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Nov/14/2011 - 1:00 am


NOTE: Because of the move of the pow-wow back to Toronto on Nov. 19-20, ISW will be spread out over 2 weeks this year.

Monday, November 14
6.30pm – 9pm
Native Canadian Centre of Toronto

Opening Ceremony

This event will feature an Elders’ welcome, traditional Big Drum opening, and open mic. Come early for the feast.

Eagle Heart Drum
Lee Maracle (Stó:l?)
Roger Obonsawin (Abenaki)

Emcee: Tannis Nielsen (Cree)

Tuesday, November 15
6.30pm – 9pm
@ Beit Zatoun Community Centre, 612 Markham St. (near Bathurst Subway Stn)

Racialized Peoples on Stolen Lands

This event will feature sharing circles on relationship building across Indigenous and other racialized communities.

Do you identify as racialized and/or Indigenous? Do you think building relationships among our communities is important?

This sharing circle will be an opportunity for us to respectfully discuss:

What work have you have or your organizations done to build healthy relationships across our communities?
Why is this work important?
What are some of the challenges of working across our communities? What are the rewards?
What are our roles and responsibilities to each other on Turtle Island?

Short presentations by:

Seven Directions: a Turtle Island-based community of Indigenous peoples and those who support Indigenous efforts to protect our respective lands and land-based cultures. We are committed to working towards these goals in Turtle Island (The Americas), and globally.

R3 Artists’ Collective - R3: (Roots Rhythms Resistance) is an artists’ collective recovering indigenous roots and resisting colonial oppression through music, dance, visual art and theatre for and by marginalized peoples, with a particular focus on QueerIndigenous and Queer communities of colour. R3's main initiative currently is a series of educational, fundraising events that provide a platform for socially conscious artists to collaborate with one another, showcase their work, and utilize art itself as a vehicle for decolonization and political intervention. Funds raised are divided between the African Reparations Fund and Turtle Island Reparations Fund, to support decolonization work in Africa and North America.

Robert Massoud, Beit Zatoun: Robert is a Palestinian-Canadian born in Jerusalem and immigrated to Canada with his family at age six. In spring 2004, he founded Zatoun as a registered non-profit, volunteer organization with a goal to build a direct bridge between Palestine and North America using olive oil to serve as a symbol of light, hope and peace. Robert was awarded the 2004/05 YMCA Peace Medallion for Toronto by the YMCA of Greater Toronto. Zatoun was selected as a 2007 finalist for the "Leonardo daVinci Award for Creativity & Innovation" in the community category (

Snacks provided. Donations accepted.

* Beit Zatoun is wheelchair accessible, but its bathrooms are not.

Endorsed by No One Is Illegal

Friday, November 18
7pm – 9pm
@ Room 2215, OISE. 252 Bloor Street W, at Bedford exit of St. George subway (NOTE CHANGE OF VENUE)

Celebrating Community Victories - Standing up to the Harper Threat

Panel organized by: Defenders of the Land supporters

Russell Diabo will be discussing big picture of the war against First Nations in Canada. He will discuss the challenges of getting rid of the Indian Act and having section 35 & the United Nations Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) Articles recognized and respected for Inherent, Aboriginal & Treaty Rights implementation.

Pamela Palmater will discuss her recent work analyzing Bill S-2, regarding matrimonial property rights on reserve, which, as she writes, “will have a significant impact not only on the nature and legal status of reserve lands generally, but specifically in relation to who can hold, occupy, use and benefit from reserve lands.” Palmater has learned that this bill could lead to the elimination of many bands in Canada over the next 75 years.

(Chair) Sylvia Plain, Aamjiwnaang First Nation, Water Walker

Russell Diabo, Policy Consultant for the Algonquin Nation Secretariat, Editor and Publisher of the First Nations Strategic Bulletin

Pamela Palmater, Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Governance, Ryerson University

Randy Kapashesit, Chief of the MoCreebec Council of the Cree Nation

More speakers to be announced shortly.

* This space is accessible. Please contact to arrange for access to elevators from the side building entrance. We will also have people on hand to accommodate drop-ins throughout the event.

Tuesday Nov. 22nd
12:00-3:00 pm
@ York University, Room 242, York Lanes.

