian Act amendment package as the Assembly of First Nations-Indian Act Amendments Coordinator under then National Chief Ovide Mercredi. Mr. Diabo has been an activist on First Nation issues since the age of 16 and is part of the Defenders of the Land Network and works closely with Idle No More under a joint agreement between these two groups to work together on Sovereignty Summer.
Rosanna Deerchild is Cree from O-Pipon-na-piwin Cree Nation in northern Manitoba. Her first book of poetry this is a small northern town was nominated for several awards and won the Aqua Books Lansdowne Prize for Poetry/Le Prix Lansdowne de Poesie in 2009. These poems are about what it means to be from the north; a town divided along color lines; and a family dealing with its history of secrets. She’s had her work published in a number of literary magazines and anthologies most recently in Manitowapow: Aboriginal Writings from the Land of Water. As a member of the Aboriginal Writers Collective of Manitoba her work appears in urban kool (2000), Bone Memory (2004), Red City: a spoken word CD; and the anthology xxx ndn: love & lust in ndn country (2011).
Jeff Denis is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at McMaster University. Born and raised in Toronto, he is an ally and scholar whose research investigates the barriers to overcoming racism and colonialism and the strategies, alliances, policies and practices that can bring about more just and sustainable societies. His forthcoming book, Canadian Apartheid: Boundaries and Bridges in Indigenous-Settler Relations, is based on 18 months of fieldwork, 160 in-depth interviews, and a photovoice project with Anishinaabe, Métis and white residents in Northwestern Ontario (Treaty 3 Territory). It examines the key sources of intergroup conflict and cooperation and the dynamic nature of racism and anti-racism in a contemporary small-town, settler-colonial setting. Building on this research, he is currently conducting life-history interviews with settler Canadians who participate in Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Idle No More events, with the aim of understanding the experiences and conditions that lead to engagement in solidarity work. Jeff is also a collaborator on the Poverty Action Research Project, an ongoing partnership with five First Nation communities to develop poverty reduction and community development strategies and monitor the long-term impacts on health and well-being.
Ryan Duplassie is a French/Anishinaabe PhD candidate in Native Studies at the University of Manitoba. Through his research, he interprets Treaty 3 through the lens of water, guided by the experiences of the Grassy Narrows FN resistance community as they contend with ongoing mercury poisoning, and unrelenting state-industry collusion in the ‘development’ of their territories.
Ellen Gabriel was well-known to the public when she was chosen by the People of the Longhouse and her community of Kanehsatà:ke to be their spokesperson during the 1990 “Oka” Crisis; to protect the Pines from the expansion of a 9 hole golf course in “Oka.” She has been a human rights advocate for the collective and individual rights of Indigenous peoples and has worked diligently to sensitize the public, academics, policing authorities and politicians on the history, culture and identity of Indigenous peoples. She has made numerous public presentations on Indigenous rights and history, including presentations to Parliamentary committees and the National Assembly on legislative amendments affecting the rights of Aboriginal peoples in Canada. She has been active at the international level participating at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous issues, negotiations on the Nagoya Protocol of the Convention on Biodiversity and most recently, at the UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. She has traveled across Canada, to the Hague in Holland, Strasbourg, France to address the European parliament, and to Japan to educate people about the events in her community during the 1990 “Oka Crisis” when she was chosen by the Longhouse and her community to be their spokesperson. Ms. Gabriel has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Concordia University where she graduated in May 1990. She worked as an Illustrator/Curriculum developer for Tsi Ronteriwanónha ne Kanien’kéka/ Kanehsatà:ke Resource Center in Kanehsatà:ke and also worked as an Art Teacher for the Mohawk Immersion School for grades 1-6. Ellen has also worked on videos illustrating legends of the Iroquois people and the local community stories. She is presently an active board member of Kontinón:sta’ts—Mohawk Language Custodians and First Peoples Human Rights Coalition. In 2004, Ellen Gabriel was elected president of the Quebec Native Women’s Association a position which she held for over six years, until December 2010.
David Garneau is Associate Professor of Visual Arts at the University of Regina. He was born and raised in Edmonton, received most of his post secondary education (BFA Painting and Drawing, MA American Literature) at the University of Calgary and taught at the Alberta College of Art and Design for five years before moving to Regina in 1999. Garneau’s practice includes painting, drawing, curation and critical writing. His solo exhibition, Cowboys and Indians (and Métis?), toured Canada (2003-7) and Road Kill toured twenty one centers throughout Saskatchewan (2009-11). His work often engages issues of nature, history, masculinity and postcolonial Indigenous identities. His paintings are collected by Canadian Museum of Civilization; The Canadian Parliament; Indian and Inuit Art Centre; the Glenbow Museum; the Mackenzie Art Gallery; Mendel Art Gallery; Saskatchewan Arts Board; Alberta Foundation for the Arts; NONAM, Zurich; and are in many other public and private collections. He has curated several large group exhibitions: The End of the World (as we know it); Picture Windows: New Abstraction; Transcendent Squares; Contested Histories; Making it Like a Man!, Graphic Visions, TEXTiles; two person exhibitions: Sophisticated Folk; Reveal/Conceal, and solo shows: Diana Thorneycroft, Tim Moore. Garneau has written numerous catalogue essays and reviews and was a co-founder and co-editor of Artichoke and Cameo magazines. He has recently given talks in Melbourne, Adelaide, New York, San Diego, Sacramento, Saskatoon, and keynote lectures in Sydney, Toronto, Edmonton and Sault Ste Marie. Garneau is currently working on curatorial and writing projects featuring contemporary Indigenous art and curatorial exchanges between Canada and Australia.
