Indigenous Allies Working Group

“We recognize that we gather here in Nogojiwanong [Nigozh-i-wanong] in the Michi Saagiig Anishinaabe Treaty 20 territory, with affiliation to the Williams and other treaties.
We say “miigwetch” [mee-gwetch] for sharing these sacred lands and waters with those of us who are newcomers.
May we live in respectful relationship with all beings. As Treaty people, we commit to working towards understanding, justice, and reconciliation.”


EVENTS CALENDAR

Here is a calendar of online Indigenous events:
Calendar of Indigenous related events June 2021

SENATE PASSES C-15! AN HISTORIC DAY FOR INDIGENOUS RIGHTS IN CANADA!

June 17, 2021 will be remembered as an historic day for indigenous rights and reconciliation in Canada. Today the Senate finally passed C-15 – the UNDRIP Implementation Act! IAWG added its support to the many indigenous organizations and prominent individuals and allies organized tirelessly over the last several weeks for this victory. Chi miigwech to all of you who signed letters and spoke out to help make this possible. Still much hard work ahead to make implementation a reality but this was the necessary first step down this path.

Learn more HERE.

AFTER 230-YEAR FIGHT, CALDWELL FIRST NATION HAS RESERVE STATUS

Indigenous Allies Working Group invites you to learn more HERE.

REFRAME FESTIVAL, JANUARY 22 – 29 2021

Indigenous-related Films

Call Me Human (78 min) Role and Importance of Indigenous Elders

Cottagers and Indians (45 Min) Local controversy between cottagers and Indigenous Peoples who are reviving traditional wild rice harvesting.

êmîcêtôcêt: Many Bloodlines (11 min) – joys and challenges of an interracial queer couple.

Gichitwaa Nibi – Sacred Water (Water Teaching with Elder Dorothy Taylor) (15 min) Teachings of local Elder.

Manasie Akpaliapik (5 min) famous Nunavut carver shares his culture and relationship to land through his carvings.

On Treaties with Elder Doug Williams (7 min) Local Elder speaks of the truths about treaties of this land.

Rematriate: Passing the Seeds (6 min) Importance and uses of seeds in Haudenosaunee culture and a story of a Haudenosaunee community regaining ancient seeds via seed-savers.

THE STORY OF AGAINST THE GRAIN’S MESSIAH/COMPLEX

Against the Grain Theatre’s daring new interpretation of Handel’s Messiah is a truly cross-Canada performance.

AtG Founder and Artistic Director Joel Ivany partnered with Banff Centre’s Director of Indigenous Arts, Reneltta Arluk to Co-Direct this new interpretation of Messiah, capturing the pride and inclusivity of Canada—honouring and amplifying Indigenous and underrepresented voices from coast-to-coast-to-coast.

They re-imagined The Messiah as a filmed performance in this COVID-19 time.

“We all need a sense of hope right now, and this was our way to keep the candles burning.”

This “complex” interpretation of Messiah includes 6 languages, 12 soloists, 4 choirs, and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. The text translations have provided specific soloists the ability to sing and express themselves in their traditional language of choice—for example, Leela Gilday sings her portion in Dene from the Northwest Territories, while Deantha Edmunds and Looee Arreak sing in Inuktitut from Newfoundland Labrador and Nunavut respectively.

AtG — along with its partners, and featured artists — has offered Messiah/Complex free of charge to every soul in need of a musical lift. (Donations gratefully received.)

Messiah/Complex soloists include:
Cree-Métis baritone Jonathon Adams (Alberta)
Inuktituk singer Looee Arreak;
British Columbia tenor Spencer Britten;
Canadian-Tunisian, Rihab Chaieb in Montreal, singing in French
Edmonton-born mezzo-soprano Catherine Daniel;
Inuk singer Deantha Edmunds in Newfoundland & Labrador, singing in Inuttitut
Dene singer-songwriter Leela Gilday in Northwest Territories singing in Dene
Lebanese-Canadian soprano Miriam Khalil (Ontario), singing in Arabic;
Saskatchewan soprano Andrea Lett;
Diyet van Lieshout, who sings in Southern Tutchone, from Yukon Territory;
Métis singer Julie Lumsden (Manitoba); and
Toronto baritone Elliot Madore (Ontario)

INDIGENOUS FASHION SHOW – AVAILABLE ONLINE

The Aboriginal People’s Television Network (APTN) turned its focus onto fashion, glamor and Indigenous designers. The Indigenous fashion show, hosted by Melissa Ridgen, was in Toronto and In Focus was there to speak with the designers and makeup moguls. The purpose of the show is to rethink what people wear.

