Indigenous Sovereignty Week 2011: Upcoming Highlights and Events


Catch the remaining Indigenous Sovereignty Week events in Edmonton and Toronto, where community organizers are taking the opportunity to celebrate land struggle victories and strategize future movement through panels, circle talks, art, film, and food.

Indigenous Sovereignty Week: November 2011

The Third Annual Indigenous Sovereignty Week launched this past Monday, but don't worry my sovereign people, events span into next week. Called for by the Defenders of the Land, a network of First Nations in land struggle, here is a full list of the remaining events for the urban centres: Edmonton and Toronto. Take this as an opportunity to educate and stimulate discussion on community victories, recent and historic, while looking forward to discuss how best to organize against the threat to Indigenous Peoples posed by Harper’s anti-Indigenous rights agenda.

Lets not forget the communities currently fighting their land struggles during Indigenous Sovereignty Week. The Unist’ot’en and the Likhts’amisyu clans of the Wet’suwet’en Nation have set up a roadblock evicting the Pacific Trails Pipeline drillers and their equipment from their territories. And the Tsilhqot'in are in court seeking an injunction to halt drilling and road building for the replacement Taseko mining project they defeated in environmental assessments last year. And many many more, quietly defending their way of life across Turtle Island.

Indigenous Sovereignty Week  in Edmonton – Occupied Amiskwaciwâskahikan, will kick off next Monday with an sharing circle celebrating Indigenous Womyn Warriors. Melina Laboucan-Massimo, Lubicon Cree and ISW Ed organizer asserts:

"I think it is important for us to take the time to acknowledge the inspiring work that Indigenous woman have done and continue doing for our communities. Many times woman do not get the recognition for their hard and selfless work that they do for their community"

Monday, November 21st  2011 Edmonton Room of the downtown branch of the Edmonton Public Library Opening Feast and Indigenous Womyn Warriors sharing Circle 5pm-8pm

Indigenous womyn and men sharing the stories of the Indigenous Womyn who came before us and who paved the path for Indigenous Rights today. Who are they? Where do they come from? Who are the descendants of these warriors?

Tuesday – November 22nd, 2011 Telus Room 219, U of A Film Screening and Panel: Club Native by Tracey Deer 6pm – 9pm

In Club Native, Deer looks deeply into the history and present-day reality of Aboriginal identity. With moving stories from a range of characters from her Kahnawake Reserve she reveals the divisive legacy of “blood quantum” ideals, snobby attitudes and outright racism.

Wednesday – November 23rd, 2011 Occupy Edmonton (102 St and Jasper Ave) ** Urgent NOTICE: If Occupy Edmonton is evicted this evening. We will unfortunately have to move the event to: 9425 109A Avenue, Edmonton Boys & Girls Club History of Corporate/ Economic Interests and Involvement in the colonization of Turtle Island 6pm – 8pm

Indigenous peoples in Canada, the United States and throughout the Americas hold valuable land and water resources that have long been exploited by the provincial, state and federal governments and by corporations trying to meet the energy needs of an industrialized world.

Thursday – November 24th, 2011 Education Building South 113, U of A Authors of Our Own Stories: The Fiction of Anti-Racism Experts 4:30pm – 6pm

This discussion is a conscientious and true analysis of anti-racism work within the non-racialized, non-profit sector, based on the lived experiences of racialized women. Panel: Junetta Jamerson, Jacqueline Fayant, and Tina Bernard.

Friday – November 25th, 2011 9702 111 Ave. NW - Gallery Space of HIV Edmonton Warriors Wisdom! Music, Poetry and Dance for Indigenous Rights and Sovereignty 7pm – 10pm

If you are an artist, performer or dancer and would like to celebrate Warrior Wisdom, this is a chance to showcase your talent and show your support.

you can check out complete event info on their website :


Indigenous Sovereignty Week in Toronto started last Monday but due to the homecoming of the Canadian Aboriginal Festival Pow Wow they will be hosting events up until their closing circle on Sunday November, 27.

Friday - November 18, 2011 Room 2215, OISE. 252 Bloor Street W, at Bedford exit of St. George subway Celebrating Community Victories - Standing up to the Harper Threat 7pm – 9pm

Panel organized by: Defenders of the Land supporters featuring Russell Diabo, Pamela Palmater, and Randy Kapashesit. Chaired by Sylvia Plain. Other speakers TBA.

Tuesday- November 22, 2011 York University, Room 242, York Lanes Deconstructing Identity Barriers: Aboriginal Women’s Sharing Circle 12:00-3:00 pm

Our sharing circle seeks to bring forth personal experiences of identity barriers, as Aboriginal women, 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. Facilitated by Erin Konsmo.

Ryerson Student Centre (55 Gould St.)  room: SCC 115 KI Speak About Their Struggle to Protect Scared Areas From Mining Exploration 7:00 p.m.

Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI) Chief Donny Morris and John Cutfeet, Spokesperson, will be speaking on their current struggle against further mining encroachment into their traditional territories.  Join us in this rare opportunity to hear directly from KI leaders about their struggle to control and care for their Homeland.

Wednesday- November 23, 2011 University of Toronto Multi-Faith Centre Criminalization of Indigenous Peoples 7pm – 9pm

Christa Big Canoe: 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, 2011 Native Women’s Resource Centre, 191 Gerrard Street East Panel : The Silence is Broken: Now What? 6:30pm – 9pm

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? With Lee Maracle, Darlene Ritchie, Wanda Whitebird, and Faith Nolan. 

Friday - Novmber 25, 2011 Beit Zatoun, 612 Markham Street Curated artwork and Discussion: A Colonial Contagion 6:00pm - 9:00pm

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.

Some of the artists/activists works presented; Terrance Houle, 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.

Presentations will be followed with a recorded discussion begging the questions: What is the dream? What is the action? Past successes, present needs and future strategies. Presenters / Facilitation-Tannis Nielsen and Zainab Amadahy

Saturday - November 26, 2011 Native Canadian Centre of Toronto Muskrat Magazine Launch: The Food Issue 6:00pm - 8:30pm

In the spirit of community building and honouring our relationship to land and sustenance we invite you to feast with us! BRING a "Traditional" dish to share. 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!

Sunday - November 27, 2011 Location and time will be announced at ISW events. Closing Circle

Advising elder: Lee Maracle

Organizing committee: Zainab Amadahy, Mike Barber, Andrea Bastien, Craig Fortier, Audrey Huntley, Tannis Nielsen, Shiri Pasternak, Hannah Peck, Corvin Russell, Crystal Sinclair, Aman Sium, Rebeka Tabobondung

You can check out full event info at