Leah Gazan is a member of Wood Mountain Lakota Nation, located in Saskatchewan and is currently teaching in the Faculty of Education at the University of Winnipeg. Leah has 18 years experience in the area of community capacity building and development, dedicating the majority of her efforts to supporting the advancement of First Nations across Canada. Leah is currently serving a term as the President of the Social Planning Council of Winnipeg, a non-profit organization committed to providing leadership and support in the area of social planning and socially responsible policy development. Leah is also serving a term as a board member on the Board of Governors at Red River College and as a council member on the Manitoba Lotteries Research Council. Leah has been a very active participant in social movements, most recently as a participant in Idle No More. Her dedication towards the advancement of community self-sufficiency and self-determination has been the driving force that has guided her career in Winnipeg and Indigenous nations in Canada.
Jessica Gordon is a co-founder of Idle No More, a movement that represents opposition to government and industries disregard to Indigenous rights and environmental protection. She is a Cree/Saulteaux from Pasqua First Nation in Treaty Four territory and is a mother of five. She has a family history of treaty protection, veterans rights and working with grassroots people who live the affects of colonialism, systemic racism and dependency via working with community service agencies, first nations or volunteering on boards/committees. She is most proud of the work she does empowering people to take control of the issues that affect them the most or those which they feel a passion for. She is committed to working for the people relentlessly until the day she leaves this earth and hopes to leave her children as well as future generations a legacy of tools to help them attain independence.
LauraLee K. Harris is a First Nations artist, Toronto born in 1956. Her roots of Sioux, Cree, Chipewyan, Montagnais, Ojibwe, Assiniboine First Nations is mixed with French, Irish. English began in Winnipeg Manitoba with her Mother. Harris began to seek her Anishinabe roots in 1994, when an Uncle introduced himself after many years adopted, bringing with him their Indigenous ancestry. This inspired her to create a unique art practice that melded cultural teachings and identity, through Indigenous Knowledge systems within a framework of the natural world’s flow; the direct connection to earth’s Creation and the subconscious into self knowledge and poetry. Harris began drawing as a very young child, and moved into portrait painting in her early twenties, exploring many media and subjects along the way, but it wasn’t until 1996 she would create the art practice of painting from trees. Studying art at OCAD, and working as a programmer, eventually staying home to raise her family, she began honing her art, and began exhibiting this work in the early ‘80s. Through the arts indigenous association; ANDPVA she began showing and mounting shows within her community in the early ‘90’s, as well as curating. Selected Solo shows ‘Retrospective ~ 1996-2008’ of her work was shown at the Woodland Cultural Museum, Brantford 2007, curated by Judy Harris; Messages Between Blue and Red at the Bearclaw Gallery in Edmonton, Alberta, curated by Jackie Bugera and Across Boundaries at St. Joseph’s College, Toronto, nibi anishinabe kwag ~ Water and the First People’s Women, has shown at Libraries and opened at the Tom Thomson Gallery in Owen Sound in 2010, curated by Virginia Eichhorn. This exhibit was dedicated to the over 600 Anishinabe women missing or murdered in Canada and honoured with a supporting statement from the Chiefs of Ontario. Her work has been published in periodicals, journals, books and she is a self published author and poet of four books. Harris’ book Spoken Trees of art and poetry, was incorporated into The Nanaimo Correctional Centre Aboriginal literacy program. Harris’ work and life as an indigenous woman artist, innovator, writer/poet, was recently honoured in a documentary, From the Spirit III” series produced by earth magic media, a Dene owned Production Company based in Edmonton.
Stephen Hui is the web editor and technology editor at the Georgia Straight. He lives in Vancouver.
Sarah Hunt is Kwagiulth (Kwakwaka’wakw Nation) and is also of Ukrainian and English ancestry. Since she was a teenager, Sarah has worked passionately to address issues of violence and justice as a community-based researcher, educator, writer and advocate. Sarah is currently a PhD Candidate in Geography at Simon Fraser University where she is examining how Canadian law serves to normalize violence in ‘Indian space’ and is seeking to change these norms by engaging the principles and practices of Indigenous law at a community level.
Stephanie Irlbacher-Fox was raised in Inuvik, NT and currently lives in Yellowknife with her husband and two sons, where she has worked as an advisor to Dene, Metis and Inuvialuit organizations for the past two decades. She earned her PhD at Cambridge University, England. She is the author of Finding Dahshaa: Self Government, Social Suffering and Aboriginal Policy in Canada (2009, UBC Press).
Dru Oja Jay is a writer, community organizer, and web developer. He is a co-founder and current board member of the Media Co-op, and a founding editor of the Dominion. Dru is co-author (with Nikolas Barry-Shaw) of the book Paved with Good Intentions: Canada’s development NGOs from idealism to imperialism, and the report Offsetting Resistance: The effects of foundation funding from the Great Bear Rainforest to the Athabasca River. His organizing has focused on solidarity with Indigenous struggles, reversing Canada’s participation in imperialism, war and occupation, and building a solidarity economy. He lives in Montreal.
Tanya Kappo is from the Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation, Treaty 8 Territory. She graduated from the Faculty of Law at the University of Manitoba. Tanya is the mother of three children.
Wab Kinew (pron: WOB ka-NOO) is a one-of-a-kind talent, named by Postmedia News as one of “9 Aboriginal movers and shakers you should know.” He is a correspondent with Aljazeera’s Fault Lines documentary program and the Director of Indigenous Inclusion at the University of Winnipeg. In 2012, he hosted the acclaimed CBC Television series “8th Fire.” His hip-hop has won an Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Award. His journalism has won an Adrienne Clarkson RTNDA Award, a Gabriel Award and been nominated for a Gemini Award. He has a BA in Economics, is a Sundancer and is a member of the Midewin.
Hayden King is Pottawatomi and Ojibwe from Beausoleil First Nation on Gchimnissing (Christian Island) in Huronia, Ontario. He is an Assistant Professor of Politics and Indigenous Governance at Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario. (www.biidwewidam.com)
Naomi Klein is an award-winning journalist, syndicated columnist and author of the international bestsellers, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism (2007) and No Logo (2000). She writes a regular column for The Nation magazine and the Guardian newspaper and is a contributing editor at Harper’s magazine. She is a Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow at The Nation Institute and a former Miliband Fellow at the London School of Economics. Naomi serves on the board of directors for 350.org, a global grassroots movement to solve the climate crisis. Her forthcoming book and film are about the (r)evolutionary power of climate change. More information can be found at: www.naomiklein.org.
