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How to be an Ally: Reconciling 150 with Indigenous Calls to Action

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Centre for Social Innovation - Regent Park

3rd floor, 585 Dundas Street East

Toronto, ON M5A 2B7

Canada

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How to be an Ally: Reconciling 150 with Indigenous Calls to Action

The Centre for Social Innovation, Bear Standing Tall & Associates and Ode'Min Giizis Indigenous Full Spectrum Doula Training collaborate to present a panel conversation on "Reconciling 150 with Indigenous Calls to Action." This panel of Indigenous activists, social-spiritual entrepreneurs, artists, knowledge and wisdom keepers, survivors, and community members will examine the impacts of colonialism from the last 150 years and beyond, and discuss ways that allies can share space and support healing by building bridges and exchanging knowledge.

Recognizing the complex nature of intersectional identities, this panel acknowledges that there is no singular Indigenous experience and is meant for anyone wishing to support Indigenous individuals and communities in a meaningful and respectful manner.

Participants will have the opportunity to hear panelists speak and ask questions. To submit questions beforehand which you'd like the panelist to explore, click here.

Moderator:

Crystal Basi

Crystal is the Executive Director of the Toronto Aboriginal Support Services Council (TASSC) and has been with the organization since it’s incorporation in 2011. Through TASSC, Crystal works to support 12 local Indigenous support service agencies in a collective effort to enhance the wellbeing of Indigenous communities within Toronto.

Crystal also volunteers as a Fund Advisory Member of the Humber Community College Fund. Prior to TASSC, Crystal was the Executive Director of the Native Women’s Resource Centre of Toronto. Crystal has a Masters of Arts in Community Development & Adult Education, Bachelor of Social Work, and a Bachelor of Arts in International Development. Most especially she is the very proud mama of Neelam and Kira.

Panelists:

Jenny Blackbird

Jenny Blackbird is Nehiyaw/Suomi (Plains Cree and Finnish Canadian) and born in Alberta but raised and lives in Toronto. She is a fashion designer, an old style jingle dress dancer, hand drummer, singer, beader and multidisciplinary artist. In the 90’s Jenny worked in vintage stores in Kensington Market and on Trendy Queen St West. She was a singer in a punk band, and DJ’ed and booked shows for Rockabilly bands for 9 years.

Jenny currently works for the Ciimaan/Kahuwe'ya/Qajaq (CKQ) language initiative program at the Centre for Indigenous Studies at University Of Toronto. She organizes and hosts language related events for students such as Cree language bingo, Indigenous language games or beading. Jenny is one of the co-hosts of the Indigenous Waves radio show, Mondays 6-7 on CIUT 89.5 FM. She is also a volunteer at Aboriginal Legal Services on their community council as an advisory committee member and council member, as well as an 'Auntie' for the Giiwedin Anang (North Star in Anishinaabemowin) program.

Denise Booth McLeod

Denise Booth (McLeod) is Anishnawbe (Ojibway) and her ancestral lands are Sagamok Anishnawbek First Nation on the North Shore of Lake Huron. She has worked closely with urban Indigenous community in Toronto as the Cultural Coordinator at the Native Canadian Cultural Centre, Urban Indigenous Family Violence Prevention and Culture Coordinator at the Native Women's Resource Centre, and is currently the Indigenous & Community Engagement Coordinator at Toronto Birth Centre. She is also the co-founder of Ode'Min Giizis Indigenous Full Spectrum Doula Training program and is an instructor at the George Brown College’s Assaulted Women and Children’s Counselor and Advocate program.

Denise began her career in front line social service work in the United Kingdom working with people with intellectual disabilities. She now dedicates her time and efforts to her passion: preserving the cultures and traditions of Indigenous/Anishnawbe peoples and is committed to creating positive spaces that break down stereotypes and barriers where Indigenous peoples can be proud to self-identify. Denise is the Vice President of Street Haven at the Crossroads Board of Directors and Aboriginal Legal Services Community Council. Denise is also a proud member of Manifest Destiny's Child Comedy Collective.

Jason Rocky Carter

Jason Rocky Carter is a Nehiyaw from Onion Lake Cree Nation, Saskatchewan. He is a passionate medicine wheel facilitator, teacher and trainer. His pursuit of indigenized education began in Edmonton, AB, at Nechi Institute Centre for Indigenous Learning and found his identity in spirituality, culture and healing. He embraced his culture and began sundancing and committing his life to working across Turtle Island in healing lodges, treatment centres, detox centres, wellness centres and volunteering at elders’ gatherings to improve the quality of life for his family, community and Nation. At Brandon University, MB, he completed a Bachelor of First Nations and Aboriginal Counselling Degree. He is also certified with four levels of medicine wheel counsellor training and three levels of medicine wheel facilitator training. He moved to Toronto, Ontario to continue his Graduate degree.

For two decades, he enjoys his work in sharing the wisdom of the medicine wheel with many people and organizations across Turtle Island. Jason Rocky Carter continues to progress his passion for giving indigenous elders and spiritual leaders a voice by sharing indigenous wisdom and knowledge creating Indigenous Awareness on the intergenerational effects of Indian Residential Schools and his enthusiasm for wholistic education and training that creates balance and harmony for all of the human family and the next generations. He is the founder of Bear Standing Tall & Associates.



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What is "How to be an Ally"?

As more and more of us confront the fact that the world is not equitable for all, it is crucial for us to understand what our role is in supporting one another and together, figure out the systems and society that work for everybody.

One step that we’re taking at the Centre for Social Innovation is partnering with educators who create safe spaces for us to ask questions, challenge assumptions, learn about what makes each individual unique and complex, and what makes us one. The kinds of questions we hope to ask include, but are not limited to: How do I check my privilege? How can we engage in a conversation around identity, oppression, and colonialism? How do we learn from each other? How do we support one another?

How can I be an ally?

We have asked leaders from the CSI community and partners to speak about their lived experiences, their professional practice building bridges among communities and to share their thoughts on how someone could be their ally. This will be followed by a facilitated Q&A.

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About the cost and accessibility

The cost was a hard piece for us because we want this to be accessible to everybody, but we also wanted to honour the time of our facilitators and speakers and attach fair value to their work and ours. The cost of tickets is still reflecting a discount from both parties.

If you find the cost prohibitive, we are offering 20 subsidized tickets for this panel discussion on a first come, first serve basis. You do not need to a provide an explanation and we trust that these subsidized tickets will go to people who really require them. You can register for subsidized ticket through eventbrite. For other accomodations required to attend the workshop (i.e., tokens, child minding, etc), please email Shilbee (shilbee@socialinnovation.ca).

We’re constantly learning and exploring different ways to live up to our value of creating healthy cultures and we’re always open to feedback!

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Will there be more “How to be an Ally” events?

To get on the mailing list for How to be an Ally series and provide feedback on topics, submit your contact information by clicking here.

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Date and Time

Location

Centre for Social Innovation - Regent Park

3rd floor, 585 Dundas Street East

Toronto, ON M5A 2B7

Canada

View Map

Refund Policy

Refunds up to 7 days before event

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