Featuring: 8 articles, 22 videos, 3 audio interviews, 2 photo albums, 3 PDFs, 1 poem, and quoted in a toolkit.
Covering the time period from the winter solstice 2012 to the winter solstice 2013. I sent this out in my newsletter (which you can read here, including the intro message).
And note, maybe now would be a good time to subscribe to the newsletter? (just enter your email in the box near the top on the right hand side –> )
So here’s the summary of what I was up to the past year:
Idle No More: What does Chief Theresa Spence’s hunger strike mean?
As 2012 wrapped up and 2013 began, Chief Spence inspired many and supercharged the Idle No More movement. This is what I wrote mid-way through her hunger strike.
Campus Activism Under Threat at Carleton
There was a referendum at Carleton University to try and defund the Ontario Public Interest Research Group (OPIRG) – Carleton, and in this article I examine both the defunding efforts and why OPIRG is so important to social justice work both on- and off-campus. Spoiler: the referendum was ultimately unsuccessful and Carleton students still financially support the organization.
Residential Schools: Addressing a Lasting Legacy
This is my report from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Québec national gathering in Montreal, where survivors shared their stories and I was able to interview both the TRC Chairperson Murray Sinclair and Barney Williams Jr, the Elder of the TRC Indian Residential School Survivor Committee. Includes video of both interviews, as well as printable PDF of the article.
Call Us Crazy: Mad movements organize against ableism, mentalism and more
In-depth look at radical mental health perspectives, that was the cover article for The Dominion magazine’s 10th anniversary edition. This is probably the piece that I got the most positive feedback on over the course of the year. Includes printable PDF versions, as well as a 15-min audio interview of me discussing the article.
On the loss of the National Aboriginal Health Organization
An article based on my interview with Simon Brascoupé, who was the Interim CEO of NAHO when it’s funding got cut and it had to close down. NAHO was doing a lot of great, needed work and this article is my attempt to document it. Includes 20-min video of the interview.
The Bedford case and decriminalization of sex work: What it’s all about
Here, I articulated the argument presented by Emily Symons of POWER – Prostitutes of Ottawa/Gatineau: Work, Educate, Resist, on why the prostitution laws were unconstitutional. You may have heard that the Supreme Court recently released their judgement, agreeing on all counts. Includes a 10-min video from the June teach-in hosted by POWER, and a link to photos from the rally at the Supreme Court.
Book review: McChesney’s “Digital Disconnect” analyzes corporate control of our digital communications future
With the revelations of the extent of state spying on our Internet activity, the topic of the future of the Internet seems very relevant right now. This book does a really good job of detailing how we’ve come to be where we are, and how things might develop – with the biggest factor being the corporations that control so much, and how we can deal with that. Note: was selected by rabble.ca as one of their best reviews of the year.
Coordinating Conversation: Niigaan looks to build Indigenous/non-Indigenous relations and learning
My look at this new grassroots Indigenous initiative, started in March with the energy of Idle No More in full swing. This article is based on an interview with two of the organizers at their September event – at the time, they’d just won a community fundraising grant through the Soup Ottawa initiative to further support their work. Includes 20-min audio interview, and 1-hr video of the event.
Journey of Nishiyuu – final leg
(7min) Along with Chief Spence’s hunger strike, perhaps the single-most inspiring part of the Idle No More riseup was the journey of the seven walkers from the Cree community of Whapmagoostui in Northern Quebec, who travelled 1600km by foot to arrive in Ottawa in March. Along the way, more and more people joined in on the walk, and by the time they arrived here, there were some 300-400 walkers along with everyone who came to greet them and accompany them down Wellington St and onto Parliament Hill.
Storytelling and Poetry from Algonquin Elder Albert Dumont
(7 videos, each 2-5min) From a session at Singing Pebble Books, Dumont mixed humour, seriousness and teaching into his 2 hour talk. These were his selections of the best parts to post online.
- Also see:
Connecting With Spiritual Traditions – Albert Dumont with Dalva Lamminmäki
(25min) Dalva was visiting from Finland, where she is a healer and keeper of Finno-Ugric Shamanism and traditions. In this conversation they discuss the similarities of their perspectives on nature, healing and more.
Algonquin Elder Albert Dumont – On holding circles, prayers and pipes
(7min) An excerpt from a longer video where Dumont talks about ‘Mind Over Medicine’ and his healing journey. In this clip, he talks about the power of being in circle, in connection, and the ability of everyone to pray and receive support for their healing.
The Sixties Scoop – videos of speakers
(3 videos, 14-29min each) The Sixties Scoop was a period of Canadian child welfare policy during which an estimated 16,000 Indigenous children were removed from their homes and adopted into non-Indigenous homes. Three talks: Elder Joanne Dallaire, Angela Ashawasegai and Neal Shannacappo.
Disability Justice – an interview with Mia Mingus
(20min) A great introduction to the concept of disability justice, going beyond simply access, rights or inclusion. Includes transcript.
Beat Nation / The Culture Makers: Interview with Dylan Miner, Candice Hopkins and Geronimo Inutiq
(18min) I sat down with three of the people involved with the Beat Nation: Art, Hip Hop and Aborigial Culture exhibit to have them explain a bit on what it is about.
Shamanic Painting, Cultural Connections – Hazel Bell-Koski & Dalva Lamminmäki in conversation
(36min) Dalva is currently back in Canada, and here she is in conversation with Hazel, with whom she is co-facilitating a shamanic painting session in Toronto on Jan 5th. They talk about art, community, relation, spirit and being.
Idle No More pamphlet
(1-pg doublesided, trilingual versions) I did the layout for this, working with noted scholar Taiaiake Alfred who co-wrote with Tobold Rollo this brief summary of key recommendations, “Resetting and Restoring the Relationship between Indigenous Peoples and Canada.”
Naandwedidaa (healing one another)
A poem I wrote (bilingual – in Ojibwe/Anishinaabemowin and English) that was included in the Honouring Indigenous Women: Hearts of Nations vol.2 anthology released this year.
Photos from the Small Press Book Fair
While tabling at the fair with some of my print materials, I took some time to tour around and photograph the various writers/publishers who were in attendance. Features three compilation photos, and a link to the full album.
Multi-media and Multiculturalism Toolkit
I contributed to this guide to understanding and using multimedia to build stronger communities through diversity in Canada — produced by the Multimedia & Multiculturalism Initiative of the United Nations Association in Canada.
Decolonization and Indigenous Solidarity – An interview with yours truly
(70min audio, also with transcript) I was pleased to have the opportunity to be interviewed for a larger research project by Craig Fortier of York University. I think it’s good sometimes to have the opportunity to reflect upon and try to articulate what it is that we’re doing in our work, and this seemed to work out well in that respect – so here it is!