Erin Marie Konsmo is the Media Arts and Projects Coordinator for the Native Youth Sexual Health Network. She is Métis/Cree from Onoway/Lac St. Anne, Alberta. She is a self-taught community-engaged visual and multi-media Indigenous artist, supporting community to create their own art and expressions about sexual and reproductive health, rights and justice. Her art practice is based in community spaces, culture and Indigenous led media and arts initiatives and has been referred to as agitprop. Erin is currently serving as one of the North American focal points for the Global Indigenous Youth Caucus at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. She is also on the Walking With Our Sisters National Collective as the Youth Coordinator and Media Contact. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and a Master of Environmental Studies, with a concentration in environmental and reproductive health.
Nadya Kwandibens is Ojibwe (Anishinaabe) and French from the Northwest Angle #37 First Nation in Ontario, Canada. She is a self-taught, dynamic photographer specializing in artistic natural light portraiture, event and concert photography. In 2000 Nadya began exploring photography and while working in video/ radio production, she has gathered the professional experience to easily connect with people and groups. July 2006 marked the beginning of her portraiture work and since then has travelled extensively, photographing people and events throughout Canada and the United States. Nadya has worked for numerous groups and organizations including the: National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation, Association for Native Development in the Performing Arts, Miziwe Biik Development Corp., imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, Winnipeg Aboriginal Film Festival, Native Earth Performing Arts, Centre for Indigenous Theatre, Kaha:wi Dance Theatre, Thunderstone Pictures Inc., Big Soul Productions Inc., Nishnawbe Aski Nation and the Manitoba Music; as well as several individual artists, actors, musicians and role models. In October 2008, she founded Red Works Studio and in the same year she began photographing a series entitled Concrete Indians, “a portraiture series and exploration of collective Indigenous identity.” Her photographic work was featured on the cover of SPIRIT Magazine, and within the pages of FACE Magazine, THIS Magazine, SAY Magazine, and Red Ink Magazine. Nadya was also the invited artist-in-residence for the Native American Indigenous Cinema & Arts online exhibition, and has exhibited in group and solo shows in: Toronto and Thunder Bay ON, Edmonton and Calgary AB, Seattle WA, Cleveland OH, Boulder CO, St. Charles, Chicago, Aurora and Evanston IL.
Winona LaDuke is an Ojibwe(Anishinaabe) activist, environmentalist, economist. She is currently the executive director of both Honor the Earth and White Earth Land Recovery Project, which she founded on the White Earth Reservation in 1989. LaDuke became an activist in Anishinaabe issues, helping found the Indigenous Women’s Network in 1985 and becoming involved in continuing struggles to regain reservation land lost since allotments to individual households in the nineteenth century. In 1996 and 2000, she ran for vice president as the nominee of the Green Party of the United States, on a ticket headed by Ralph Nader. She is also the author of a number of books and publications including Recovering the Sacred, and the Militarization of Indian Country.
Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond is President of the Canadian Council of Child and Youth Advocates, an alliance of provincial advocates from across the country who champion the voice and rights of children. She was appointed BC’s first Representative for Children and Youth in November 2006 and has worked as a criminal law judge in youth and adult courts, with an emphasis on developing partnerships to better serve the needs of young people in the justice system, particularly sexually exploited children and youth and those with disabilities. Turpel-Lafond has also taught law at Dalhousie University Faculty of Law, as well as at a number of other Canadian universities and holds a doctorate of law from Harvard Law School. She is active in her Muskeg Lake Cree Nation community and has published a book on the history of the Nation that was short-listed for a Saskatchewan Book Award.
Andrea Landry is currently on her way attaining her Masters in Communications and Social Justice at the University of Windsor. She has been involved, and engaged with, advocacy roles within the indigenous community on a local, provincial, national and international level. Her work ethic enables her to exceed past her fullest potential and strive forward to personally, and politically engage for brighter futures for aboriginal youth in Canada. Andrea sits on the United Nations Global Indigenous Youth Caucus. Through this work, Andrea represents Aboriginal youth living in Canada and brings their issues to the forefront for further advancement. She has also been involved with political engagement strategies which enable her to meet with MLA’s, MP’s and the Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, to discuss the best ways to create better lives for aboriginal people living in Canada. By putting the issues on the table in front of world, and political leaders, addressing the problems becomes less difficult, and information sharing processes, along with education processes, become highly effective. Andrea has been key in developing local, provincial, national, and international rallies for the Idle No More movement. Andrea hopes to accomplish a lot more in her life surrounding advocacy, social justice, and the role of providing advancement for the Aboriginal community in Canada.
Lori M. Mainville is Anishinaabe member of Treaty #3 and a proud mother and grandmother. She has lived and worked in Winnipeg, Manitoba since the mid 1980‘s becoming actively engaged in grassroots movements. Most her work in activism has focused on lobbying support for murdered and missing women and non-violence in families and communities but she has also worked extensively supporting actions to ensure the spirit and intent of the treaties are honoured in Canada. As a third generation residential school survivor, Lori considers herself a student of life attributing most of the wisdom and knowledge she has acquired to ceremonies, elders, and cultural education. Lori also is a post secondary graduate receiving her B.A from the University of Winnipeg in 2002, majoring in Psychology.
