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, May 13, 2015

Please help fund this very important documentary "The Sixties Scoop: A Hidden Generation"

Press Release: Sixties Scoop: A Hidden Generation
 by Colleen Hele

May 12, 2015

My name is Colleen and I am the daughter of a residential school survivor, family member of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and I am also a Sixties Scoop adoptee.
If you haven’t heard of the Sixties Scoop, don’t worry, you’re not alone. The Sixties Scoop is a term that is used to describe an extension of the residential school system in which Indigenous children were literally scooped from their families by colonial child welfare authorities and adopted into non-Indigenous families across Turtle Island and overseas.
What this means is that I, and an estimated 20,000 other adoptees, grew up dislocated not only from our families, but from our land, culture and traditions. On a practical level, due to sealed adoption records, many of us do not know how to find or reconnect with our biological families or learn about our medical histories. As the name suggests, the majority of adoptions occurred during the 1960s, but these adoptions began in the 1950s and were carried out as recently as the 1980s.
Two civil action lawsuits have been filed by Sixties Scoop adoptees, and they are part of a growing movement to seek accountability and compensation for our loss of culture. Perhaps even more importantly, many of us continue to seek connection and healing. That is why, over the past few years, I have been working to connect with other adoptees so that we can come together to heal, repatriate, seek answers, and educate others. It is an exciting time for us. Our movement is building momentum and we sincerely hope that you will help us make history by contributing to healing, and education about this “hidden generation”.
There are many ways you can get involved:

1)     Donate to our GoFundMe Campaign. In July 2015 my son and I will be traveling with a documentary film crew (Skylarc Pictures) by van from Ottawa to Edmonton, with stops along the way in Regina, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, and Sault Ste. Marie. In each stop we will be connecting with and interviewing other Indigenous adoptees, Elders, and youth about their experiences of being raised in non-Indigenous households, finding their biological families, and healing from loss of culture and identity. The film will be told from the viewpoint of my son Sage who has been impacted by the trauma and violence I've endured. We know that it will be a powerful journey and an important tool for education. Help us reach our goal of raising $15,000 to produce this film! Every little bit helps.

Visit to read more about the project and check out the awesome prizes attached to every reward level!

2)   Host us in your community’s spaces during our Speaking Tour. As part of our strategy to heighten awareness about the Sixties Scoop and raise funds for the documentary, we are asking universities and community organizations across Canada to sponsor us into their spaces. We want to foster a meaningful dialogue around support systems for Indigenous adoptees, our families, and our communities, on our path towards healing.

3)   In-Kind Sponsorship. We would love to hear from anyone who thinks they may be able to provide in-kind support to our project, e.g. providing meals, transportation, accommodations, medicines, equipment and services.

4) Forward this message far and wide within your networks!
For more information or to support this initiative please visit our 

Please contact us if you would like to make a donation by cheque.
In solidarity,
Colleen Cardinal

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

PRESS RELEASE-Be Iconic Entertainment Announces Launch

Be Iconic Entertainment Announces Launch Empowerment Talented Youth Trying to Break into the Entertainment Industry

For a talented youth even with motivation and a positive minded family breaking into the entertainment industry can be very difficult.  One way to dramatically improve the chances of getting a shot is working with the recently launched organization, Be Iconic Entertainment, who specializes in helping youth to achieve their dreams in the entertainment world, and are having huge early success.

May 12, 2015

To break into the entertainment industry it takes many things to fall into place, some of which are very difficult for someone outside the industry to plan for or appreciate.  This applies to talented youth even more so, in the eyes of many experts, than it does adults.  Fortunately, there's now a new entertainment organization launched with the goal of empowering and directing talented youth into the entertainment world in a way that's safe, fulfilling and educational, Be Iconic Entertainment.  Led by Fallon Moreno, the new organization is off to a very fast start having success in helping youth get real opportunities in entertainment and make the most of them.

“Entertainment and helping youth are two passions we possess here so founding Be Iconic Entertainment came naturally,” commented Moreno, who is the CEO of the group.  “The youth are our future and we firmly believe if they have the talent and they dream it and believe it, they can achieve it!    We act as mentors, help develop skills and provide guidance. It's a huge advantage over going solo and can be a life changer for a youth in trouble.”

