Welcome! I love to write, and I love sharing what I write with my readers. I vary my style as much as I can-posting events, creative non-fiction, prose and poetry and the occasional video. Enjoy!



Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Book Review: Rabbit and Bear Paws Sacred Seven (Respect)

Waaboos Miniwaa Mkwa Ziden- Gchi-Twaa Niizhwaaswi
Mnaandendiwin- Rabbit and Bear Paws Sacred Seven

I’ve never really been drawn to graphic novels, but the graphic novels that Chad Solomon writes are fun, educational and inspirational. They are something that I wish I had had as a child growing up because I’m sure if I had had them under the right circumstances, I would have been drawn to their bright pictures, and the accessibility to the teachings behind each story he tells within them.

“Rabbit and Bear Paws- Respect” is a part of a Sacred Seven series of graphic novels for the young at heart, and is book three in a series that teach the Seven Grandfather Teachings.  The other titles in this series involve love, courage, honesty, humility, wisdom and truth.

Rabbit and Bear Paws butt heads in this graphic novel trying to understand what it means to have RESPECT for people and animals. Rabbit and Bear Paws are out collecting birch bark with their friends and see a herd of buffalo grazing not far from them.

Clover Blossom, Rabbit’s mother reminds Rabbit to keep his distance and tells him “We must respect their space, as we share this land with them.” As they are told this, Rabbit mimics the buffalo and stuffs some grass into his mouth, spits it out, and says “Blech, this tastes like musty old moccasins.”

The reader is taken on a journey as Rabbit and Bear Paws struggle to understand their place beside the buffalo and the animal world. They realize after an adventure that brings them close to disrespecting the buffalo and their space that they must show respect in order to have respect shown back to them.

I love how at the end of the story Clover Blossom asks the kids “what did you learn from today’s adventure?” because when kids read it, they are also given a teaching through characters that they can relate to. Another great thing about this Sacred Seven Series is that underneath each sentence in the story, the Ojibwa translation is there for you to read along with your kid.

Rabbit and Bear Paws Sacred Seven- Respect is an educational, funny and inspirational graphic novel written by Chad Solomon. It also comes with audio pdf PC version cd to help you and your child while reading.

The End

Mii iw!

Chad Solomon is also available to do presentations with his characters Rabbit and Bear Paws. To book and to check on availability and costs, please contact Chad Solomon.

Email:, Phone: (647) 519-2986, Web:

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Come and Rock With The JOHNNYS @ Hardrock Cafe April 15, 279 Yonge Doors Open @8pm-Done at 11:30pm

Event Posting: CIG/AEC Community Resurgence Speaker's Series: Reclaiming The Representation of Indigenous Women Friday April 25, 2014 @ Oakham House (2nd Floor) 55 Gould Street Ryerson University

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Life's Journey: Changes

Life’s Journey
By: Christine Smith (McFarlane)

So I haven’t written my column “Life’s Journey” for a while. I know I promised that I would keep up ‘Life ‘s Journey’ on my blog, after changes late last year saw my column cancelled in one of our community newsletters. Life’s Journey has been about documenting the journey my life has taken. In recent months, life has handed me many changes. Changes that have made me see that sometimes sitting down and writing can become downright difficult.

 Changes in my life have included working steadily on my first manuscript, which I can now say is done and sent out! I have been struggling with a few things that have resurfaced in my life, mainly depression and the return of an inner anxiety that has me struggling with feelings of insecurity and a sadness because one of the most important people in my life- my oldest niece has gotten to adulthood and boyfriends, and doesn’t need me as much as she used to.

Sometimes I wish she could stay a little girl forever, but I know that’s impossible. She needs to get older, and experience her own life’s journey. My niece’s 18th birthday is coming up, and it feels like just yesterday that I was playing with her, watching her in the park playing on the swings or one particular favorite memory is her running through the park with a mason jar in her hand because she wanted to catch fireflies. Those carefree days are over, as she now adjusts to adulthood.

Adjusting to change can be difficult.  I know that I’m not alone in that, but sometimes when you’re in the middle of experiencing changes, you feel like no one really understands and your reaction to that is to withdraw and isolate, even though you know that you need to do the opposite-reach out and be with people.

