Events /

Secret Path Week

October 19 - 23, 2020

Exploring by the Seat of Your Pants is super excited to be working with the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund (DWF) for another series of Secret Path Week virtual education events, taking place from Oct. 19th-23rd, 2020. During Secret Path Week, we’ll be featuring Indigenous-led instruction and education. This will be a valuable way to engage your class in reconciliation and encourage your students to “Do Something”!

DWF is part of musician Gord Downie’s legacy and embodies his commitment, and that of both the Downie and Wenjack families, build cultural understanding and create a path towards reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. The goal of DWF is to continue the conversation that began with Chanie Wenjack’s Residential School story, and to support the reconciliation process through awareness, education, and action.

Secret Path Week is a national movement commemorating the legacies of Gord Downie (d. Oct. 17, 2017) and Chanie Wenjack (d. Oct. 22, 1966). The Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund would like to inspire all Canadian classrooms to use this week to answer Gord Downie’s call to action, and “Do Something”.

Your classroom can “Do Something” and become a Legacy School! The Legacy Schools program is a free national initiative to engage, empower and connect students and educators to further reconciliation through awareness, education and action (#reconciliACTION). Upon signing up as a Legacy School, educators will receive a Legacy Schools Toolkit free-of-charge. These toolkits contain resources to engage students, staff, and the school community and act as a catalyst for their commitment to the work of reconciliation.

For more information and to sign up: https://www.legacyschools.ca

The Events:

October 19, 2020

10:00 am eastern time

Jessica is Section Manager Indigenous Knowledge & Reconciliation, Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO). She joined the NWMO in 2008 and had been instrumental in creating the NWMO’s Indigenous Knowledge policy, Reconciliation Policy, and liaising with the Council of Elders and Youth. She is member of the Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation and a proud Anishnawbekwe (Ojibway women). Her formal education is within western science majoring in Physics and Mathematics and has also received Indigenous education from Elders and knowledge keepers throughout her life. Jessica works to bridge knowledge gaps between western science and Indigenous Knowledge while also broadening understanding of Indigenous perspectives to ensure Indigenous knowledge is respected in its application.

October 19, 2020

11:00 am eastern time

Meagan Lortie is an non-status Anishinaabe Kwe from Barrie, Ontario. Currently, she is on her own journey of exploring her culture and ancestry. From very young she has been volunteering and working with the Urban Indigenous community and is passionate about reconciliation and decolonization. In her presentation, Meagan will explore what reconciliation looks like and how people can begin/ continue their own reconciliation/ decolonization journey by sharing her experiences while coordinating the Jane Goodall Institute of Canada's Uncovering Common Ground (UCG) Initiative. Meagan will talk about the UCG initiative, share some examples of reconciliation projects and explore some ideas of how people can get involved in their own community.

October 19, 2020

1:00 pm eastern time

On August 9, 2016, a young Cree man named Colten Boushie died from a gunshot to the back of his head after entering Gerald Stanley’s rural property with his friends. The jury’s subsequent acquittal of Stanley captured international attention, raising questions about racism embedded within Canada’s legal system and propelling Colten’s family to national and international stages in their pursuit of justice. Sensitively directed by Tasha Hubbard, nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up weaves a profound narrative encompassing the filmmaker’s own adoption, the stark history of colonialism on the Prairies, and a vision of a future where Indigenous children can live safely on their homelands.

Dr. Tasha Hubbard is a writer, filmmaker and associate professor at the University of Alberta. She is from Peepeekisis First Nation in Treaty Four Territory and has ties to Thunderchild First Nation in Treaty Six Territory. Her latest feature documentary is nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up, a personal exploration of the cost of the death of Colten Boushie.

Jade Tootoosis is a nehiyaw iskwew from the Red Pheasant Cree Nation in Treaty Six Territory. She is a granddaughter, daughter, sister, cousin, aunty as well as an educator and advocate. She currently works with the Faculty of Native Studies as their Alumni Relations and Community Engagement Coordinator. Jade is Sister to the late Colten Boushie and has been one of the spokespersons for her family in their international pursuit for justice for their relative. #JusticeForColten became a movement and call for action and change in Canada’s “justice” system. Her family’s stance is that no other Indigenous family should suffer a loss and endure the injustices and systemic racism that they did. Jade has committed her words and actions to this movement as she continues to advocate for justice for Indigenous peoples in Canada.

October 19, 2020

2:00 pm eastern time

Angela is a dancer, choreographer, educator, and artist from Amiskwaciwâskahikan (Edmonton, Alberta – Treaty 6 territory) and is a member of Frog Lake First Nation. She has over 15 years of professional dance experience as an entertainer and has taught in countless schools, Indigenous communities, youth centres and conferences throughout North America since 2004.

Angela believes in a responsibility to share the knowledge she has gained and continues to pursue dance education while using her existing skills to mentor others so they can succeed. Currently, Angela tours with the Juno Award winning group A Tribe Called Red and is available for performance opportunities, teaching & speaking engagements.

October 20, 2020

11:00 am eastern time

G.R. Gritt is a Juno Award winning, Two-Spirit, Transgender, Francophone, Anishinaabe/Métis artist. After living many years in Yellowknife and forming the band Quantum Tangle, they have recently moved back to Sudbury/Robinson Huron Treaty territory where they grew up. This homecoming coincides with a journey that they feel better represents them. With these changes has come a new voice both physically and in the growing magnetism of their songwriting. G.R. Gritt pulls effortlessly from the past to create soulful futurisms with their new sound that elegantly weaves the melodies using vocals, guitar and new electronic elements. They create both intimate and anthemic music that would fit in a folk club, a dance club and anywhere in between. G.R. Gritt is currently preparing for the release of a new full-length album titled, Ancestors, in 2020 on Coax Records.