According to Be Iconic Entertainment, they are fully capable and enthusiastic about working with kids who dance, sing, rap, play music, act or do any other entertainment industry related skill.  For kids it's a huge confidence booster to get real mentors and guidance from those who have “been there” and “done that”.  Each youth is treated with the utmost respect they deserve, and shown total attention.  Moreno himself, has been widely praised for his ability to inspire youth, to a degree that almost seems magical.  It's a safe bet many passing through Be Iconic Entertainment now, with be the absolute A-list superstars of the future.

Be Iconic Entertainment are happy to always accept applications, containing a bio, photo and other important information, and accept good fits into the organization very frequently.  Moreno especially appreciates working with “at risk” youth, doing his part to help communities become better places one talented and motivated youth, at a time.

Feedback from families has been amazing about the results they have see Be Iconic Entertainment produce with their children.

J.H., a mother of a talented young singer, recently said,  “It's been amazing seeing our child coming into their own working with Be Iconic Entertainment.  Truly wonderful people, who have made the whole process fun and exciting.  They have given her a huge amount of confidence she was lacking and now we all see the sky is the only limit!  Thank you so much Be Iconic!”

For more information be sure to visit or email


Monday, May 11, 2015


By: Christine Smith (McFarlane)

GOD AND THE INDIAN is an emotional play that is not so much about residential schools but about an abused woman meeting her abuser, and wanting a confession for the wrongs that were done to her.

In the first scene in GOD AND THE INDIAN Anglican Bishop George King receives a huge surprise while at his office one day, when Johnny the Indian knocks at his office door and barges in accusing him of abuse.

Johnny, a First Nations woman is stereotypically dressed as a homeless person, ragged clothes and all. She confronts King because she is determined to hear an acknowledgement about the abuse inflicted on her and other children at St. David’s School.  

This is where things get difficult because as an audience member you find yourself caught up in Johnny’s turmoil and distress, and you feel anger at the Anglican bishop because instead of confessing to the wrongs he did to Johnny and the other children at the residential school, he blames the church and says “It wasn’t my fault.”

The Anglican Bishop George King, and Johnny the Indian battle it out verbally before you trying to prove each other wrong but you are left with no clear answer and there is no justice served by the time the play ends. Johnny exits the bishops office saying “I’m just a ghost,” and the lights go down.

Native Earth Performing Arts and Firehall Arts Centre presented Drew Hayden Taylor’s play “God and the Indian” at the Aki Studio in Toronto. On stage between May 2-17, 2015,

GOD AND THE INDIAN stars Lisa C Ravensbergen as Johnny and Thomas Hauff as Anglican Assistant Bishop George King. Vancouver based Ravensbergen is Ojibwe/Swampy Cree and Jessie Award nominated actress.

Original article published in Anishinabek News

Monday, May 4, 2015

Book Review: Peace Pipe Dreams: The Truth about Lies about Indians

Review: Peace Pipe Dreams: The Truth about Lies about Indians
Written by: Darrell Dennis

Reviewed By: Christine Smith (McFarlane)

First Nations people have heard it all, when it comes to the lies or misconceptions that are spread about them. You know, the ones that say “Natives don’t pay taxes” or
Man, you Indians got it good. The government gives you so many breaks.”  The list goes on, but I can’t fit it all into this review.  Boy do I wish I could.

In Peace Pipe Dreams: The Truth about Lies about Indians,” author Darrell Dennis talks about these lies and misconceptions and also tougher subjects like European-Native interactions in North America from the moment of first contact, the fur trade, treaties and residential schools, to today’s topics of what it means to be status Indian, to the proper terminology in which Native people like to be called, amongst other things.

He also writes about how certain stories of history can illustrate how easily misconceptions about the history of Native people are accepted as fact even without tangible proof. An example of this is how “volumes have been written about the treatment of Native people at the hands of Columbus and his crew.

At first contact, Columbus recorded that the “Indians” treated the newcomers with extreme hospitality and charity. However, the Europeans regarded this kindness as ignorance and inferiority and immediately set about enslaving them, raping them and viciously slaughtering all those who attempted to defend themselves. On subsequent trips to the Americas, Columbus frequently kidnapped Indians to be brought back to Spain as slaves. Many of them did not survive the trip.”

Suffice to say, what I mention above is not what we were taught in our school’s history books, and it is these misrepresentations and misconceptions that continue to feed into what the mainstream public think of First Nations people today.

“Peace Pipe Dreams: The Truth about Lies about Indians” covers all too familiar territory that other writers have written about- such as the book “The Inconvenient Indian” written by Thomas King, but it is done in a way that employs pop culture, personal anecdote and cutting edge wit.  It provides an overview that everyone can connect with in one way or another, and it is important in the sense that it provides a convincing argument for why First Nations issues matter today.