Lee Maracle is the author of a number of critically acclaimed literary works including: “Sojourner’s and Sundogs,” Polestar/Raincoast, “Ravensong,” Polestar/Raincoast, “Bobbi Lee,” Scholars/Women’s Press, “Daughters Are Forever,” Polestar/Raincoast, “Will’s Garden” Theytus books, “Bent Box” Theytus books, “I Am Woman” , Polestar/Raincoast and the co-editor of a number of anthologies including the award winning publication, “My Home As I Remember” Natural Heritage books. Ms. Maracle was born in North Vancouver and is a member of the Sto: Loh nation. The mother of four and grandmother of four Maracle is currently the Distinguished Visiting Professor of Canadian Culture at Western Washington University. Ms. Maracle is an award winning author, an award winning instructor and a gifted orator. Ms. Maracle has also spent much of her time doing healing and cultural reclamation work in Aboriginal communities in Canada. Maracle is currently an instructor in the Aboriginal Studies Program teaching the Oral Tradition of Ojibway, Salish and Longhouse people. She is also the Traditional Teacher for First Nation’s House and instructor with the Centre for Indigenous Theatre. In 2009, Maracle received an Honorary Doctor of Letters for the healing work she has done and continues to do over the past 40 years. Maracle recently received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for her work promoting writing among Aboriginal Youth. Maracle has served as Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the University of Toronto, University of Waterloo, and the University of Western Washington.
Jarrett Martineau is a Cree/Dene digital media producer, hip-hop artist, and academic from Frog Lake First Nation in Alberta. He is a Ph.D. Candidate in Indigenous Governance at the University of Victoria. Jarrett has worked at the intersection of art, media, and activism for many years, and his research examines the role of art and creativity in advancing Indigenous nationhood and decolonization. He is the co-founder and Creative Producer of Revolutions Per Minute (RPM.fm), a new music platform to promote Indigenous music culture; an organizer with the Indigenous Nationhood Movement; and a founding director of the New Forms Festival, an annual festival focusing on contemporary art, culture, and electronic music held in Vancouver. Through the dissemination of decolonizing media and practices, Jarrett’s work seeks to articulate strategies for community renewal, based on a commitment to Indigenous teachings and lifeways. He is currently based in Victoria, BC on WSANEC and Lekwungen territories.
Sylvia McAdam (Saysewahum) is a mother and grandmother from the Treaty 6 territory of the nehiyawak (Cree) people on Turtle Island (Canada). Sylvia has her Juris Doctorate from the University of Saskatchewan and Bachelors in Human Justice from the University of Regina. She is a strong advocate and voice in the struggle for liberation and freedom for her people by way of self-determination and honouring of Treaty 6.Sylvia is co-founder of a global grassroots movement called “Idle No More” which stands against the genocide and unrelenting legislative attacks from the conservative government.Sylvia is a recipient of the Carol Geller Human Rights Award, Activist of the Year Award and Social Courage Award. Her greatest joy and solace is enjoying her time on the lands and waters of her people’s territory.
Melody McKiver is an emerging Anishinaabe musician, interdisciplinary media artist and writer based in Ottawa and occasionally Toronto. Melody is Anishinaabe of mixed heritage, with ancestry in Obishikokaang Wemitigoozhiiwitigwaaning Lac Seul First Nation. Melody was previously based out of St. John’s, Newfoundland, studying at Memorial University where they are currently completing an MA in Ethnomusicology. Their research interests include Indigenous electronic music, artistic processes of decolonization, urban Indigeneity, and Two-Spirited studies. Melody is a graduate of York University (2010), with an Honours BFA in Music, a Minor in Race, Ethnicity & Indigeneity, and was included as Member of the Dean’s Honour Roll. Melody’s musical practice spans across viola/violin, drums and percussion, and guitar, drawing upon a broad set of influences that includes hip-hop, electronic, contemporary classical, jazz, and blues. Melody also works with digital video and photography to capture images of Indigenous resurgence, and uses this footage both editorially and within video and sound art. Melody is the 2012/2013 Critical Blogger in Residence for Artengine, is affiliated with Tribal Spirit Music and plays drums with Toronto’s Indigenous hip-hop fusion band Red Slam Collective.
Sheelah McLean is a PhD candidate in integrated anti-racist anti-colonial education at the University of Saskatchewan. Her goal is to bridge scholarship, policies and praxis in order to address oppressions faced by marginalized groups, particularly focusing on the historical legacy of colonialism experienced by Indigenous peoples in a white-settler society. Her 2007 Master’s thesis is called Beyond the Pale: whiteness as innocence in education, and her 2012 essay “The whiteness of green: Racialization and environmental education” (which appeared in Canadian Geographer: The Critical Geographies of Education) address white supremacy within the Canadian colonial context.
Neal McLeod is Cree (from the James Smith reserve in Saskatchewan) and Swedish having had the fortunate opportunity to study abroad at the Swedish Art Academy at Umeå. He was one of the founders of the legendary Crow Hop Café in Regina, Saskatchewan which was a venue for Indigenous comedy, music and poetry. Building from this in 2002, Neal directed A Man Called Horst, a comedy film which was screened in Berlin and across Canada. Neal has exhibited his art work throughout Canada including the 2005 exhibition au fil de mes jours (in my lifetime) at Le Musée national des beaux-arts du Quebec was remounted at the Museum of Civilization in 2007. Neal has published two books of poetry entitled, Songs to Kill a Wîhtikow and Gabriel’s Beach. In 2007, he also published Cree Narrative Memory which was nominated for book of the year at the Anskohk McNally Aboriginal Literature Awards. Neal also has two other books in press, Indigenous Poetics (editor) and 100 Days of Cree. In addition, he is working on: cîhcêwêsin: New Writing from Indigenous Saskatchewan, a book of poetry called Dreams of my Father’s Horses, a novel called Neechie Hustle, and a retranslation of Plains Cree Texts.
Ryan McMahon is an Anishinaabe/Metis stand up comedian, writer & independent media producer based out of Winnipeg, MB. He’s the creator/producer/host of The Red Man Laughing Podcast and his podcast work has been featured on the BBC (Europe), CBC (Canada) and NPR (USA). Ryan’s standup comedy is irreverent and boundary pushing as he focuses his attention on the good, the bad & the ugly of the collision between Indian Country and the mainstream. In the summer of 2012 Ryan McMahon became the FIRST Native Comedian to ever record a one hour mainstream comedy special when he recorded Ryan McMahon—UnReserved for CBC Television.