When I withdraw, I notice that my personal writing goes by the wayside and it becomes difficult for me to sit down and focus on just any particular thought or incident. The journey that life takes me on is one that is unpredictable. I never deal well with unpredictability because I can go from feeling elation about something that I’ve done or something a friend has done to feeling low about something.

Today, I learned of another loss in our community, and thought this would be a good time to sit down and write. I’m learning how fragile life is, and how we can take life for granted. You meet someone, or see him/her around on a daily basis and then BANG, one day you hear they’re ill. You hope that they get better, and keep a light of hope within that you’ll see them again. When it doesn’t happen, you go through a million different emotions, because you wish that you had just had more time to know them.

Tonight, I let myself cry and feel the loss our community has encountered, and then I went through the typical emotions that a loss can bring- feeling anger and sadness. Anger because someone beautiful has been taken away too soon, and anger that we have such diseases like cancer that can take someone away so quickly. I feel for this woman’s family and the community as a whole.

After I let myself cry and feel the sadness I began to realize that lately, I haven’t been letting myself genuinely feel. After I lost my favorite uncle in February, I shut myself down. I know that I’ve been feeling the emotions but I just haven’t been giving them any airtime. Not giving my feelings any airtime is not necessarily a good thing. I have learned that in order to be truly healthy, you need to let yourself feel things, and then you need to be able to slowly let them go, in order for true healing to happen.

Grieving is difficult though, no matter what. According to the “Grief Recovery Handbook: The Action Program for Moving Beyond Death, Divorce, and Other Losses,” written by John W. James and Russell Friedman it is said that “since most of us have been socialized to attempt to resolve all issues with our intellect, grief remains a huge problem.”

This is where sometimes I wish life came with an instruction booklet. Wouldn’t it be nice, if there were a booklet on how to deal with things that come our way? But then again, if it did, life would be boring, and the things we encounter in life would become predictable and there would be no learning.

Death is a hard thing to deal with. Loss or changes made in your life are two of the most stressful things you can encounter in your life’s journey, but as you go through life, you slowly learn how to deal with these things in a way that is conducive to where you are in life. That’s what life’s journey is all about.

If you are grieving, or feeling at odds about things going on in your life, don’t be afraid to reach out. To all of those out there, who may be struggling with something, I send love. I will put semaa (tobacco) down for you.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Events for April 7-11, 2013


April 7-10, 2014-2-5pm-The Native Students' Association presents: Jib Jam! The end of the year at university is always a time of hurry, stress, and studying. The Jib Jam (short for Ojibway) will be open to all students currently enrolled in ABS courses. It will take place from April 7th until April 10 at First Nations House. Snacks and refreshments will be provided, as well as a silent study room and a room where students may connect with their peers in order to relax or recover for a few hours after a hard year. Each day an academic leader will be present to provide any needed assistance with studying or editing. This Monday, the academic leaders is Min Kaur.

We hope to see you there!

April 8, 2014-2pm Graduating? First Nations House will be honouring all Aboriginal graduates. Please join us. If you are graduating and you still have not registered, please do so now by emailing   There will be a gift and certificate for all
graduates.  Even if you cannot make the event, please add your name to the
graduate list!  We include all students graduating in June AND Nov. from all
programs on all campuses including TYP and Academic Bridging. 

April 10, 2014-5pm-7pm-OISE Library-Aboriginal Knowledge(s): Colonialism, Decolonization and Education
Keynote speakers:
Janice C. Hill, Director, Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre, Queen's University, Kingston; Turtle Clan, Mohawk Nation

Verna St. Denis, Professor, College of Education, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon; Cree and Metis - Beardy's and Okemasis First Nation

A public forum sponsored by Department of Humanities, Social Sciences and Social Justice Education (HSSSJE), OISE.
INFO: C. Sinclair

April 10, 2014-7pm- Images Festival 2014- Opening Night- From Gulf to Gulf to Gulf @ the Royal Cinema, 608 College Street. Kicking off the festival at the Royal Cinema on April 10 @ 7 PM, is an intimate and epic film by the Indian collective CAMP (artists in attendance). Having screened at Experimenta Festival, FID Marseille and Documenta, we are thrilled to bring this incredible film to Toronto audiences for our opening night.