Deconstructing Identity Barriers: Aboriginal Women’s Sharing Circle

Facilitated by Erin Konsmo

As Aboriginal women, we experience challenges unique to our cultural identity and sexuality on a constant and public basis. We believe that these challenges compromise achieving indigenous sovereignty for our Nations. Our sharing circle seeks to bring forth personal experiences of identity barriers by articulating our opinions in a group setting, addressing the fear of further marginalization and by critically challenging the public value of the “expert’s” perspective over our own. We acknowledge the power imbalances that are unique to Aboriginal women and our objective is to formulate individualized strategies to empower each other, as Aboriginal women, in the deconstruction of identity barriers and in constructing of ourselves.

Please note that our facilitator is not equipped to counsel individual cases of trauma.

This is an accessible location.

A light lunch will be served and tokens provided, if needed.

Ryerson Student Centre (55 Gould St.) SCC 115

Support KI First Nation; Kanaawayandan D'aaki! Protect the KI Homeland

In 2008 Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI) Chief Donny Morris went to jail for refusing to allow mining exploration his community feared would contaminate their water supply. The remote First Nation community succeeded in fighting off mining exploration by Platinex, but now a gold exploration company has staked claims directly on top of sacred KI burials. Ontario continues to violate KI’s right to say ‘no’ to mining exploration on their Homeland.

KI First Nation has governed and cared for the Homeland, Kitchenuhmaykoosib Aaki, that is at the core of their culture since time before memory. This vast area of boreal lakes, rivers, forests, and wetlands provides KI’s pristine water supply, the lake trout the community rely upon, and their sacred landscape. KI has a vision for the future of their lands and environment that benefits both KI and all life.

Join us in this rare opportunity to hear directly from KI leaders about their struggle to control and care for their Homeland.

Kanaawayandan d'aaki!

Wednesday, November 23
7pm – 9pm
Location: University of Toronto Multi-Faith Centre

Criminalization of Indigenous Peoples

Christa Big Canoe, Legal Advocacy Director, Aboriginal Legal Services: Speaking on the impacts of Harper's Omnibus crime bill on Indigenous peoples in Canada.
Jules Koostachin, Elisabeth Fry: speaking on the over-incarceration and criminalization of Indigenous women and girls

Thursday, November 24
6:30pm – 9pm
@ Native Women’s Resource Centre, 191 Gerrard Street East (Gerrard/Sherbourne)

The Silence is Broken: Now What?

Panel organized by: No More Silence and Native Women’s Resource Centre

Where should the energy of groups like No More Silence be focused? How do we best continue to raise awareness around the disappearance of Indigenous women and create conditions that stop the violence?

Lee Maracle

Darlene Ritchie, Executive Director, At^losha Native Family Healing Services, London Ontario

Wanda Whitebird, Women's Outreach/Support Services, Ontario Aboriginal HIV/AIDS Strategy

Faith Nolan, Singer, Songwriter & Activist

* This space is accessible.

Friday, November 25
6:00pm - 9:00pm
@Beit Zatoun, 612 Markham Street Toronto, ON M6G 2L8

A Colonial Contagion
This event will present- an overview of the context of the Indigenous arts of the Americas, to exemplify the similarities amongst colonial, capitalist, imperial, neo-liberal strategies, that have acted as a type of “disease” amongst our communities.

The intent of this event, is predicated by the idea that by sharing our stories in text, art and audio, we may recognize each other and begin to unify; in solidarity –to honor the diversity amongst our memories, as we work towards building an Indigenousencyclopedia of emancipatory strategies.

Format of Presentation

+ The “Diagnosis” (Battiste)
The birth, lineage and legacy of colonization
Its persona, (through media)
Its ill effects / symptoms

+ Participatory Prescriptions, and Pedagogies
How do we find a cure?
“The stages of decolonization”(burgess)
The multiple modes, of implementation

Group discussion (to be recorded) - Emancipatory strategy
What is the dream?
What is the action?
Past successes
Present need
Future strategies

Some of the artists/activists works presented; Rebecca Belmore, Robert Houle, Edgar Heap of Birds, Alfred YoungMan, Joanne Cardinal Schubert, Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun, James Luna, Guillermo Gomez Pena, Diego Rivera, - Jacques Louis David, John Gast, Thomas Cole and Edward Curtis

special thanks to Terrance Houle for generously allowing us to borrow his image titled "Trails End / End Trails"

note-Indigenous art work- contains so much more, than what will be discussed here-for the purposes of Indigenous Sovereignty Week