Miskwaasining Nagamojig (Swamp Singers) is a women’s hand drum group that sings in Anishinaabemowin. Information about participants and songs can be heard at their website ojibwe.net.
Waneek Horn-Miller is a Mohawk from Kahnawake Mohawk Territory and member of the Bear Clan. She was co-captain 2000 Olympic Women’s Waterpolo Team and a North American Games Participant. At 14 years old Waneek Horn-Miller was involved in the Oka Crisis stand off between her Mohawk people and the Canadian armed forces. The crisis changed the face of native and non-native relations in Canada and Waneek’s life after she was stabbed by a solder at the end of the crisis. She took this traumatic experience and used it to motivate her towards her goal of the Olympics. Waneek works. and travels extensively throughout the Aboriginal world. Through her work as a sports commentator for CBC and APTN, Waneek has become a community advocate for sport, fitness and wellness. She also has traveled extensively throughout North America as a motivational speaker. As one of Canada’s few Aboriginal Olympians, Waneek has used her passion and experiences in sport to influence Aboriginal and non-aboriginal leadership.
SkyBlue Morin is a creative writer of short stories and poetry. Her work has been published in several different anthology collections that vary from the Anthology of Canadian Native Writers (1989-2001) to Medicine Wheel Writing (2007). Morin’s unique spoken word presentations combine traditional singing with contemporary poetry. These creative works have been celebrated by the Calgary Aboriginal Awareness Society, Amnesty International Art Exhibits, and the International Women’s Day in Ottawa, Ontario.
Cara Mumford is a Métis filmmaker and screenwriter from Alberta, currently living in Peterborough, whose short films have screened regularly at the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival in Toronto, and toured throughout Australia and internationally with the World of Women Film Festival. Her short screenplay, “Ask Alice,” won Best Short Script at the Los Angeles Women’s International Film Festival and her poetry dance film, “December 6,” continues to be screened every year at Montreal Massacre memorials across Canada. In 2012, Cara was commissioned by imagineNATIVE to create “When It Rains,” a one-minute film for their Stolen Sisters Digital Initiative. She is currently developing two projects that she was selected to pitch at previous festivals: “Animal Instincts,” a TV series developed through Bell Media’s Diverse Screenwriters, and “Endangered Hero,” a feature film developed through Telefilm Canada’s Featuring Aboriginal Stories Program, in addition to working on a new short film of Leanne Simpson’s spoken word piece “Leaks.”
Wanda Nanibush is the 2013 Dame Nita Barrow visitor at the University of Toronto and curator in residence at the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery. Wanda is an Anishinabe-kwe image and word warrior, curator, community animator, arts consultant and Idle No More organizer. She has been co-organizing Toronto’s major round dances, teach-ins, candle light marches, concerts, water ceremonies and vigils. She co-organized the “Nation to Nation Now” symposia and “Building Unity To Action” meeting. She has published in This is an Honour Song by Arbeiter Ring, DAG Vol 1, FUSE, Literary Magazine of Canada, C Magazine and a number of art catalogues.
Dory Nason (Anishinaabe/Chicana) is an assistant professor of English and First Nations Studies at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Coast Salish territory. Her areas of research include contemporary Indigenous femnisms and related Native women’s activism, intellectual history and literature. At UBC she teaches students about theory and methods in Critical Indigenous Studies and the activist foundations of Native literature. She is the recipient of the 2013 Killam Teaching Prize for excellence in teaching.
Derek Nepinak is Grand Chief of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs. His Anishinaabe name is Niibin Makwa (Summer Bear) and he was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba while also spending his first few years living in the home of his grandparents on the Pine Creek First Nation. During this time, Derek observed his great grandparents living the ways of his people; hunting, fishing, gardening, smoking fish, tanning moose hides and other traditional activities. Derek completed a First Class Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in Native studies from the University of Alberta and traveled to the North to work with two Dene communities near Fort Smith, NWT. In this capacity, Derek assisted in the development and revision of the Band’s Constitution, bylaw development, community planning, as well as economic development initiatives. He then completed a law degree from the University of Saskatchewan where he received several academic awards, including a prestigious nation award from the University of Toronto Law School for the best student submission to the indigenous Law Journal. Continuing his education, Derek received the Duff Roblin Fellowship and enrolled in the Aboriginal Governance Master’s Program at the University of Winnipeg. Prior to completing his Master’s degree, Derek was called home to become the Chief of the Pine Creek First Nation. During his tenure, he took his community from third party management into a self-sustaining position. As Grand Chief of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs now, Derek seeks to make Manitoba First Nations sustainable entities while fighting for treaty rights and recognitions.