Co-presented with Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival and SAVAC.

And please join us afterwards for the Opening Night Party at The Boat (158 Augusta Avenue), starting at 9pm!!

April 11, 2014-1pm-Dione Joseph will be visiting on April 11, 2014 at 1:00pm. The title of her talk is "Poetics of Performance: Identity Politics in Contemporary Indigenous Australian Theatre"

Come check it out! Free and open to everyone. @ the Centre for Aboriginal Initiatives, Turtle Lounge, 2nd Floor 563 Spadina Avenue.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Events for April 1-4, 2014


Tuesday, April 1st- Lost Voices- Where: CBC building (250 Front St. W.), using the John St. entrance

Time: No later than 5:30pm

*When you arrive at John St entrance, look for the ticket desk with the Context sign on it.  Head there and sign in with a Context rep. We'll then get you escorted upstairs to our studio and in your seats before taping begins at 6pm.  Light refreshments will be served and we should have you on your way by 9:00pm.

Complimentary tickets are available for CBC?s Context with Lorna Dueck.  They are taping an upcoming show on April 1st where Lee Maracle is on the show!  Staff, students and anyone you feel can come to be a part of our studio audience this night. We would be happy to provide you with complimentary tickets. For your free complimentary tickets please email

Wednesday April 2, 2014-10pm- Tales From Indigo Moon. Join Enuma and Lilly Mason for a night of intimate music inspired by the luminescence and dark mystery of the Indigo Moon.

The Press Club
850 Dundas Street West
10 Pm
No Cover

Thursday April 3, 2014-6-8pm-(Mus)Interpreted Exhibition at Daniels Spectrum.
This exhibition is a collaboration between Outburst! Young Muslim Women’s Project, The Truth & Dare Project and SpeakSudan in partnership with Artscape at Daniels Spectrum. @ 585 Dundas Street East.

Opening Reception: Thursday, April 3 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. Catering will be provided by the Afghan Women’s Centre.

Closing Reception: Thursday, May 1 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm and will feature spoken word and musical performances, artist talks and presentations.

(Mus)Interpreted is free and open to the public daily (Monday to Friday, 8:00 am to 9:00 pm, Saturday to Sunday, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm) from April 3 – May 1, 2014 in the first and second floor Hallway Galleries.

Friday April 4, 2014- 11am-2pmHydro Protest at City of Kawartha Lakes Protest April 4th Kawartha Lakes - Victoria park across from Tim hortons. 11-2pm

Please support and take a stand!!! Hydro and the government must be accountable!!

Please share this with everyone on your contacts

Monday, March 24, 2014

Events for Week of March 24-29, 2014


Tuesday March 25, 2014-8pm- Spirituality and Social Justice: Spoken Word Poetry and Discussion-Come join an evening of spoken word and conversation about spirituality and its role in transforming society. @ Sammy's Student Cafe Hart House.
If you would like to share your Spoken Word Poetry, please email by Monday March 24

March 26, 2014-12pm-2pm- The Flowering: An Environmental Art Installation

@ the Multifaith Centre at the University of Toronto

Interested in building a work of art reflecting on our relationship with the Earth? Come participate!
The Flowering is a communally laboured artwork that calls on participants to come together and create something beautiful in an act of solidarity. The artwork is made by laying coloured wood-chips on the floor surface to create a large-scale design that is inspired by First Nations' floral beaded patterns. In response to contemporary environmental concerns that undermine the integrity of our human relationship to the planet, this event aims to inspire a shared reflection through our embodied, creative action. Where do we, as humans, see ourselves within our natural environment? How does this relate to our spirituality or cosmology? How can our actions reflect this relationship to planet Earth?

Communal Creation: 12pm-2pm Wed March 26. Viewing from: 2 pm Wed Mar 26 until 2 pm Thurs Mar 27

March 26, 2014-12-2pm- Racial Diversity in law schools and the legal profession. Join us for lunch and a conversation on racial diversity in law schools and the legal profession.
This event is free and open to all undergraduate, graduate and current JD
students/alumni. Lunch will be provided and served at 12pm. The discussion
will begin promptly at 12:30pm, please arrive on time. Registration is

Location:  Northrop Frye Hall Room 113
Cost: Free (including lunch)

Register today!

