"L'éveil au Cercle" - "Awakening to the Circle"

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Why we need a Canada-Quebec-Indigenous Social

Forum in Ottawa on August 2014 !

Anger and discontent against the ruling Conservative government is on the rise
all across Canada. Human rights groups, women's organizations, cultural
associations, environment groups, labour, indigenous peoples, students, generally
civil society organizations feel threatened and angered by the government's
policies and actions. Protests for social and environmental justice are erupting all
over the country. Casseroles have been organized on the streets of many cities in
support of the student movement in Quebec. The youth across Canada are joining
hands with those from Quebec in challenging neo-liberal austerity policies. Mass
mobilizations were held against Bill 115 restraining the ability of teachers to
negotiate and strike in Ontario. Indigenous communities are also fighting
against the government to preserve their culture and defend their lands from
predatory mining and oil corporations.
Yet our movements continue to be fragmented and ghettoized. We must work
together and create a space for all these voices of dissent and strategize together
our progressive agenda to help build links and solidarity across movements and

A grassroots approach to building the Peoples Social Forum

The grassroots horizontal approach was taken while organizing a Social Forum
across Canada as a means of stimulating debate, discussion and furthering our
sense of community and collective action. The process of the social forum seeks
to reach out to a plurality of social movements, groups and progressive
institutions across Canada, Québec and Indigenous communities. The short term
goal being to build on existing struggles by forging a united and cohesive front
against the Conservative agenda of austerity and privatization but long-term to
help transform the current political, economic and social paradigm, by
employing creative resistance while proposing alternatives solutions.
The second General Assembly of the Peoples Social Forum held in Edmonton on
July 2nd and 3rd of this year ended with several important advances, in particular
the decision to hold the first Canada-wide Social Forum in Ottawa at the end of
August 2014. The Assembly unanimously agreed with the motion presented
jointly by the Ontario Federation of Labour and the Ontario Common Front, a
wide coalition of over a hundred unions and community groups.

The Edmonton assembly also saw the birth of a Labour Caucus which includes
Canadian and Quebec union activists. This confirms the widespread interest
among organized labour for the Social Forum and demonstrates the unity
potential of this process: the historical construction of an extra parliamentary
alliance between activists from Canada, Quebec and Native communities in order
to counter the neoliberal austerity programs promoted by governments and
At present, the Forum General Assembly includes five caucuses (Labour,
Indigenous Peoples, People of Colour, Women, Quebec) as well as several
Regional Commissions (Montreal / Quebec, Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver). A few
more are in the works, particularly in the Maritimes and the Prairies.

An Assembly of Social Movements to fight the right

The Edmonton meeting also reaffirmed the Forum's open and inclusive model of
organization whereby caucuses and regional commissions must be represented at
all levels of the structure, from the General Assembly down to the Working
Committees. These committees, as well as the Secretariat that will take charge of
logistics and day-to-day activities, will be set-up during the fall. Other caucuses
and/or commissions may be added as the need arises.
The next phase will also deal with the program. In keeping with the participatory
nature of the Forum, groups will be urged to propose self-organized activities
along the ten to fifteen overarching themes retained for PSF. At a later stage, a
system of convergence assemblies will be proposed in order to promote
collaboration between groups wishing to work on common issues. The Forum
will close with a central convergence meeting called the Assembly of Social
Movements where common statements and actions could be adopted.

These are the organizations that have joined the discussions

Alternatives; Canadian Autoworkers Union (CAW); Canadian Community
Economic Development Network; Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW);
Centrale des syndicats du Québec (CSQ); Centre d’écologie urbaine de Montréal;
Chantier de l’économie sociale; Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (CAIA),
Toronto; Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union (CEP); Common
Frontiers; Confédération des syndicats nationaux (CSN); Conseil Central
Montréal métropolitain (CCMM-CSN); Conseil québécois des gais et lesbiennes;
Council of Canadians; Fédération des femmes du Québec; Fédération des
travailleurs et travailleuses du Québec (FTQ); Fédération interprofessionnelle de
la santé du Québec (FIQ); Fédération nationale des enseignants et enseignantes
du Québec (FNEEQ-CSN); Front d’action populaire en réaménagement urbain;
Indigenous Environmental Network; Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement;
Institut du nouveau monde; Latin American and Caribbean Solidarity Network;
Latin American Trade Unions Coalition; Montreal Labour Council (FTQ);
Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL); Occupy Toronto; Public Service Alliance of
Canada (PSAC); Quebec Native Women; Toronto Bolivia Solidarity; Toronto Stop
the Cuts; Earth Warriors Standing Circle


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

11th Annual New Sun Conference

11th Annual

New Sun Conference on Aboriginal Arts:


Saturday, March 3, 2012, 9:00 am - 4:30 pm

Room 5050, 5th Floor, Minto Centre, Carleton University


KC Adams

Multimedia visual artist and photographer

Christine Welsh

Documentary film maker and educator

John Kim Bell

Arts producer, composer, conductor


New media artist

Stephen Leafloor and BluePrintForLife

“Social work through HipHop”


DJ Creeasian and throat singer Evie Mark

Elder Jim Albert in attendance

Registration: Students $45; non-students $65 (HST included)

Includes a gourmet luncheon of Native cuisine and a performance by BluePrintforLife

• Limited seating • Pre-registration STRONGLY advised •

• Parking: $2 for the day • OC Transpo nearby •

To register, call 613-520-2600, ext. 4035, or e-mail allan_ryan@carleton.ca

For a registration form and more information visit http://www.trickstershift.com/

A free screening of the films Finding Dawn and Arctic HipHop

will take place in Carleton’s Bell Theatre on Sunday, March 4, 1-5 pm.

Luncheon Menu:

• Bannock bread with maple butter and cloud berry compote

• Roasted corn and bacon soup

• Pickled root vegetable salad

• Mixed salad with sweet and bitter greens and saskatoon berries

• Seven grain rice casserole with little neck clams

• Sweet roasted squash

• Smoked duck ragout with celery root, winter vegetables and wild mushrooms

• Spicy pumpkin seed-crusted salmon fillet

• Corn and maple pudding with edible bush berries

Presenter Biographies

KC Adams

KC Adams is a Winnipeg-based artist who works in a variety of media -- sculpture, installation, drawing, painting, photography, ceramics, printmaking and kinetic art. She has had several solo exhibitions, most recently Legacy at the Parramatta Artists Studios, in Parramatta, Australia, and has been featured in numerous group exhibitions, including: Anthem: Perspectives on Home and Native Land at the Carleton University Art Gallery, Circuit City at My Winnipeg, at la maison rouge gallery in Paris, The Language of Intercession at the Oboro Gallery in Montreal, and Cyborg Hybrids at Photoquai: Biennale des images du monde in Paris. She has done residencies at the Banff Centre, the Confederation Art Centre in Charlottetown, National Museum of the American Indian in New York and a Canada Council International residency in Parramatta, Australia. KC has received grants and awards from the Winnipeg Arts Council, Manitoba Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts. Twenty pieces from her Cyborg Hybrid series are in the permanent collection of the National Gallery of Canada. She has an extensive background in arts administration in Winnipeg, serving as Administrative Coordinator at Plug IN ICA (Institute of Contemporary Art), Board President at the artist-run centre, aceartinc, and Director of the Urban Shaman Gallery. She has also taught art to children at Art City, Learning Through the Arts, and the Manitoba Arts Council's Artist in the Schools program. KC is a graduate of Concordia University and holds a BFA in studio arts.


Christine Welsh

Christine Welsh is a producer, writer and film director known for her strong commitment to documenting the experience of Indigenous women in Canada. Her films include Women in the Shadows, a one-hour documentary about her search for her Métis grandmothers. The film won the Best Documentary award at the 1992 Vancouver International Film Festival and was nominated for a Gemini award for Best Documentary. Keepers of the Fire, a tribute to Aboriginal women’s resistance, earned her the honour of being named co-recipient of the first Alanis Obomsawin Award for outstanding achievement in the Canadian Aboriginal film industry. Her most recent film is the feature-length NFB documentary Finding Dawn which profiles three of the estimated 500 Native women who have been murdered or gone missing in Canada over the past thirty years. Christine is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Victoria where she teaches courses in Indigenous Women's Studies and Indigenous Cinema.

John Kim Bell

John Kim Bell is a pianist, composer, conductor, music producer, arts administrator, and was the first person of aboriginal heritage to become a symphony conductor. Born in Kahnawake, he began conducting for the Broadway stage in New York at the age of eighteen. He has composed music for film and television and is the founder of the Canadian Native Arts Foundation, National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation and the National Aboriginal Achievement Awards. Over a period of twenty years, he built the Foundation into Canada’s largest Aboriginal charity. He is a recipient of the Order of Canada, holds six honorary doctorates and, amongst other honours, received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Royal Conservatory of Music in 2007. His proposal to establish a loan guarantee program for First Nations was successful with Ontario announcing a $250 million loan guarantee program in March 2009. Mr. Bell is currently taking an active role in the development of energy projects involving First Nations. He recently established the Enbridge School Plus Program which awards $1 million to First

Nations schools in Western Canada. Mr. Bell is President of Bell & Bernard Limited, a management consulting firm specializing in First Nations economic development and energy.


