#IndianResidentialSchoolSurvivorsLegacy; Toronto; #NathanPhillipsSquare; #indigenous; #IRSSLegacyCelebration; #JohnTory;#TorontoCouncilFireNativeCulturalCentre; TruthandReconciliationCommissionofCanada;
Toronto, Sept 27 (Canadian-Media): The Indian Residential School Survivors (IRSS) Legacy would be celebrated from Oct 9 through Oct 11 for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in the honour of residential school survivors and their families, media reports said.
The IRSS Legacy Celebration, the first of its kind in Canada, produced by the Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre -- an autonomous, vibrant cultural agency serving Indigenous community and a member of the Toronto Aboriginal Support Services Council and the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres -- in collaboration with the City of Toronto, would feature Indigenous songs, stories, language, food, performances, installations and demonstrations for all ages.
The IRSS Legacy Celebration/Twitter
"We are pleased and proud to be able to host and help produce this important event at Nathan Phillips Square," said John Tory, Mayor of Toronto. "It is essential that reconciliation moves from discussion into action and this celebration provides a forum for that evolution to occur."
Nathan Phillips Square/Facebook
"This gathering is significant as it is scheduled around the new lunar moon cycle, which represents a positive energy force in addition to our harvest cycle, a time to acknowledge and give thanks for all that we are provided and a part of," said Andrea Chrisjohn, Board Designate (ohkwali clan, On^yota’a:ka), Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre. "And, to celebrate the resiliency, change and growth of our people."
IRSS Legacy Celebration Program will include: Two evening performances (Oct. 9 and 11) by Juno Award-winning Mohawk Six Nation singer-songwriter/piano player Murray Porter and his song "Is Sorry Enough?"; healing songs by Indigenous women (Oct 9 evening) by using hand drums to honour survivors and inter-generational members through a reaffirmation of identity ceremony; Screening of the award-winning film "Indian Horse," on Oct 10 evening which would shed light on the dark history of Canada’s residential schools; drop-in workshops, information sharing and interactive experiences by more than 20 large painted teepees across the Square; traditional performances and cultural teachings; Indigenous food, arts and crafts in the Indigenous Marketplace for sale.
This public space initiative will consist of a six-foot-tall (two metres) turtle sculpture called the “Restoration of Identity sculpture” and a “Teaching, Learning and Sharing and Healing space” to be permanently featured on Nathan Phillips Square, is anticipated to be completed in 2020.
Restoration of Identity sculpture/Facebook
Unveiling of turtle sculpture replica and project plans will be on October 9 during the IRSS Legacy Celebration.
The IRSS Legacy sculpture was developed in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Call to Action 82 to commission and install a publicly accessible, highly visible, residential schools monument in each capital city to honour residential school survivors and their families.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
British Columbia, Sept 26 (Canadian-Media): British Columbia (B.C.) A new installation gallery in honour of province's Indigenous sports stars had been built by B.C. Sports Hall of Fame, media reports said.
A kick-off event for its new Indigenous Sport Gallery hall was held Tuesday.
The hall housed a permanent, 1,000-square foot exhibit to honour Indigenous athletes, explore Indigenous sports and display mementos from various levels of sport.
BC Sports HallofFame@BCSportsHallFormal opening message from 2018 Inductee Alex Nelson - with featured athletes Reg Underwood and Terry Felix #IndigenousSG
5:21 PM - Sep 25, 2018
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NHL players like Carey Price and Gino Odjick were among those honoured at the gallery, as was Greg Edgelow, a wrestler who represented Canada at the Olympic and Commonwealth Games, including a gold medal-winning performance at the 1994 Commonwealth Games.On The Coast host Gloria Macarenko.
"It's something the parents want to see as well, because as a culture, it's showing great respect for the kids but also the community — because in order to have an athlete, you need to have a community and a family."
View image on Twitter
BC Sports HallofFame@BCSportsHallFantastic to have @Canucks legend @ginodjick with us today to help celebrate the opening of our Indigenous Sport Gallery. As well thank you to @ACHockeyHistory for loaning us artifacts to display! #IndigenousSG
4:46 PM - Sep 25, 2018
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Edgelow said when he was growing up, his Indigenous history was hidden from him by his mother.
