J’net AyAyQwaYakSheelth – Nuu-chah-nulth Textile Artist, Cedar Bark Weaver, and Indigenous Outreach and Learning Coordinator at the ROM
For the Winter 2017 semester with support from its Aboriginal Education Council, the School of Fashion at Ryerson University developed Aboriginal curricula for its mandatory first year course FSN 223: Fashion Concepts and Theory, instructed by Dr. Ben Barry, Associate Professor of Equity, Diversity & Inclusion. A lecture was researched and delivered by Ojibway MA Candidate Riley Kucheran, and a panel event featured Angela DeMontigny, Métis Fashion Designer; Sage Paul, Setsuné Indigenous Fashion Incubator; and J’net Ayayqwayaksheelth, Nuu-chah-nulth Textile Artist, Cedar Bark Weaver, and Indigenous Outreach and Learning Coordinator at the ROM. ‘Fashioning Reconciliation’ is a conversation about Truth & Reconciliation, Cultural Appropriation and Indigenizing the Fashion Industry.
Palestinian director Hany Abu-Assad succeeds again at telling an important story.
Mark Twain said that “truth is stranger than fiction” because “fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t” which makes the film Omar, the fictional account of three childhoods friends, even more devastating as this fiction is the plausible reality of those living today in occupied Palestine.
Palestinian Director Hany Abu-Assad’s film is a thriller and a love story. The movie twists and turns as quickly as the main character Omar runs through the narrow passageways of the Nablus medina to escape Mossad, the Israeli Secret Service. Amjad, one of the childhood friends, asks the others “Do you know how they catch monkeys in Africa?” By getting them addicted to sugar cubes. Amjad describes how they pour the sweetness into a hole just large enough for the monkey to stick his hand into but small enough he cannot pull out when the hunters descend. Trapped the monkey still clings to the cubes.
The sweetness of Omar’s love for his best friend Tarek’s sister is what keeps bringing him back to the hole eventually trapping him into the Mossad’s madness that turns friend against friend and lover against lover. There is no exit the characters can take for this story to end positively.
Israeli Apartheid Week 2014 and how you can help support the people of Palestine.
“I do not want to appropriate resistance and neither do you. But stories, poetry, music, art, farming, dancing, singing, and laughter are beautiful because they baffle us with unanswered questions. Because they fumble with the idea of stability and fragility. Because they allow us to reconnect with each other and imagine a collective space of meeting. They help us see Haifa connected to Cairo and Beirut and help us see Turtle Island in its colourful past, deconstructing the grey buildings that occupy its present.”
Many must feel like the monkey trapped with his hand in the hole but perhaps a love story for land that unites a global movement for social justice may be the inspired sweetness to collectively dream a way out.
You can purchase Zatoun Olive Oil (truly the best olive oil in my opinion!!!) produced by a collective in Palestine at Beit Zatoun’s Toronto location in Mirvish Village – 612 Markham St. (1 minute from Bathurst subway stop on Bloor line, Markham St. exit)
“Proceeds are used to directly benefit Palestinian farmers and children living in occupied Palestine and to create awareness for peace in Palestine…Zatoun helps to create a context based in ordinary everyday life to view and discuss the situation in Palestine-Israel.”
In Ottawa Omar will be screening at the Bytowne Cinema Ottawa this week during the following times:
“The government wants an extractive economy and that will kill us all.”
Mi’kmaq laywer, Pamela Palmater gave a powerful talk a week ago today as part of Idle No More’s #Oct7Proclaim Global Day of Action and Ryerson University’s Annual Social Justice Week events. As she puts it, the Idle No More Movement “allows you to protect the people who protect the land.”
Today I am thankful for our Mother Earth, for her abundance, sustenance and healing properties. I am also thankful that at this moment there are so many people, in Canada and around the globe, fighting in solidarity to protect her and the gifts she gives.
Thanks to Ryerson University for providing an educational environment that fosters dialogue around the important contemporary issues of Toronto, Canada and the world.
“My parents have been my role models for love” Sas tells me as we walk around downtown Toronto finding nooks and crannies to drop off necklaces she has made as part of her #SpreadLove campaign.
All that love clearly rubbed off on her because when I met Sas at Manifesto Festival where she was selling her clever pieces at the Fresh Market it was clear that she radiates something beautiful.
“I love words, I love quotes, I always believe that little things can make a different why not spread happiness.” She continues, “and I wanted to get the people I love involved” so she began to enlist friends and family to come up with quotes around the subject of love. On her website each person who submitted a quote was also given a profile so that the lucky (or intentioned) finders of her gifts would be able to visit the website and have another dimension to their experience.
Attached to each pendant is Sas’ website address and contact information as she hopes that people who find the jewellery will give her feedback as to how it impacted them thus adding yet another layer to the narrative of the necklace.
After the drops at Metropolitan United Church, Ryerson University Images Arts Building, Dundas Square, AGO and Kensington Market we double backed along the same route to see if anyone noticed our booty of good vibes. Most were still dangling so maybe people are suspicious these days of something that says “take me I’m FREE!” and are looking around for the hidden camera. So here we are giving you all the FYI that Sas & MIXED BAG MAG will be doing future drops around the city so keep your eyes peeled for positivity!