We own these stories. The marrow.
Please join us on Friday, March 25 for “Ni tipeyihtenan ōhi acimōwina | We own these stories. The Marrow. A Conversation with Sky Dancer about Writing and Righting Our Truth and Place in Canada”. This virtual event is presented by the Indigenous Initiatives Speakers Series. REDI is honored to welcome Louise Bernice Halfe – Sky Dancer, Parliamentary Poet Laureate.
The event will be recorded and the recording will be made available on redi.med.ubc.ca
Indigenous writing is mostly informed by personal experience as a member of an immediate and extended – often times large though tightly knit families. It’s also shaped by our connection to each other by order of importance – my tribe, my relatives, all surrounding First Nations, all Indigenous peoples in BC and Canada, and all Indigenous peoples anywhere in the world. In our communities, who one’s relations are and what roles one plays in one’s extended family say much about who one is. It is this unique affiliation that has created insights for all who to wish to better understand the cultural and political aspirations of Indigenous peoples.
These stories are a cumulative tear, a ceremonial gathering. That is why we sing, dance, and pray. Sôhkêyihta.
Louise Bernice Halfe – Sky Dancer has uplifted and deepened this experience from the roots of her ancient teachings to that of a collective spirit through her poetry and stories. In her own words from Sôhkêyihta: The Poetry of Sky Dancer Louise Bernice Halfe she eloquently inspires us to “Have courage. Be brave. Be strong. Sôhkêyihta is a gentle, commanding word used to encourage people to stand strong while they face adversity. In order to move forward one must have the stamina, sometimes, to excise the oozing infection of a wound. I believe all that I have written has been about that excavation. Therefore, I encourage readers to stay grounded as they encounter their own shadows, or their own truths, in these stories. I walk. I meditate. Wrestle. I’ve pulled out my heart, wrung and strung it on the clothesline. These stories are a cumulative tear, a ceremonial gathering. That is why we sing, dance, and pray. Sôhkêyihta.”
“We own these stories. The marrow.” They are the core of all that we are in an ongoing effort to right and write our truth and place in Canada. We invite you to join the conversation, and in so doing, let’s create a language that is generous of understanding and compassion about the redress of what we believe ourselves to be – as Indigenous peoples, and as Canadians.
Please note that this event will not have a Q&A portion but the REDI office is happy to receive questions at firstname.lastname@example.org
Topic: Ni tipeyihtenan ōhi acimōwina | We own these stories. The Marrow. A Conversation with Sky Dancer about Writing and Righting Our Truth and Place in Canada
Date: Friday, March 25, 2022
Time: 12:00 – 1:30 pm PDT
Louise Bernice Halfe - Sky Dancer was raised on the Saddle Lake Reserve and attended the Blue Quills Indian Residential School. Louise is married, has two adult children and three grandsons. She graduated with a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Regina. She also completed two years of Addictions Counselor Training at St. Albert’s Nechi Institute where she also facilitated the program. She served as Saskatchewan’s Poet Laureate for two years and has traveled extensively for her poetics and to present at numerous conferences. Her books include Bear Bones and Feathers, Blue Marrow, The Crooked Good, Burning In This Midnight Dream, Sôhkêyihta, and awâsis: kinky and dishevelled. She has received numerous accolades and awards including honorary doctorates from Wilfred Laurier University, the University of Saskatchewan, and Mount Royal University. She currently serves as the national Parliamentary Library Poet Laureate.
Louise also serves as an Elder or Knowledge Keeper at the University of Saskatchewan and the Saskatchewan Health Authority. She actively participates in cultural and ceremonial activities relevant to her Plains Cree culture.
Learn more about Louise Bernice Half - Sky Dancer here
Derek Thompson – Thlaapkiituup is an advisor in the Faculty of Medicine Office of Respectful Environments, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (REDI). Thlaapkiituup is from the diitiidʔaaʔtx̣ – Ditidaht First Nation, one of fourteen Nuuchahnulth Nations on the west coast of Vancouver Island. As the REDI Indigenous Initiatives Advisor, Derek will provide leadership and support across the Faculty to help create and sustain learning and work environments based on standards of cultural safety and humility, and that will address Indigenous specific racism and discrimination. Derek will promote inclusion of an Indigenous perspective in all Faculty initiatives. Derek will also work closely with the Director, Indigenous Engagement to implement the Faculty’s response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action in a way that will best reciprocate the formal commitments made to Indigenous peoples for a better and just future. This important work will also create opportunities for students, staff and faculty to engage with Indigenous people and communities in meaningful ways, and to begin anew the creation of redressing what we believe ourselves to be – as Indigenous peoples, and as Canadians.
Read the Message from the Indigenous Initiatives Advisor
What Will I Learn?
You will learn about the need for creative and meaningful connections with Indigenous peoples.
“The time to make things happen is now. The time to seek out our individual and shared power is now.”
Learn more about REDI’s Indigenous Initiatives here
Discover more about REDI’s Indigenous Initiatives Speakers Series here
Find REDI’s Indigenous-Specific Resources here