"When she grew up, it wasn't a positive thing," he said.
He said those experiences deprived him of his culture for many years. His hope is the gallery will inspire Indigenous youth growing up today.
"Here's an action: because of reconciliation, people came together … to actually do something," Joseph said.
"This how we can make Canada a better place, and British Columbia as well."
The Indigenous Sport Gallery opens to the public Wednesday
#ReelworldFilmFestival; #Roobha, #Toronto, #Canada, #Lenin M.Sivam
Toronto, Sep 19 (Canadian-Media): 2018 Reelworld Film Festival (RFF) would kick off with Toronto premiere Roobha on Oct 9, media reports said.
Reelworld Film Festiva/Facebook
Held annually in downtown Toronto, ReelWorld Film Festival is a five-day film festival screening features, shorts, documentaries, animation, music videos from the Aboriginal, Asian, Black, Latino, Middle Eastern, South Asian and other multi-racial communities.
2018 RFF, in its 18th year of empowering and championing emerging Indigenous and racialized storytellers, will run from Oct 9 to Oct 14.
The screening of the films would be done at Glenn Gould Studio, Famous Players Canada Square, and the Toronto Reference Library.
The film Roobha, directed by Lenin M. Sivam, would be showcased in Toronto at Glenn Gould Studio on Oct 9 from 5:30pm - 9:30pm.
Lenin M. Sivam/Facebook
Principle cast of the film are: Anthonythasan Jesuthasan, Amrit Sandhu, Thenuka Kantharajah and Sornalingam Vyramuthu.
The main character in the film, Roobha, a South Asian trans-woman, is dejected by her community and struggles to make a living as a transwoman in Toronto.
There she comes across a enthusiastic family man, Anthony and a romance follows.
But the romance is short-lived as her family finds about this relationship.
Roobha's unique romantic tale deals with the complexities of personality and gender identity within the South-Asian community.
Reelworld in its 2018 diverse and indigenous films, with its continuous spotlight on Canadian content, showcase impact on societal norms and challenging issues including LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender), life and gender identity, climate change and the environment, feminist and women’s issues, racism, cultural oppression, mental health, and social injustice.
“The festival grows stronger each year, because we’re programming films that speak to the cultural struggles of our communities," says Founder and Executive Director Tonya Williams. “Since the festival’s inception in 2001, you can see the quality and maturity in our programming improves each year. Our racially diverse filmmakers are not afraid to delve into difficult issues and show us the raw emotions of these complex topics.”
The mission of RFF, a non-profit organization, is to empower and champion the cause of emerging Canadian Indigenous and racialized storytellers and film makers of all levels with Industry Panels, Professional Development opportunities, and Incubator Initiatives.
REF program is made possible through the generous support of Platinum Sponsors TD Bank and Cineplex, support from the Canadian government and our major sponsors and partners, the, CBC, Inspirit Foundation, the CMPA, AFBS, DGC, ACTRA, WGC and others to whom we are deeply grateful.
Sivam, born in Sri Lanka and raised in Toronto, Canada is internationally acclaimed and recipient of several film awards both in Canada and around the world.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#IndigenousCentreforInnovationandEntrepreneurship; #Toronto, #Ontario; #johnTory; #R.StaceyLaforme; #MississaugasofTheNewCreditFirstNation; #LeadershipAdvisoryCouncil; ThePontiacGroup; #KristynWong-Tam; #SelinaYoung;
Toronto, Sep 5 (Canadian-Media): The first in a series of consultations to educate and guide the creation of an Indigenous Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (ICIE) began today in the City of Toronto, media reports said.
"These consultations are essential for creating a sustainable and successful centre," said Toronto Mayor John Tory. "I'm proud to support this ongoing partnership between the Indigenous community and the City of Toronto."
"To be effective and as meaningful as possible this must be a broad engagement process. I look forward to hearing the voices of the young Indigenous entrepreneurs," said Chief R. Stacey Laforme of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation.