October 20, 2020

1:00 pm eastern time

If you’re from the North, Leela Gilday’s music is home. If you’ve never been, it will take you there. Born and raised in the Northwest Territories, she writes about the people and the land that created her. The power in her voice conveys the depth of her feelings of love and life in a rugged environment and vibrant culture, as if it comes straight from that earth. Leela’s family is from Délįne on the shore of Great Bear Lake, and her rich vocals dance across the rhythmic beats of traditional Dene drumming as smoothly as a bass line onstage the largest venues in the country. And she has played them all.

October 20, 2020

2:00 pm eastern time

Theland Kicknosway is a member of Wolf Clan, of the Potawatami and Cree Nation, from Walpole Island, Bkejwanong Territory in Southern Ontario. He is currently in high school in the Ottawa Region and enjoys offering his gifts of song, dance and voice for all. He is a singer, a grass and hoop dancer, and helps in ceremonies in many places. In November 2015, at just 12 years old, Theland led the incoming Prime Minister and cabinet into the swearing-in ceremony with a drum song.

He has offered his voice and songs for the Indian Residential School Survivors in 2008 and in the closing of the TRC in 2015, and has been a Kairos Blanket Exercise Facilitator for the past seven years. Theland completed his 6th annual MMIWG2S run in Spring 2020 in partnership with Families of Sisters in Spirit, raising awareness of the children left behind in the wake of this crises. He hopes to expand his run to a national scale, and is preparing to run from Victoria, BC to Ottawa, ON in 2021.

October 21, 2020

11:00 am eastern time

Chelsea Vowel is Métis from manitow-sâkahikan (Lac Ste. Anne) Alberta, residing in amiskwacîwâskihikan (Edmonton). Mother to six girls, she has a BEd, an LLB, and a MA, and is a Cree language instructor at the Faculty of Native Studies at the University of Alberta Chelsea is a public intellectual, writer, and educator whose work intersects language, gender, Métis self-determination, and resurgence. Author of Indigenous Writes: A Guide to First Nations, Métis & Inuit Issues in Canada, she and her co-host Molly Swain produce the Indigenous feminist sci-fi podcast Métis in Space, and co-founded the Métis in Space Land Trust. Chelsea blogs at apihtawikosisan.com and makes legendary bannock.

October 22, 2020

2:00 pm eastern time

Dr. Andrea Reid is a citizen of the Nisga’a Nation and an incoming Assistant Professor with the University of British Columbia’s Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries (starting January 2021). There, she will lead the Indigenous Fisheries Research Unit, working to build a national and international hub for the study and protection of culturally significant fish and fisheries. Her research program adopts highly interdisciplinary and applied approaches to improving our understanding of the complex interrelationships between fish, people and place. Reid’s PhD in Biology (Carleton University ’20) centered on multiple stressor effects on Pacific salmon, using tools and insights from Western and Indigenous sciences in tandem. Reid is a cofounder of Riparia, a Canadian charity that connects diverse young women with science on the water to grow the next generation of water protectors. She is also a National Geographic Explorer (Grantee ’12,’15,’16,’19) and a Fellow of The Explorers Club (FI’19).

October 23, 2020

10:00 am eastern time

Trevor is Mi’kmaq First Nations from the community of Eskasoni, Cape Breton Island (Unama’ki); he currently resides with his family in Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia. He is a very proud, direct descendant of the last hereditary Grand Chief John Denny Jr. Trevor is Indigenous Liaison with the Nova Scotia Department of Justice Correctional Services and served as a probation officer with the department for many years. Trevor is also an in-demand motivational speaker, a champion of diversity, and a role model for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, including youth. He is known for sharing his culture, knowledge, and wisdom with Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities throughout the Atlantic Provinces. An advocate for healthy, active living, Trevor is well-known as a champion arm wrestler who placed 8th in the World Championships. He was named 2019 Coach of the Year by the Mi’kmaw Sport Council of Nova Scotia. He is also an associate producer and consultant for a television series called “Arm Nation” which first aired in the fall of 2018 on APTN. Trevor has written several books, some of which will soon be published by Nimbus.

October 23, 2020

1:00 pm eastern time

Join Carol as she shares her grandmothers story of Residential School and how she practiced Reconciliation.

Carol is an Ojibway elder from Batchewana First Nation in Northern Ontario where she lives with her husband. She has two children a son and a daughter and also three beautiful grandchildren. She returned to school when she was forty years old to obtain her grade 12 and with the support and encouragement of family and friends has continued on and graduated as a Registered Nurse in 1995 from Sault College. Carol went on to work in First Nation Health as a Community Health Nurse for 22 years and during that time she became a Certified Mental Nurse. Carol retired three years ago and since then attended Algoma University and graduated this May with a BA Anishinaabe Studies. Carol enjoys reading, attending Pow Wows and also spending time with her family.

October 23, 2020

2:00 pm eastern time

Monique Aura Bedard (they/them) is a neurodiverse Onyota'a:ka x French art-maker x visual storyteller who is currently based on Dish with One Spoon Territory (Tkaronto). They grew up on Anishinaabe aki, down river from Aamjiwnaang First Nation.

Through their art practice (sewing, beading, painting murals, journaling), they aim to express and share stories about intergenerational healing, mind health, identity, empowerment, and authenticity. They are inspired by stories, memory, community and growth, individually and collectively. Monique Aura aims to address intergenerational healing in their family by trusting the creative process. The core of their work is about moving through the world with love and fierceness. Their art is their voice, their truth and an extension of who they are. Aura's hope is that their art reaches others in a way that inspires thoughts and feelings igniting questions, curiosity, reflection and self-love.

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