rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

Pow Wow at York University and the ongoing CUPE strike

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support rabble.ca for as little as $5 per month!

Hello everyone,

I have been asked a few times about the upcoming All Nations Pow Wow and how attendance is figured into the ongoing strike action at York University.

For those of you who don't yet know, York University (as well as the University of Toronto) Teaching Assistants are on strike as members of CUPE 3903.

This has created some confusion online as people want to support the striking students while also attending the 13th annual All Nations Pow Wow coming up this weekend.

Mike Ormsby commented, "As much as I want to support the 13th Annual All Nations Pow Wow & Gathering: Celebrating Indigeneity & Academia, I want to also support the CUPE 3903 strike. I am not keen on crossing picket lines....and yes, I understand that the picket lines are down by Thursday's opening and all day Saturday as well....but it is the principle involved.

But even if the picket lines are 'down' the strike is still on....and I want to show my support for CUPE too. I'm sure others must feel this too. As I understand things, the male head dancer is also one of those walking the picket line. So while I understand "the show must go on"....which part of me wonders why?....the other part of me wants to go. So I'm not saying that I'm not going....I'm just not sure what I should do," he said.

Jesse Thistle posted this to their Facebook about an hour ago, letting people know about the status of the Pow Wow: "CUPE has allowed for and sanctioned Pow Wow traffic to enter university grounds only at SENTINEL ROAD from FINCH STREET. The Aboriginal Students' Association at York (ASAY) and OPIRG stand in solidarity with CUPE. All other avenues into York University grounds will cross picket lines. Those who come to Pow Wow DO NOT USE ANY OTHER ENTRANCE. As good community members please respect CUPE and ASAY's agreement."

Here you can find a map so you can orientate yourself accordingly.

Of the Pow Wow, "This year's theme, 'Breaking Intergenerational Trauma: Motivation, Inspiration, Dedication from the 7th Generation,' was established with the purposeful intention to celebrate and honour the healing, restoration and resurgence of indigenous knowledge, ceremonies, peoples, communities, nations and all their relations, and, specifically, the role that young indigenous learners play in shaping the future."

The Pow Wow runs for three days starting March 5 to March 7, 2015; with Grand Entry on Saturday March 7 at 12:00 noon.

For more information, please visit here.

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.