Indigenous Sovereignty Week

The Deets:
Monday, November 14, 2011 – Sunday, November 27, 2011
Various Locations around Toronto – see schedule
Toronto, Mississauga of the New Credit Territory

The Call Out and Schedule:

Indigenous Sovereignty Week

(Updates to event page will happen — as schedule gets full — so stay tuned and check back here often.)


Monday, November 14: Opening Ceremony & Feast

This event will feature an Elders’ welcome, traditional Big Drum opening, talking circle, and presentation.

7 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Location TBA

Jimmy Dick (Big Drum)
Lee Maracle
Tannis Nielsen, ” The Colonial Contagion”

Tuesday, November 15: Racialized Peoples on Stolen Lands

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

6:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.
@ Beit Zatoun Community Centre, 612 Markham St. (near Bathurst Subway Stn)

Short presentations by: Seven Directions, R3 Artists’ Collective – R3, Robert Massoud, Beit Zatoun

Snacks provided. Donations accepted.

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

Endorsed by No One Is Illegal

Friday, November 18: Celebrating Community Victories — Standing up to the Harper Threat

Panel organized by: Defenders of the Land allies

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 and the United Nations Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) Articles recognized and respected for Inherent, Aboriginal and 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.

7 p.m. – 9 p.m.
@ University of Toronto Schools, 371 Bloor Street West (at Spadina Subway Stn)

(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 Moose Cree First Nation

More speakers to be announced shortly.

* This space is accessible. Please contact [email protected] 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.

Wednesday, November 23: The Justice Panel

7 p.m. – 9 p.m.
@ Native Women’s Resource Centre, 191 Gerrard Street East (Gerrard & Sherburne)

Christa Big Canoe

Thursday, November 24: The Silence is Broken: Now What?

Panel organized by: No More Silence, 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?

6:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.
@ Native Women’s Resource Centre, 191 Gerrard Street East (Gerrard/Sherbourne)

Lee Maracle

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

Spokesperson from the Native Youth Sexual Health Network, a North-America wide organization working on issues of healthy sexuality, cultural competency, youth empowerment, reproductive justice, and sex positivity by and for Native youth.

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

Faith Nolan, Singer, Songwriter & Activist

* This space is accessible.


In the spirit of community building and honouring our relationship to land and sustenance MUSKRAT Magazine, The Toronto Native Community History Project, ANDPVA, Indigenous Sovereignty Week, 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 issue!)

Special Guests Include: Community leader and teacher: Sylvia Maracle; 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 ones!

6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Location: The Native Canadian Centre of Toronto 16 Spadina Rd.

Sunday, November 27: CLOSING CIRCLE

Location and Time TBA

Facilitated by Zainab Amadahy and Lee Maracle


Background and Requests for Support:

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 for Indigenous 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 planned 2 weeks of events. Please join us in making year’s events IMMENSE.

(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 [email protected] 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 [email protected] with ‘endorsement’ in the subject line.

Please contact [email protected] 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

Thank you to Metis Youth Artist — Amanda Strong — for creating the beautiful image.


Krystalline Kraus

krystalline kraus is an intrepid explorer and reporter from Toronto, Canada. A veteran activist and journalist for, she needs no aviator goggles, gas mask or red cape but proceeds fearlessly...