Local to Global 2016 – Age of Reconciliation: Restoring the Roles Women Traditionally Play – with Ellen Gabriel

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Date(s) - Wednesday, April 27, 2016
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Continuing the Dialogue on Reconciliation

Local to Global, 2016

(Photos courtesy of Hillarie Tasche, and Videos courtesy of Michael Yellowwing Kannon)

IIWR-Manitoba was pleased to bring Ellen Gabriel to Winnipeg to speak on Wednesday, April 27th to a packed venue at the Viscount Gort Hotel. Ellen spoke for over 50 minutes on the topic of reconciliation and restoring the traditional roles of women. She talked about the impact of colonization, residential schools, loss of language, the effects of which we see today. It was an educational and thought provoking evening and IIWR-Manitoba is pleased to share some resources, some of which were mentioned by Ellen Gabriel, following the presentation that will be of interest to those who attended, or who have a general interest in the topic of reconciliation.

$18,000 was raised to support the MATCH International Women’s Fund (for Indigenous women led projects); Mohawk Language Custodian Association; and Citizenship Scholarships for students studying women’s human rights at the University of Winnipeg, Global College.

Tina Keeper was the Emcee and did a wonderful job in keeping everyone on track and was welcoming to all.


Tina Keeper is a member of the Norway House Cree Nation. In addition to serving as the former Liberal MP for the Churchill riding, Tina has been involved in a variety of social issues and has starred in several works. She was the Associate Producer for “Going Home Star—Truth and Reconciliation” for the Royal Winnipeg Ballet.

Following the Opening Prayer by Pahan Pte San Win, and the welcome by Mary Scott (Co Chair, IIWR-MB) there was a spoken word performance by Mary Black, Quiet, with a drummer and dancer. This was a very powerful performance, and we are pleased to be able to link to it now. Thanks to Michael Yellowwing Kannon for the video recording and photography. A powerful piece.

Dawn Lavant followed Mary Black with a beautiful drumming song.


About our speaker: Katsi’tsakwas Ellen Gabriel (Turtle Clan, Kanien’kehá:ka Nation)


Ellen was chosen by the People of the Longhouse and her community of Kanehsatà:ke to be their spokesperson during the 1990 Siege of Kanehsatà:ke (1990 “Oka” Crisis); to protect the Pines from the expansion of a 9 hole golf course and luxury condominium development in Kanehsatà:ke For the past 25 years she has worked diligently as a human rights and environmental advocate for the collective and individual rights of Indigenous peoples and has worked diligently to sensitize the public on the history, culture and identity of Indigenous peoples.

Video – Introduction and section one of Ellen Gabriel’s presentation

Video – Continuation of Ellen Gabriel’s presentation


Ellen Gabriel’s segment begins at the 13:47 minute mark:

Ellen Gabriel’s segment begins at the 18:00 minute mark

  • The Next Chapter with Shelagh Rogers – Justice Murray Sinclair was recently appointed to Canada’s Senate.  A conversation between Sinclair and Shelagh Rogers is the concluding piece in a new book entitled In This Together: Fifteen Stories of Truth and Reconciliation. We hear part of that conversation this week on The Next Chapter.

Suggested Reading

  • At the Woods Edge, by A. Van den Hende/B. Gabriel. It is the story of Oka, and available by ordering through the Mohawk Language Custodian Association.  Here’s what they say about the book:
    “In 1990, some Kanehsatຫe community members along with other natives, made a stand to protect their land from development. The result had repercussions from coast to coast and around the world. At the Woods Edge tells the story of turmoil that led up to the Crisis of 1990. Its an anthology of the settlement since first contact. To understand what happened in 1990, you must first read; At the Woods Edge.
    The 400 page illustrated volume is the first book about the oral and written history of Kanehsatຫe written  Arlette Kawanatatie Van Den Hende, and Brenda Katlatont Gabriel Doxtator. Included, are photos and original illustrations by Katsitsakwas Ellen Gabriel. This book uses historical studies and traditional teachings to tell the story of the people of Kanehsatຫe. Its a must read! The 400 page history provides a scholarly, densely detailed and importantly native view of the 270 years of contact and conflict at Kanehsatຫe that culminated in the 1990 Oka Crisis.” Lyle Stewart, Hour Magazine
  • Sex and World Peace is available from Amazon, and you can read the review here. Sex and World Peace unsettles a variety of assumptions in political and security discourse, demonstrating that the security of women is a vital factor in the security of the state and its incidence of conflict and war.
  • Indivisible: Restoring Faith, Family, and Freedom Before It’s Too Late by James Robison, Jay W. Richards. To order and see more, click here.
  • This is an Honour Song: Twenty Years Since the Blockades; An Anthology of Writing on the “Oka Crisis” Edited by Leannie Simpson and Kiera L. Ladner. You can get copies of the book from McNally Robinson Book Sellers, Grant Park Shopping Centre, or on line.
  • Forever Loved: Exposing the Hidden Crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in Canada, Edited by D. Memee Lavell-Harvard and Jennifer Brant. Can order on line http://demeterpress.org/books/forever-loved-exposing-the-hidden-crisis-of-missing-and-murdered-indigenous-women-and-girls-in-canada/



Presentation of a Starblanket to Ellen Gabriel, with IIWR-MB board members and volunteers