The main subject was to do with sustainability and how everything we wear is a political statement.  It looks at how long-standing designs, modern styles and trends can blend.

The fact that it is virtual has its down side: no interrelating with the designers and seeing the designs on the walk way, plus just straight meeting people one knows and new people.

Being virtual there was a chance (until Nov 29th) to purchase items on a pop up market place on line.

There is the film of the walk way, conversations, awareness, education and answering question. There will also be a preview of the Virtual Expedition that will be happening early next year

After much searching I was able to find the web for the Fashion Show. It is on https://ifwtoronto.com/

The show was broken in to sections the first one was outer wear with the theme Water is Life. The clothing had signs etc. to do with the missing women etc.  There were red dress designs that stood out for one’s mind to go to the missing women. The next section was evening wear and the last a mixture.  Beautiful clothing, jewelry, makeup and hair styles went totally with the designs.  The models created movements rather than just walking straight and the music playing was perfect for the show.

Just hearing the designers and others speaking to the hostess Melissa Ridgen was great.

The program may still be on https://ifwtoronto.com/ so watch it if you can.

Irene Magill
Member
IAWG

MI’KMAQ FISHERIES – OCT 26, 2020

Hello

I watched a program on Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) called “APTN in Focus” with commentator Melissa Ridgen and others. The subject was Mi’kmaq Nation of Nova Scotia, which we have been hearing about in the mainstream news

I feel I received a better insight into what is happening in Nova Scotia and how the authorities are not being supportive. When the authorities step back, it’s like they are saying to settlers, “It’s okay take their traps, destroy their property.”

More importantly, I learned that Clearwater, a mega fishing corporation, is given so many liberties that even the local settler people do not have.

These figures help me get some perspective on the conflict:

–      Clearwater is allowed 6500 traps on their boats
–      Typical owner operators  have 400 traps on which is regulated by DFO
–      The Mi’kmaq have about 400 traps on their boat. (The Mi’kmag moderate livelihood fishing boat would have about 50 traps total).

I do not hear anyone stating this on the mainstream news.

I feel this program is very important to the common Indigenous peoples as well as common people like me.  This link has more details.

Irene Magill
Member
IAWG

WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE – AND WE DID!! – OCT 23, 2020

As social justice advocates, I often feel that we chip away and chip away but I don’t really believe the “powers that be” will change.

But that’s exactly what happened this summer!

Here’s the short story

  • The Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board had a new school being built in East City that needed a name.
  • Even though they have a policy for naming schools that admonishes them to use names to forward anti-racism or otherwise support the inclusion and social justice aims of the Board, and even though the committee they formed to come up with recommendations brought forward 4 names, 2 of which had Indigenous significance, the Board over-ruled the committee and named the school “East City Public School”.
  • When this news reach the Community Race Relations Committee of Peterborough (CRRCP) and the Kawartha Truth & Reconciliation Support Group (KTRSG), they went into action.
  • The UPF Indigenous Allies Working Group supported their actions with its own letter to the Board, which was signed by over 50 members of the congregation.
  • In June 2020, Charmaine Magumbe, Chair of the CRRCP and Alice Williams, Chair of the KTRSG made a stirring presentation to the Board, asking that the Board to reconsider its decision.
  • And the Board agreed!
  • Further, the person who is to write a report for the relevant Board committee in October asked Alice to write the report with her! An invitation to true consultation.

So, a BIG THANKS to all those who signed the letter in support of the name change.

And to all you activists out there – take heart, keep up your social justice work. Sometimes it changes everything. Read more…

HOW TO SUPPORT THE MANOOMIN DECLARATION – OCT 2020

Wondering how to support local First Nations and Wild Rice (Manoomin)? Sign on to the Manoomin Declaration organized by Community Voices for Manoomin! The Declaration provides some ecological, historical and Indigenous background on wild rice and then a statement in support of First Nations. Some UFP members may have already signed on to a paper version at local markets, etc. UFP’s Indigenous Allies Working Group invites the congregation and our wider networks to sign the Declaration online: https://tinyurl.com/ManoominDeclaration
Or you can look at the Manoomin Declaration on change.org! We also are planning a fall presentation on Manoomin by Community Voices, so stay tuned …
For more information about the Indigenous Allies Working Group, see our webpage under UFP Social Justice and join us at a monthly meeting!