These consultations would include the creation of a Leadership Advisory Council of Indigenous community and business leaders to provide vision and business model for ICIE; one-on-one engagement with leaders in the Indigenous community, including Indigenous entrepreneurs; collaborative effort with key Indigenous community stakeholders and professional organizations to produce a survey to gather input on the proposed centre; Indigenous entrepreneurs to be focused on identifying their needs and interests, and an online survey to share across the city and the country, their insights and ideas on how the ICIE can support Indigenous entrepreneurs.
The purpose of the ICIE is to provide a space and support for Indigenous entrepreneurs to build businesses, social enterprises, not-for-profits, collectives or co-operatives by providing by providing advisory support and workspace and giving access to resources.
To develop a relevant vision and business plan for the ICIE and its services, the City of Toronto has retained an Indigenous-led consulting firm -- The Pontiac Group -- to undertake consultations with the Indigenous community in the greater Toronto area.
"The ICIE will become a foundation and cornerstone for future Indigenous entrepreneurship in Toronto," said Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam (Ward 27 Toronto Centre-Rosedale). "I am pleased to champion this innovative initiative."
"The City's collaborative approach to creating this innovation and business centre is an important part of the City's ongoing efforts to form enduring relationships with Indigenous communities and businesses," said Selina Young, Manager of the City's Indigenous Affairs Office.
The centre will be located at a City-owned commercial space at 200 Dundas St. E. in a building that is currently under construction and at the end of 2019, the City will take possession of the space.
Occurrence of the the consultations will proceed throughout the coming fall and winter and the Toronto City Council would be presented next spring with its findings and recommendations .
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#Phyllis(Jack)Webstad; #residentialschoolsurvivor; #OrangeShirtDay; #TheOrangeShirtStory; #BritishColumbia, #Canada, #EveryChildMatters
Ottawa, Sep 5 (Canadian-Media): Phyllis (Jack) Webstad, a residential school survivor yesterday officially launched her book, “The Orange Shirt Story” in Kamloops, British Columbia (B.C.), media reports said.
The orange shirt referred to in this book is the one Webstad wore on her first day at the St. Joseph's Mission residential school in Williams Lake, B.C., in the 1970s.
"When I got to the mission, they stripped me and took away my clothes, including the orange shirt," Webstad wrote about the experience.
"I never wore it again. I didn't understand why they wouldn't give it back to me, it was mine!"
Phyllis (Jack) Webstad/Courtesy of CBCNews
Webstad hoped that by reading this book, people will gain a deeper understanding about the event.
Since 2013, 30th September has been recognized annually across Canada as a day to honour residential school survivors and their families.
The day has also being considered by the federal government for a new statutory holiday to mark the legacy of residential schools.
While she sees a lot of schools participating in Orange Shirt Day activities in Canada and internationally, Webstad noticed a lot of people don't understand the significance of the day and hoped "that with the book there will be more understanding of what the orange shirt means," she said.
Since then, she said the colour orange has reminded her of that experience and her year at residential school, "how my feelings didn't matter, how no one cared and how I felt like I was worth nothing. All of us little children were crying and no one cared."
At the core of The Orange Shirt Story is the message that every child matters.
"I really felt like I was worthless and I didn't matter when I was there. It's taken me a lot of years to know that I do," she said.
2018 T-Shirt Design Every Child Matters logo
Webstad's book focuses specifically on her year at residential school and is specifically geared toward a younger audience in terms of the content, said Webstad.
She said she hopes the story will be a valuable addition for schools in teaching children about the history of residential schools.
"Not a lot of people care to educate themselves and so I want to start with the children," she said.
"They're going to be our future doctors and lawyers and bankers and those types of people."
As for this year's Orange Shirt Day, Webstad encourages people to attend an event in their community and participate in some way.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#IndigenousPeoplesAtlasofCanada; #RoyalCanadianGeographicalSociety; FirstNations
Ottawa, Sept 2 (Canadian-Media) Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada (IPAC), produced by the Royal Canadian Geographical Society (RCGS), does not have any provinces, territories or capital cities on the map, media reports said.