Peace Pipe Dreams: The Truth about Lies about Indians is published by Douglas & McIntyre, and is 232 pages. ISBN: 978-1-77100-040-6

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Raise Funds for a documentary called "The Sixties Scoop: A Hidden Generation" by Colleen Cardinal (Hele)

Colleen Cardinal (Hele) and her son Sage Cree  are making a documentary called The Sixties Scoop: A Hidden Generation with the help of Skylarc Pictures and featuring other Indigenous adoptees Elaine Kicknosway, Duane Morriseau-Beck, Neal Shannacappo and Dr. Raven Sinclair along with interview from many other adoptees they meet along their journey.

They are asking you to share this with your networks, friends and family to raise awareness but also to make their journey possible.

Here is synopsis of the film:
"Colleen Cardinal and her son Sage Cree are raising funds to travel with us from Ottawa to Edmonton, with stops along the way in Sault Ste. Marie, Winnipeg, Regina and Saskatoon. Each location is critical to telling their family’s story, and also the story of an estimated 20,000 other Indigenous individuals who were forcibly removed from their families as children and adopted into non-Indigenous families from the late 1950’s to early 1980’s. Because the majority of forced adoptions occurred in the 1960’s, this period is now known as the Sixties Scoop."

Please share this link

Or visit our to check out the reward levels

 For more information please visit our website:

If you have any questions please email  or contact

Thank you!

Colleen Cardinal (Hele)

Friday, April 24, 2015

Book Review: SPIKED by Steven Barwin

Review: SPIKED: You've got to stay in to play
By: Christine Smith (McFarlane)

Sometimes it takes a hard lesson to learn who your real friends are. Emma is an eighth grader who finds out that she can either be popular or a jock but never both.

Emma used to be into sports in a big way but after becoming friends with two other girls in her class- Hailey and Claire, she puts sports aside because her friends like clothes, make up and boys and think its YUCKY to be involved in sports and sweat from playing.

But after an incident that gets Emma roped into volunteering for the girl’s volleyball team, she begins to feel pressure to play again, not only because she is the tallest girl in her class, but because her coach believes she can be a real asset to the team.

Discord between her friends happens when they find out that she has turned into a jock. Her friend Hailey becomes a huge bully towards her, and tries to set her up in the theft of Emma’s coach’s gym bag.  There is also a bit of bullying on the volleyball team on the part of the volleyball team captain because she believes that Emma doesn’t really want to be there, and she needs everyone to be a team player and work together for the team.

In the end, Emma learns that it is important to be herself and not only go after what she wants, but to not be afraid of changing. She gains new friends on the volleyball team and she regains her friendship with Claire after they both realize that Hailey is a bad influence on both of them.

Spiked is a part of the Lorimer Sports Stories Series, and is for readers age 10-13. It is published by James Lorimer & Company Ltd. Publishers and is 117 pages long.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Call for Submissions- Briarpatch Magazine

*Help us out and share this widely*

* * *
Briarpatch is seeking submissions for our September/October issue. We are looking for feature articles, provocative essays, investigative reportage, interviews, profiles, reviews, humour, and photography rooted in an anti-colonial and anti-capitalist analysis. If you’ve got a story in mind, Briarpatch wants to hear your pitch!

Queries on any and all topics are welcome but we would like to highlight interest in:
  • visions of the future
  • youth un/employment | youth mental health | youth radicalism
  • racialized policing in Canada
  • critical perspectives on the politics of the guaranteed basic income and/or the welfare state
Queries are due May 8, 2015. If your query is accepted, first drafts will be due by June 10. Your query should outline what ground your contribution will cover, list the interviews you plan to do, give an estimated word count, and indicate your relevant experience or background in writing about the issue. If you would like insight into how to write a successful query, there is an example with explanations here. If you haven’t written for Briarpatch before, please provide a brief writing sample.

Please review Briarpatch's submission guidelines before sending your query to editor AT briarpatchmagazine DOT com.
Our standard rates of pay are as follows:
  • $50 – Profiles, short essays, parting shots (generally <1000 li="" words="">
  • $100 – Feature stories, photo essays
  • $150 – Research-based articles and investigative reportage (generally 1500-2500 words)
Briarpatch reserves the right to edit your work (with your active involvement) and cannot guarantee publication.