March 26, 2014-Thunderbird Market Place @ The Spring 2014 One of a Kind Show

Visitors of the Thunderbird Marketplace at the Spring One of a Kind Show will find a variety of exceptional and unique work. Handcrafted designs by 12 Aboriginal creators selected through a jury process will be featured in the largest consumer craft show in North America. One of a Kind Spring Show Info:

From edgy jewelry and chic clothing designs to innovative accessories, crafts and visual art…. Visitors of the Thunderbird Marketplace at the Spring One of a Kind Show will find a variety of exceptional and unique work. Handcrafted designs by 12 Aboriginal creators selected through a jury process will be featured in the largest consumer craft show in North America.

Representing a diversity of Aboriginal nations, the artists’ individual work is inspired by deep cultural roots, expressed in contemporary artistic forms. Thunderbird Marketplace is honoured to feature the following 12 artists:
• Jay Bell Redbird - visual art • Jimson Bowler - silversmith/jewelry art • Elizabeth Doxtator - corn husk dolls/visual art • Ryan Hill - sculpture • Erika Iserhoff - leather accessories • Alana McLeod - textile • Mike Ormsby - visual art • Sage Paul - clothing design • Mary Pheasant – accessories/bead/porcupine quill • Louise Solomon - goldsmith/jewelry • Naomi Smith – accessories/bead/textile • Tracy Toulouse – clothing/appliqué design
Sponsored by Miziwe Biik Aboriginal Employment and Training. Presented by the Thunderbird Aboriginal Arts, Culture and Entrepreneur Centre - - in partnership with Denise Bolduc, bullDUKE Productions.
With over 60,000 shoppers and 450 artists, 2014 celebrates the 36th anniversary of the Spring One of a Kind show. This flagship market at the Spring One of a Kind Show provides these 12 Aboriginal creators valuable industry access and exposure to a broad consumer audience. For additional information of Thunderbird Marketplace and the featured artists, please contact:

March 26, 2014-Olivia Chow for Mayor Debate Viewing Party-Join the Olivia Chow team at The Firkin on Yonge to watch the first televised mayoral debate! Come out to this free event and cheer on Olivia with fellow supporters.
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
5:00 - 8:00 p.m.
The Firkin on Yonge - upstairs
207 Yonge Street (between Queen and Dundas)
TTC: Queen subway station, walk north
Wheelchair accessible.
More on the debate: CityNews will host the first televised debate of the 2014 mayoral election on Wednesday, March 26.
All five major candidates have confirmed their participation: Olivia Chow, Rob Ford, David Soknacki, Karen Stintz and John Tory.
Hosted by anchor Gord Martineau, the debate broadcast will run from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. on City,, the CityNews app and

March 28, 2014- 1pm-3pm-Two Spirit Identity Community and History Webinar-Join us for a discussion about two-spirited identity, community and history, with
Albert McLeod, Two-Spirited People of Manitoba Dr. Alex Wilson, University of Saskatchewan
Moderated by Krysta Williams, The Native Youth Sexual Health Network
As part of the Two-Spirited Roundtable Discussion Series, Re:Searching for LGBTQ Health at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. Three Fires and Six Nations Territory, Toronto ON.

To sign on to the webinar, Friday March 28 at 1pm:

Adobe Flash® Player 10.3 is the minimum requirement for attending meetings. For best performance, get the latest version here:
Connect to the webinar:
For SOUND only
Dial: 1-800-509-6600
Enter Participant PIN: 748576#
Use *1 to mute/unmute your line
For best experience, call into the teleconference for sound AND join the webinar through your computer for visuals.

Saturday March 29, 2014-12pm-5pm-6th Annual Four Sacred Colours Pow Wow @ George Brown College- Waterfront Campus

The Sahkitcheway Aboriginal Student Association of George Brown College is proud to once again host our annual celebration of culture. Please join us at our Pow Wow for dancing, live music and a feast.