Indigenous peoples atlas of Canada/Couresy indigenouspeoplesatlasofcanada.ca
Instead, the Unique four-volume IPAC without any political boundaries, provides information about land claim agreements, treaty areas, traditional lands, Indigenous languages and forced population movements of Canada's Indigenous peoples.
Also present is a giant floor map, approximately the size of a gymnasium with more than a hundred pages guide and 17 lesson plans.
According to official reports, IAPC which excludes its modern boundaries, would soon be accessible to students and families across Canada.
Organizations like Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, the Assembly of First Nations, the Métis National Council, the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, and Indspire partnered together to produce IPAC.
Although the project has contributions by more than 100 Indigenous storytellers, knowledge keepers and writers, all decisions for the atlas were made by Indigenous peoples.
Pre-ordering of IPAC has already begun as it would not be available in stores until Sept. 20.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#NatanObed, #Canada, #InuitGroupLeader; #JustinTrudeau
Alberta, Aug 17 (Canadian-Media): Natan Obed has been re-elected as Canada's national Inuit group leader, media reports said.
The Inuit are reportedly a group of culturally similar indigenous people living in the Arctic regions of Canada, Greenland and Alaska.
Following voting in Inuvik, Northwest Territories on Thursday, Obed was re-elected to lead the group for the second term.
Obed has been the Inuit leader since 2015.
"I'm honoured and humbled for your faith in me for a second term. I'll do my best to continue implementing our strategy and action plan," Obed said in his acceptance speech.
"I'm very thankful for the opportunity to hold this job."
Congratulating Obed, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted, "Congratulations, Natan, on your re-election as President of @ITK_CanadaInuit. Looking forward to building on the work we’ve done to improve the lives of Inuit."
Justin Trudeau✔@JustinTrudeauCongratulations, Natan, on your re-election as President of @ITK_CanadaInuit. Looking forward to building on the work we’ve done to improve the lives of Inuit.
After winning in the election, Obed spoke to CBC about his priorities and said he was aware of the upcoming federal election, and said he wanted to continue the work his organization has done with the current government and added.
"We've championed this with the federal government and with anyone else who will listen, the idea that when [it] comes to decision making, there is a specific Inuit space," he said.
"Thirty five per cent of Canada's land mass, 50 per cent of its coastline is inhabited entirely by Inuit, managed through land-claim agreements and in many cases co-managed on things like land development and land administration.
"We need to utilize that policy space and think about solutions through that lens so some Inuit regions aren't left behind when it comes to individual funding pots or individual policy areas," said Obed.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#QuebecIndigenousMentorshipNetwork; #FirstNations, #Métis #Inuithealthresearchers; #Indigenouscommunities; #TreenaDelormier; #TruthandReconciliationCommission; #YanktonSiouxTribeofSouthDakota; #FirstPeoples'House
Quebec, Aug 17 (Canadian-Media): In response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's calls to action, the federal government announced last year it would invest $8 million over five years to establish the mentorship network for First Nations, Métis and Inuit (indigenous groups) health researchers, media reports said.
Consequently, Kahnawake based, a newly launched Quebec Indigenous Mentorship Network (QIMN), has sought to provide culturally-grounded support for Indigenous students across Quebec who want to seek careers in the health sector.
Quebec Indigenous Mentorship Network/Facebook
Quebec's network was officially launched in February, and it's the only one out of the eight that is based in a First Nations community.
Adriana Poulette, the project coordinator, said the funding will allow the community to foster mentor-mentee relationships, offer scholarships, and hold an annual summer institute.
"Our history of health is so contextualized in this specific context of colonisation. It's a complex situation and I think that any research mentoring is going to be helpful, but this particular network is focused on Indigenous communities building capacity."
"We do need more representation in all health-related fields. There's a growing number, but we're all very stretched with demands," said Treena Delormier, an associate professor in the School of Human Nutrition at McGill University and one of the Indigenous mentors with the QIMN.
The network is funded by the Institute of Indigenous Peoples' Health and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
Delormier is involved in nutrition and health promotion interventions to address the social concerns of health due to the inequalities Indigenous people experience.
"There's been a lot of particulars in it with respect to the history of research that has been in our communities which has not always been positive," she said.
Having been benefited from great mentors in her own research work, Delormier said she wanted to pay that forward.
