IndigenousXca list of hosts

Facebookcover5Tłı̨chǫ Online Store (Dec. 18-25)

Tell us about who you are, where you are from, and what you do.

Tłı̨chǫ Online Store, selling handmade authentic native art and crafts made by the Tłı̨chǫ, including First Nations and artists from the Northwest Territories to customers around the world.

“The website promotes the Tlicho way of life,” The purpose of the Tlicho online store is more than just

to sell stuff. Out overriding goal is “to discover, preserve, recreate and celebrate the cultural heritage of the North and the Tlicho First Nation in particular.”

What do you plan to focus on during your week as host of @IndigenousXca?

We will be sharing life in the largest aboriginal community in the Northwest Territories. Christmas is busy time with cultural events and family traditions, and we are inviting people into our way of life.

What issues are you most passionate about and why?

Teaching our customers about northern products. Our products have history, culture and tradition. This is a luxury item, and can be purchase just anywhere. Understanding the value and price of arts and crafts.

Who are your role models, and why?

As store manager, I am inspired by role models of the past, present and future. For example in the past sitting with my grandmother watching her sew, and today seeing the beautiful works of art young and old being passed on to future generations. This circle of life keeps our way of life stronger, in our culture, language and traditions. There are many people we would like to thank, and will probably twitter about this week.

What are your hopes for the future?

I see the future of the Tlicho Online Store as being a leading guide to other organizations that would like to start up their own website in remote areas of the world. To continue invite and share our way of life with the rest of world.

JessicaDeerJessica Deer (Dec.11 – 18)

Tell us about who you are, where you are from, and what you do.

Kwe, my name is Jessica Deer. I am a Kanien’kehá:ka from Kahnawake. I’m a student with BA in communication studies that foolishly decided to go to grad school in business. I earn a living by designing pretty things & reporting for The Eastern Door newspaper in Kahnawake. I’ve been writing my column, The Caffeinated Potadoe (formerly Teenage Wasteland) in The Eastern Door for over six years. My writing consists of promoting youth leadership & rants about Indigenous politics, cultural appropriation and issues of identity and representation. I’m also the interim-President of the Kahnawake Youth Forum (KYF), the only youth-run organization for youth in Kahnawake. I became involved with the KYF because of my writing.

What do you plan to focus on during your week as host of @IndigenousXca?

I plan to shamelessly promote all the epic things the KYF does to promote Indigenous youth leadership, as well as offer my perspectives on the happenings in Kahnawake & across Canada as a Mohawk journalist.

What issues are you most passionate about and why?

Raising awareness of problems with cultural appropriation & its impact on our identity as Indigenous people is really important to me. Something like a celebrity wearing a wearing a headdress, fashion or a sports mascot may seem so silly to be concerned about, but they create false representations in how Canadians see us, treat us – and, that has rippling consequences on social, economic, & political issues that we face as Indigenous people.

Who are your role models, and why?

Jessica Danforth & pretty much everyone at the Native Youth Sexual Health Network (NYSHN). I respect them so much for all the work they do. They’ve had (and continue to have) such a huge impact on the KYF and the work we do in Kahnawake. I am beyond grateful for their teachings & opportunities they give youth that equip us to become leaders in our communities.

What are your hopes for the future?

I want Indigenous leaders to actually listen to what youth have to say and support them to make those changes, whatever they may be. So many times, I hear people talking about the importance of youth & the next seven generations. But, when the time comes to support, they’re nowhere, or they organize “youth” events without the actual help or input from actual youth. It honestly doesn’t matter what the topic is, involve youth in the process, search for youth’s input on issues that affect our communities & listen to what we have to say.

IMG_20141202_101251_edit_editStephen John Ford (Dec.4 – 11)

Tell us about who you are, where you are from, and what you do.

Seh:Koh my name is Stephen John Ford and I’m honoured to be hosting IndigenousXca for the week of December 4-11.

I’m a Mohawk and lawyer. My home community is Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory but my legal practise is out of Toronto ON. My area of practise is Criminal/Quasi-criminal law as well as Constitutional Law. Although the practise of Criminal law was my first choice I engaged in it for a number of reasons. I assessed my skill set and determined that my work as an advocate ‎ for Aboriginal Peoples could best be accomplished in the Colonizer’s Court. Moreover, by being in private practise I eliminated the control of senior staff that I’d have experienced if working in a large law firm. For those reasons I have been able to educate the court by bringing the Aboriginal perspective to bear on the legal issues.

What do you plan to focus on during your week as host of @IndigenousXca?

During my week as host I hope to engage dialogue on misconceptions about how limited the legal process is in addressing Indigenous issues. There are misconceptions about s35 of the Constitution and the potential it holds. There are misconceptions surrounding the perceive finality of Supreme Court decisions. There are misconceptions in regard to the duty to consult; the fiduciary duty; the test for infringement of inherent and Treaty rights; what is meant by Collective Rights and why Sovereignty for First Nations is so critical, to name a few. I hope to share with others how these issues can be addressed to create positive outcomes.

What issues are you most passionate about and why?

As mentioned above there is an abundance of issues facing the Aboriginal Peoples living within the Settler State. In my view, the time is now to begin the necessary transformative change in the relationship that must occur t‎o ensure the survival of the legal distinction between Aboriginal Peoples and Canadian citizens.

Who are your role models, and why?

I must admit I have few if any role models that I can point to. The life path that I embarked upon was a road of trial and error. I learned the hard way but I learned much and I learned well. In the process I established a set of principles by which I have lived my life. This said, I found wisdom in the words of some individuals, notably the late Dr. Harold Cardinal. Early in my legal career Harold encouraged me to become a legal academic. I was flattered but responded that I had to get out there and ‘get my hands dirty’. Harold said he understood but offered a caution. If you go down that path, he warned, you can expect to meet backlash. Not only only from non-natives but native people as well. I told him that ‎I was Mohawk, a People renowned for having thick skin and thick heads. Those attributes, I said, ought to serve me well. We both laughed heartily but all these years later it turned out that we were both right.

What are your hopes for the future?

Since Confederation the Settler governments have been intent on the termination of the rights and legal status of Indigenous Peoples. Resistance has been mixed due mostly to the affects of colonization. Indigenous Peoples have purposely been made economically dependent by the State. The relationship has been framed as Guardian and Ward. The reason is the absolute State control over Indigenous inhabitants. Without the assertion of Indigenous rights including Sovereignty it will only be a matter of time before Termination is accomplished. It is through the advancement of Indigenous Sovereignty, which by definition is self-government, as a Constitutional right that there will be a re-ordering of political power and necessary redistribution of wealth in the Settler State.

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