Tannis Nielsen is a Metis of Cree and Danish descent. As a practicing professional Indigenous artist and academic, Tannis has focused her research interests upon the examinations of an anti-colonial, Fourth World / Indigenous paradigm, as well as the Western / Euro-centric paradigm, in order to further understand how certain theories born from the European Enlightenment period, have served as “an attempted justification” for the imperial domination over Indigenous peoples. Tannis locates herself, within the praxis of a critical method of instruction that places emphasis towards the ideas of political, cultural, spiritual, social and environmental justice. In class, the pedagogical objective is to elucidate the negative effects of these theories, by utilizing the study/practice of both Indigenous and Western Art, as a decolonization methodology. As an artist, Tannis has exhibited her works at such galleries as the Glenbow Museum in Calgary and has co-curated exhibitions such as the Enacting Emancipation show at A-Space Gallery, with Vicky Moufawad Paul. “Enacting Emancipation” was created in order to address the similarity of colonial oppression(s) between the Indigenous peoples of North America and Palestine. The intention, was to unravel a universal, international system of colonial technique and strategy in order to reveal diverse, localized modes of Indigenous resistance. Together, the artists in this exhibition—James Luna, Emily Jacir, Erica Lord, and John Halaka. signified the individualized experiences of Fourth World peoples who have been stripped of context and denied distinction. Tannis has also written a number of articles on arts and culture, some of which include “Re-materializing the Matriarchy” for Spirit Magazine.The Conundrum of Critical pedagogy in Community Arts Education”
Pamela D. Palmater is a Mi’kmaw citizen and member of the Eel River Bar First Nation in northern New Brunswick. She has been a practicing lawyer for 15 years and she is an Associate Professor in the Department of Politics and Public Administration and holds the Chair in Indigenous Governance at Ryerson University. She has 4 university degrees, including a Doctorate in Law from Dalhousie University Law School. She also has diverse professional experience which has given her critical insight into law and policy impacting First Nations. Pam has been working and volunteering on First Nation issues for over 25 years on a wide range of social and legal issues, like poverty, housing, child and family services, treaty rights, education and legislation impacting First Nations. She came in second place in the Assembly of First Nations election for National Chief in 2012 and was one of the spokespeople for Idle No More in 2012-13. Her work with First Nations has earned her the 2012 YWCA Woman of Distinction Award in Social Justice, the 2012 Women’s Courage Award in Social Justice, Bertha Wilson Honour Society 2012 and Canadian Lawyer Magazine’s 2013 Top 5 Most Influential Lawyer in Human Rights category. Pam’s area of expertise is in Indigenous law, politics, and governance. She has numerous publications including her book, Beyond Blood: Rethinking Indigenous Identity and most recently, the report Our Children, Our Future, Our Vision: First Nation Jurisdiction over First Nation Education for the Chiefs of Ontario in response to the National Panel on Education.
Shiri Pasternak is a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian and African Studies at Columbia University in New York. She holds a PhD from the Department of Geography at the University of Toronto, where she wrote a dissertation on the Algonquins of Barriere Lake and the land claims process in Canada from the perspective of Indigenous law and jurisdiction. She is a founding member of Barriere Lake Solidarity, a member of the Indigenous Sovereignty and Solidarity Network in Toronto, and an ally in the Defenders of the Land network. Her work is published in a number of academic journals and online magazines.
Plex (D. Bedard) is an award winning hip-hop artist based in Toronto, Canada. With over 15 years experience Plex has raised the bar amongst his Aboriginal peers while building a strong and relevant presence in mainstream Canadian Hip Hop. Since releasing his debut solo album in 2009, Plex has toured across North America and has also appeared on several televised events including Arbor Live, The National Aboriginal Achievement Awards, APTN Aboriginal Day Live, Cineplex’s Front Row Concert Series and The Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards.
Judy Rebick is an author, activist, teacher and journalist. Her latest book is Occupy This!—a Penguin special eBook.
Shane Rhodes is the author of five books of poetry including his most recent X (2013), and Err (2011 and a finalist for the City of Ottawa book award) both with Nightwood Editions. Shane’s poetry has won an Alberta Book Award, the Lampman-Scott Award (which made national news when he refused to accept prize money from the Duncan Campbell Scott foundation), the P. K. Page Founder’s Award for Poetry and a National Magazine Gold Award. Shane is the poetry editor for Arc, Canada’s national poetry magazine, and was the 2013 Queensland Poet in Residence in Brisbane, Australia. Shane Rhodes is the author of five books of poetry including his most recent X (2013), and Err (2011 and a finalist for the City of Ottawa book award) both with Nightwood Editions. Shane’s poetry has won an Alberta Book Award, the Lampman-Scott Award (which made national news when he refused to accept prize money from the Duncan Campbell Scott foundation), the P. K. Page Founder’s Award for Poetry and a National Magazine Gold Award. Shane is the poetry editor for Arc, Canada’s national poetry magazine, and was the 2013 Queensland Poet in Residence in Brisbane, Australia.
Waubgeshig Rice is an author and journalist originally from Wasauksing, Ontario. He developed a strong passion for storytelling as a child while learning about being Anishinaabe. The stories his elders shared and his unique experiences growing up on a First Nation inspired him to write creatively. Some of the stories he wrote as a teenager eventually became Midnight Sweatldodge, his first collection of fiction published by Theytus Books in 2011. His journalism career began when he was a 17-year-old exchange student in northern Germany, writing about being Anishinaabe in a European country for newspapers back in Canada. He graduated from Ryerson University’s journalism program in 2002, and has worked in a variety of media across Canada since. He started working for CBC in Winnipeg in 2006, and has produced television and radio documentaries and features for the public broadcaster, along with reporting on the news. He currently works as a video journalist for CBC News Ottawa.
Chickadee Richard is a mother, grandmother, and clan mother from Treaty 1 territory. As a member of the bear clan, Chickadee has spent most of her adult life fighting for the protection of women, children, families, lands, waters, and Indigenous rights. This has included her involvement in national and international environmental groups such as the Indigenous Environmental Network and First Nation Environmental Network.Chickadee has also sat on several boards including the Elisabeth Fry Societies of Canada and the Thunder Eagle Society who co-founded Children of the Earth High School and Niiji Mukwa School in the City of Winnipeg.Chickadee is well respected for the essential role she has played mobilizing local Indigenous women.She is the co-founder Mother of Red Nations, an advocacy group designed to support Indigenous women with in the City of Winnipeg.
Eric Ritskes is a PhD student in Sociology and Equity Studies at the University of Toronto, working at the intersections of decolonization, Indigenous knowledges and technologies of knowing. He is the founder and editor of the Open Access journal, Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society.
Toby Rollo is a PhD Candidate in the department of Political Science at the University of Toronto where he specializes in the history of political thought, democratic theory and Canadian politics. During the Idle No More demonstrations of 2012/13, Toby wrote a series of editorial pieces intended to provide Canadians with a context for understanding Indigenous rights and claims. He is also author of “Mandates of the State: Sovereignty and the Internal Exclusion of Indigenous Peoples” published in the Canadian Journal of Law and Society.