"For me, it is just like a natural part of research training, especially when we're talking about health research and Indigenous communities," she said.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#STEM; #AamjiwnaangFirstNation; #SixNationsofTheGrandRiver; #DougDokis; indigenousland-basedknowledge; #ChrisdelaTorre
Ottawa, Jul 17 (Canadian-Media): A summer camp that teaches science, technology, engineering and math -- also known as STEM -- from an Indigenous perspective is being attended by the high school students from Aamjiwnaang First Nation and Six Nations of The Grand River, media reports said.
A 15-day course taking place at the Six Nations Polytechnic campus in Ohsweken, Ontario, known as Gaǫdewayęhstaˀ Ohwęjagehka:ˀ (Learning on the Land) is one of five similar camps in Ontario organized by Actua, a national organization dedicated to promoting STEM among youth.
"It's part of our national program to reach out to Indigenous communities and youth ... and introduce them to STEM," said Doug Dokis, senior advisor for Actua's national InSTEM program.
"It's to take them on the land and help them to recognize and identify with ... Indigenous land-based knowledge and connecting [it with STEM]."
The message behind a new outdoor summer camp happening this week for students from Six Nations and the Aamjiwnaang First Nation is that Science, technology, engineering and math doesn't just happen in classrooms and labs.
The organization ran a pilot camp last year and this year is an official launch.
During the course, students are connected with local knowledge-keepers and elders and receive a high school credit for participation in the camp.
Dokis had just visited a sister camp organized by Actua in Akwesasne, a Mohawk nation on both banks of the St. Lawrence River.
He told Afternoon Drive host Chris dela Torre about how students there caught and dissected sturgeon and were instructed by a knowledge-keeper about how the spinal cord of the fish is used to make traditional lacrosse sticks.
"Kids learn better when they're involved directly with experiences on the land," Dokis said.
"Indigenous communities and people have always known this, so we've been ... developing these programs in as many communities across the country as we can."
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#Indigenous Peoples Day/Facebook;#Toronto, #JohnTory; #NationalAboriginalHistoryMonth; #FirstNations, #Inuit, #Métis; #medicinewheel, #KennRichard
Toronto, Jun 21 (Canadian-Media): Indigenous Peoples Day began this morning with the celebration of a sunrise ceremony, on Nathan Phillips Square at Toronto City Hall, media reports said.
June was declared National Aboriginal History Month In 2009 following the passing of a unanimous motion in the House of Commons.
Since then during the month of June and June 21 every year, many Indigenous people and communities celebrate their culture and heritage and recognize.
More than 200 people, including Indigenous leaders and community members, Tory and councillors, City of Toronto staff and members of the general public, attended the 5:30 a.m. ceremony on Nathan Phillips Square.
"Toronto joins cities across the country in celebrating Indigenous Peoples Day," said Mayor John Tory. "On June 21, we recognize and honour the important history, culture and outstanding contributions made by First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples to our city and to Canadian society."
The ceremony was led by Garry Sault and his Oshkaabewis (helpers), which included a sacred fire, smudging and singing with a hand drum.
the proclamation for Indigenous Peoples Day in Toronto was read by Tory.
The proclamation was then presented to Kenn Richard, Executive Director of Native Family and Child Services.
The ceremony was followed remarks from representatives of Mississaugas of the New Credit, Métis and Toronto's urban Indigenous community.
In honour of Indigenous Peoples Day, a medicine wheel, considered an emblem of North American Indigenous cultural values, tradition and spirituality was added to the Toronto sign on the square.
A new vinyl wrap resembling birch bark inlaid with symbols of significance for Indigenous communities was also added to the Toronto sign.
The latest phase of the City's Toronto for All public education campaign coincides with Indigenous Peoples Day and aims to raise awareness about Toronto's Indigenous heritage.
The campaign features a land acknowledgment statement to help to honour First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples.
The celebrations are being continued at Fort York National Historic Site with the four-day Indigenous Arts Festival, which is on now through June 24.
Performances by Indigenous artists, traditional and contemporary music, dance, visual arts, crafts and food are the the main features of the festival.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)