Skawennati is a Montreal-based artist and independent curator who holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Graduate Diploma of Institutional Administration from Concordia University. Recipient of the 2011 Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship, she is recognized as a pioneering New Media artist. Her art, addressing history, the future, and change, has been widely exhibited across Canada, the United States and Australia. She created the Aboriginally-determined, on-line gallery and chat space, CyberPowWow in 1996, followed by Imagining Indians in the 25th Century, a web-based paper doll/time-travel journal which has been presented across North America, most notably in Artrain USA’s three-year, coast-to-coast tour of the show Native Views: Influences of Modern Culture. Her current production, TimeTraveller™, is a multi-platform project featuring a machinima series. Its website, www.TimeTravellerTM.com, won imagineNative’s 2009 Best New Media Award. Additional projects include Artist for the Ethical Treatment of Humans, a subvertising response to an exploitive PETA campaign, and 80 Minutes, 80 Movies, 80s Music, an ongoing series of one-minute music videos. Skawennati is Co-Director of Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace, a network of artists, academics and technologists investigating, creating and critiquing Aboriginal virtual environments. AbTeC’s Otsì:!, a video game mod created with students from the Kahnawake Survival School, won imagineNative’s 2010 Best New Media Award.

Stephen Leafloor

Stephen Leafloor is the founder of BluePrintForLife, which utilizes HipHop as both a community development tool and a model for alternative education. He has over 27 years experience as a social worker in the areas of probation, wilderness programs, street work with youth at risk, residential group homes, child protection and community outreach. Stephen has been active in HipHop culture as a dancer since 1982 and in 1986 completed his Master of Social Work degree at Carleton University with a thesis on HipHop culture and its importance for educators and social workers. He is the founder of the Ottawa-based Canadian Floor Masters -- Canada’s oldest professional Breakdancing/Bboy crew. BluePrintForLife offers dynamic, culturally appropriate programs designed for First Nations and Inuit youth that are founded on HipHop, rooted in traditional culture, and focussed on community needs. Exploring the positive elements of HipHop becomes a survival toolkit for youth while celebrating traditional culture and leadership. In 2010 BluePrintForLife was the first organization from North America ever to be selected as a top finalist in the Freedom to Create awards, the world’s most prestigious award for outreach through the arts.


Matthew Wood aka Creeasian

Matthew Wood's Bboy name, Creeasian, is a blend that reflects his Cree and Vietnamese ancestry. He is a senior youth facilitator with BluePrintForLife and an accomplished dancer, DJ, and BeatBoxer (creating drum beats with his mouth). He has been working with youth for the past eleven years and strongly believes in empowerment through music and dance. In 2011 Creeasian won the Rockstar energy drink DJ battle, and the 2011 Redbull DJ battle in Edmonton.

Evie Mark

Evie Mark is from the small Inuit community of Ivujivik in northern Quebec. An accomplished throat singer and skilled translator, she often travels with the BluePrintForLife team helping to integrate traditional Inuit culture into their workshops. Evie is also active in film production and has worked in every facet of this medium from camera work and acting to editing and directing. Her film work focuses on the issues affecting all aspects of life in the north. One of her films was featured at the very first New Sun Conference in 2002.

11th Annual New Sun Conference

Aboriginal Studies Conference - John Borrows March 12, 2012

Monday, January 16, 2012

Aboriginal Awareness Week

As part of the Aboriginal Awareness Week, the Aboriginal Health Interest Group at the University of Ottawa's  Faculty of Medicine, invites you to attend the following events at Roger Guindon Hall, located at 451 Smith Road, behind the General Hospital.

  • Monday, January 16 at 12:30 - Room 2005 - Presentations by Patrick Laflèche and Jonathan Ferrier on Traditional Medicine
  • Tuesday, January 17, at 4:30 - Room 3248 - Sabrina Squires and Renée Vachon, Aboriginal students in their second year of Medicine will talk about their experience working in remote Aboriginal communities.
  • Tuesday, January 17, at 5:30 - Room 3248 - Throat Singing Workshop with Lynda Brown
  • Wednesday, January 18, at 1:30 - Room 2149 - Showing of Andrée Cazabon's documentary film "Third World Canada" depicting the plight of many First Nations by focusing on the isolated and poverty-stricken community of Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (K.I.) in Ontario.
  • Thursday, January 19, at 5:30 - Cindy Blackstock,  Executive Director of First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada<http://www.fncaringsociety.com/> (FNCFC), who  has been one of the country's most committed activists for First Nations children.
For more information, please contact: ottawaahig@gmail.com

Thank You. Che Meegwitch.