Paul Seesequasis is editor-in-chief at Theytus Books LTD. He is the author of Tobacco Wars (Quattro Books).
Leanne Simpson is a Mississauga Nishnaabeg writer, academic and organizer. She is the editor of Lightning the Eighth Fire (ARP Books), and This is an Honour Song (with Kiera Lander, ARP Books). She is the author of Dancing on Our Turtle’s Back (ARP Books) The Gift Is in the Making, (Highwater Press), and a collection of short stories with accompanying full length spoken word album, Islands of Decolonial Love (ARP Books).
Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair is Anishinaabe and originally from St. Peter’s (Little Peguis) Indian Settlement near Selkirk, Manitoba. He is a regular commentator on Indigenous issues for CTV, CBC, and APTN and his critical and creative work can be found in books such as The Exile Edition of Native Canadian Fiction and Drama, newspapers like The Guardian, and online with CBC Books: Canada Writes. He is also the co-editor of the award-winning Manitowapow: Aboriginal Writings from the Land of Water (Highwater Press, 2011) and Centering Anishinaabeg Studies: Understanding the World Through Stories (Michigan State University Press, 2013). Currently at the University of Manitoba, Niigaan teaches courses in Indigenous literatures, cultures, histories, and politics and is proud to be a part of the Kino-nda-niimi Collective.
Theresa Spence is chief of the Attawapiskat First Nation and has spent a lifetime working in the interests of her people and her community. In addition to her work as chief she has held positions as deputy chief, councillor, a member of the local development corporation, and manager of a daycare.
Clayton Thomas-Muller is a member of the Mathias Colomb Cree Nation also known as Pukatawagan in Northern Manitoba, Canada. Based out of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Clayton is a campaigner for the Defenders of the Land/ Idle No More, joint national campaign and is also the co-director of the Indigenous Tar Sands (ITS) Campaign of the Polaris Institute. He is an organizer, facilitator, public speaker and writer on environmental and economic justice who has been published in multiple books, news papers and magazines and appeared countless times on local, regional, national and international television and radio as an expert advocate on Indigenous rights, environmental and economic justice. Clayton serves on the board of the Global Justice Ecology Project, Canadian based Raven Trust and Navajo Nation based, Black Mesa Water Coalition. He has traveled extensively domestically and internationally leading Indigenous delegations to lobby United Nations bodies including the UN framework Convention on Climate Change, UN Earth Summit (Johannesburg, South Africa 2002 and Rio +20, Brazil 2012) and the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. He has also coordinated and lead delegations of First Nations, Native American and Alaska Native elected and grassroots leadership to lobby government in Washington DC, USA, Ottawa, Canada, and European Union (Strasbourg and Brussels) and has been recognized by Utne Magazine as one of the top 30 under 30 activists in the United States and as a “Climate Hero 2009” by Yes Magazine. For the last eleven years he has campaigned across Canada, Alaska and the lower 48 states organizing in hundreds of First Nations, Alaska Native and Native American communities in support of grassroots Indigenous Peoples to defend against the encroachment of the fossil fuel industry. This has included a special focus on the sprawling infrastructure of pipelines, refineries and extraction associated with the Canadian tar sands.
Daniel Tseghay is a Vancouver writer. His work has appeared in the Georgia Straight, The Toronto Star, and Truthout, among others. He’s an editor for Vancouver’s progressive online publication, The Mainlander, and he also co-hosts a radio show by that name for Vancouver Co-operative radio.
Dale Turner is a citizen of the Temagami First Nation and teaches political philosophy in the Native American Studies Program at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. His recent work focuses on the relationship between Indigenous knowledge and the Western European philosophical tradition. He is also interested in how photography has been, and remains, a powerful tool of colonialism. He is married to Stephanie Carson and they live in Sharon, Vermont where they are busy raising their two teenaged boys, Benjamin and Dylan.
Richard Van Camp is a proud member of the Dogrib (Tlicho) Nation from Fort Smith, Northwest Territories. He is the author of two children’s books with the Cree artist George Littlechild: A Man Called Raven and What’s the Most Beautiful Thing You Know About Horses? He has published a novel, The Lesser Blessed, which is now a feature film with First Generation Films; his collections of short fiction include Angel Wing Splash Pattern, The Moon of Letting Go and Other Stories, and Godless but Loyal to Heaven. He is the author of three baby books: Welcome Song for Baby: A Lullaby for Newborns; Nighty Night: A Bedtime Song for Babies and Little You, and he has two comic books out with the Healthy Aboriginal Network: Kiss Me Deadly and Path of the Warrior. You can visit Richard on Facebook, Twitter or at his website www.richardvancamp.com.
Chelsea Vowel is Métis from the Plains Cree and Michif speaking community of Lac Ste. Anne, Alberta. She and her partner have four girls which keep them extremely busy. Chelsea has a BEd and an LLB and moved to Montreal in 2009. She has taught in the Northwest Territories, Alberta and most lately in Quebec where she taught Inuit youth under Youth Protection. With all that spare time kicking around, she also writes articles as âpihtawikosisân (ah-pih-du-wi-GO-si-sahn), which are cross published on HuffPo Canada and rabble.ca. Passionate about law, culture and language, she tries to deconstruct harmful myths with the hope that there can be a restructuring and renewal of the relationship between Canadians and indigenous peoples.