**** WARNING ****** the presentation contains graphic images and the portrayal of tragic events-but will end-with a balanced discussion of POSITIVE Participation, a discussion of healing and dreaming, faith in future possibilities

Presenters / Facilitation-Tannis Nielsen and Zainab Amadahy

Saturday November 26
6:00pm - 8:30pm
Native Canadian Centre of Toronto

Muskrat Magazine Launch

In the spirit of community building and honouring our relationship to land and sustenance MUSKRAT Magazine, The Toronto Native Community History Project,Indigenous Sovereignty Week, ANDPVA and The Accidental Caterer invite you to feast with us!!

BRING a "Traditional" dish to share (WHATEVER TRADITIONAL MEANS TO YOU- it may be featured in our next food issue!)
Special Guests Include: Elder: Jan Longboat; Community leader and teacher: Sylvia Maracle; Performance artist: Cheryl L’Hirondelle; Entertainer: Glen Gould; Poet: Giles Benaway and...a sneak peak of MUSKRAT's upcoming FOOD issue!

Bring home a new read from the Toronto History Project's booksale!
ANDPVA will lead children's craft activities so bring your little artists!
Bring your own utensils!

Sunday, November 27

Closing Circle

Location and time will be announced at ISW events.

Advising elder: Lee Maracle

Organizing committee: Zainab Amadahy, Mike Barber, Andrea Bastien, Craig Fortier (No One Is Illegal - Toronto), Audrey Huntley, Tannis Nielsen, Shiri Pasternak, Hannah Peck (No One Is Illegal - Toronto), Corvin Russell, Crystal Sinclair, Aman Sium (No One Is Illegal - Toronto), Rebeka Tabobondung

NEARBY community events happening during ISW

LauraLee K. Harris exhibit at the Collingwood Public Library - “nibi anishinabe kwewag - Water and the Women of the Original People” - throughout November
@The Collingwood Public Library, 55 Ste. Marie Street, Collingwood ~ 705 445-1571
nibi anishinabe kwewag: Water and the Women of the First Peoples combines LauraLee Harris’ own poems with her paintings on wood.

“I work on wood using the grains to bring out imagery, and from this intuitive work I find meaning from the symbols that present themselves from an anishinabe cultural perspective and these works are put into words,” says Harris.

The exhibit shares how the Anishinaabekwewag made a promise to their Creator, in the beginning of Creation, to care for the water connected to the orb of life within them. Now the water is being poisoned and over 580 Anishinaabe women in Canada are missing or murdered.

“It is through the trees I paint on that I hope to educate and raise awareness to the life forces we were given, that the anishinabe have been protecting for over thirty thousand years, striving to keep the life from being destroyed.”


For the third year in a row Defenders of the Land (DoL) has issued a call to First Nations / Indigenous communities and supporters across Canada to host a week of events celebrating Indigenous Sovereignty.

The purpose of Indigenous Sovereignty Week is to gather with the intention of building local relationships among groups and individuals around the dissemination of ideas of Indigenism as well as to contribute to building a cross-Canada movement forIndigenous rights, self-determination and justice that is led by Indigenous communities but with a broad base of informed support.

The theme for ISW 2011 is Celebrating Community Victories - Standing up to the Harper Threat.

In response to this call the Toronto ISW Council has planned a week of events and invites organizations and groups across the GTA to host join us, to make this year the best year ever. You can also support us in the following ways:

(1) PROVIDE FINANCIAL SUPPORT: Most of our funds are dedicated to providing gifts to Elders and traditional performers. Please support the organizing by sending cheques payable to "Indigenous Sovereignty and Solidarity Network" to 1034 College St W., Toronto, ON, M6H 1A9.

(2) VOLUNTEER: If you are able to poster, help do event setup or clean up, please email Please write ‘volunteer’ in the subject line and you will be contacted closer to the date.

(3) ENDORSE: Please endorse the event and forward announcements to your membership. Just email with ‘endorsement’ in the subject line.

Please contact for more information or to submit your event.

Toronto ISW Council adheres to the process of governance and other principles outlined in the “The Defenders of the Land - Basis of Unity” which can be found at

Non-Indigenous supporters / “allies” may wish to familiarize themselves with “The Supporters -Basis of Unity” found at