Harsha Walia is a South Asian writer and activist based in Vancouver, unceded Musqueam, Skwxwú7mesh, and Tsleil Waututh territories. She is involved in anti-racist, migrant justice, feminist, anti-capitalist and anti-colonial movements and has been active in Indigenous solidarity efforts for over a decade. She is a cofounder of No One Is Illegal and Radical Desis, is an organizer in the Annual February 14 Women’s Memorial March Committee and a number of DTES housing justice coalitions, has been involved in long-term support and relationship-building with several communities in the Defenders of the Land network, is an editorial collective member at Feminist Wire, sits on the board of the South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy as well as Shit Harper Did, and works at the Downtown Eastside Women’s Center. She is honoured to be collaborating with others for the past eight years to bring together diverse directly affected communities for three powerful annual events: the Annual Community March Against Racism, the Annual Women’s Housing March, and the Annual Women’s Memorial March for Missing and Murdered Women. Harsha occasionally writes and her first book Undoing Border Imperialism, with a preface by Andrea Smith, was released by AK Press in November 2013.
Michael Wesley is a registered band member of Constance Lake First Nation in northern Ontario, Canada. Constance Lake First Nation has members of Ojibway and Cree ancestry living on and off reserve. Michael’s medium is acrylics on stretched canvas. His process starts with drawing his ideas on paper and then painting them on canvas. His artistic credits include: group exhibit at the Fall Down Gallery in Ottawa, Ontario sponsored by Sakahàn—National Gallery of Canada; Community Art Wall exhibit at the Elephant Room Gallery in Chicago, IL; Jack’s on Halsted restaurant in Chicago, IL; solo and group exhibits at the Trickster Gallery in Schaumburg, IL; covers of the Aboriginal Cancer Care Unit’s Need Assessment report at Cancer Care Ontario in Toronto; First Nations House, Native Student Handbook at University of Toronto; two group exhibits in Toronto with the Association for the Native Development in the Performing and Visual Arts (ANDPVA). Three of Michael’s paintings are part of a private collection in Little Rock, Arkansas and the collection have been donated by the Collector to the Sequoyah National Research Center on the campus of the University of Arkansas. Michael also pursued photography for the purpose of his art, which led to his interest in photography. Michael’s photography is based on his interaction and connection with the environment around him. Michael currently lives and works in Chicago, Illinois.
Alo White (Gaagaagiibit / Mide Kiwenzie/Bizhew Dodem /Nanaan Mide) is respected for the knowledge he carries of Anishinaabe language culture, songs & spiritual ceremonies from his community of Naotkamegwanning First Nation (Treaty 3) in Northwestern Ontario. He is currently working on a series of recordings under his label Alo White Recording Studios, recording Elders from the Treaty 3 area under the project titled “Preserving Anishinaabe Music.” He is a regular contributor to the blog dividednomore.ca.
Tara Williamson is an Anishinaabekwe/Nehayowak who was raised in Gaabishkigamaag, Swan Lake, Manitoba and is a member of the Opaskwayak Cree Nation. She has degrees in social work, law, and Indigenous governance and is currently a Professor at Fleming College in Nogojiwanong (Peterborough, Ontario). She is a musician, aunty, sister, daughter, and poet.
Alex Wilson is Neynoway Inniniw from the Opaskwayak Cree Nation. She is an Associate Professor of Education and Director of the Aboriginal Education Research Centre and at the University of Saskatchewan. Her academic and community work and passion focus on Indigenous land-based education and social ecological justice. As an organizer, Alex uses education and Cree philosophy to intervene in ongoing practices of colonialism, oppression, and the destruction of land and water.
Nina Wilson is from the Crooked Lake Agency, Kahkewistahaw First Nation in South Eastern Saskatchewan. She is of the Three Pole People, the Nakota, Dakota, Lakota, and the Nehiyo and is a direct descendent of Chief White Bear and of the Cut Mouth and Red Blanket Societies. She is also a mother of 5, a grandmother of 5 and very respectful of the children all over the world which she asserts is why we protect and defend the Earth and all she has to gift us with. Nina is currently a Masters student at the University of Manitoba in the Native Studies Department. She has also worked with Indigenous inmates, children, family and community in Child Protective services, First Nation Administration, and in Education and Addictions services. Nina would like to emphasize that our many of our teachings come the Woman Spirit, the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Woman and we need to continue to be good, wise, helpful and useful as we serve our families, our communities, our nations, the world, and the universe.
Jenna Wirch is a young community activist and youth worker from the North End of Winnipeg, an area often stigmatized for high crime and poverty rates. Jenna received her Child and Youth certificate from Red River College in 2013 and has spent most of her recent professional life working and programs and services designed to improve the quality of life for North End Winnipegers, focusing most of her attention on youth empowerment and engagement. Jenna works closely with the North End Community Renewal Corporation and is currently a Youth Engagement Coordinator for Aboriginal Youth Opportunities (AYO) and a trainer for ARROWS Youth Engagement, a youth leadership program facilitated by AYO. Jenna has become known as the “girl with the megaphone” at rallies in the City of Winnipeg where she is often heard sharing educational messages promoting hope and change.
Rita Wong has written three books of poetry: monkeypuzzle (published by Press Gang, 1998), forage (which won Canada Reads Poetry 2011 and the Dorothy Livesay Prize) and sybil unrest (co-authored with Larissa Lai, newly reissued by New Star Books). Her work has also appeared in anthologies like Prismatic Publics: Innovative Canadian Women’s Poetry and Poetics, Regreen: New Canadian Ecological Poetry, and Making a Difference: Canadian Multicultural Literature. A water lover, she teaches at the Emily Carr University of Art + Design, where she has developed a humanities course on water, for which she received a fellowship from the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society. You can find her work at http://downstream.ecuad.ca/.
Jana-Rae Yerxa is Anishinaabe from Little Eagle and Couchiching First Nation and belongs to the Sturgeon clan. Activist. Writer. Social Worker. Former professor. Current student. She is committed to furthering her understanding of Anishinaabe identity and resurgence as well as deconstructing Indigenous/settler relations in the contexts of colonization and decolonization. Jana-Rae is currently enrolled in the Indigenous Governance Program at University of Victoria.
Laura Zahody is a writer, public relations professional, and blogger with a passion for social affairs and food. During Idle No More, she was living and working in Ottawa. She has since transplanted to a glass tower in Toronto with her partner and her mini poodle, Arthur.