Nourishing Hope and Belonging
Main Session: Nourishing Hope and Belonging
April 22, 2021
9:00 AM – 2:30 PM
This session will bring the learnings and discussions from the Lead-up Sessions (which have all taken place) all together. Through this dialogue, we will work to nurture hope and belonging as we embrace one another, commit to including one another in the circle, and lift each other up.
The theme of this session is drawn from the totality of the Women and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People’s Declaration and the focus of the Lead-up Sessions.
Our Co-Chairs are Debra Foxcroft and Deborah Baker.
Debra Foxcroft brings over 30 years of leadership and advocacy for First Nations health and wellbeing, currently serving as a Councillor for Tseshaht First Nation and a Director for the BC Aboriginal Childcare Society, she was also the former president of the President of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council and is a recipient of the Order of British Columbia.
Deborah Baker (Ancestral name K’ana) has long been an advocate for fair and equitable services in the areas of education, housing and employment. Deborah serves as a Councillor for the Squamish Nation, and has previously worked as a Regional Coordinator for the Aboriginal Business Services Network, a Youth Business Advisor for the All Nations Trust and as the General Manager for the Bella Bella Community Development Society, among other positions in business and finance.
The BC Assembly of First Nations (BCAFN) is hosting the annual Women and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People’s Dialogue Sessions virtually via Zoom this year. Lead-up sessions will be on April 13, 14 & 15, 2021. The main event will be on April 22, 2021.
We envision these Dialogue Sessions as a day where First Nations Chiefs, councillors, matriarchs, youth, and Indigenous community leaders from across British Columbia who identify as women and 2SLGBTQQIA+ can come together to support one another and gain strength to thrive in our political, business, family, and community contexts.
The Women and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People’s Dialogue Sessions are meant to be a safe and inclusive space. As expressed in the Women and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People’s Declaration, we commit to including each other in the circle and lifting each other up. We expect respectful and thoughtful interactions from everyone joining the sessions, and commit to taking action if this is not the case. Discrimination of any kind (sexism, racism, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, ageism, ableism, lateral violence) will not be tolerated.
To help create a safe and inclusive space, before the event, we encourage you to familiarize yourself with gender-inclusive language and some important terminology as it relates to gender identity, gender expression, sex, and attraction.
Please register for the sessions you would like to attend at the following links:
Lead up session 1
April 13, 2021
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
This panel will explore gender identity through storytelling and culturally-grounded dialogue with two-spirit and gender diverse community leaders. We will also explore the role of allyship and the importance of safe, inclusive spaces. This dialogue is for two-spirit and gender diverse people, their allies, and those who want to become allies.
Our moderators are:
Orene Askew, aka DJ O Show, brings energy and expertise to every event she hosts and DJ’s. She brings professionalism, passion, and remains true to her love for hip hop and R&B, incorporating beats to ensure you never want to leave the dance floor! With an outgoing personality and friendly demeanor, O Show is one of the easiest DJs to work with. DJ O Show has experience teaching with an inspired approach. She is an inspirational speaker, having traveled across the country to bring ambition and drive to all generations, and is an elected member of the Squamish Nation Council. O Show has DJ’d the red carpet for Vancouver Fashion Week and was voted the official DJ for YES in Ottawa since 2012 and the official DJ for Gathering Our Voices for five years. She has hosted/MC’d numerous events, including Bowling for Big Brother’s Classic, Babes on Babes, Hershe and working for radio stations like Vancouver’s Virgin 94.5 and Washington’s Movin’ 92.5. She is the recipient of a 2015 BC Indigenous Business Award, a 2018 Stand Out Award from the Vancouver Pride Society, and a 2021 Alumni of Excellence Award from Capilano University. Coming from a diverse background, O Show is driven by her passion. She is Afro-Indigenous, Two Spirit, and a proud member of the Squamish Nation. Feeling as though she stood out in a unique way, she has embraced both her cultural backgrounds and incorporates the teachings she has learned into everything she does. Pronouns: She/Her
Annita Mcphee is the former three-term President of the Tahltan Central Council (TCC). She is an Indigenous Facilitator from the Tahltan/Tlingit Nations, Motivational Speaker and an International Human Rights Advocate. An expert in Aboriginal Engagement and Communications, Annita has facilitated numerous conferences and workshops at the community, regional and national levels. As an advocate to stop violence against Indigenous women, Annita attended the Global Leadership School for Indigenous Women. Annita’s academic program includes having a Degree in Law and a Bachelor of Social Work with Public Relations. Annita brings a variety of Indigenous foods, culture and humour every week with her cooking show, “Cooking with Annita”.
Our panelists are:
Jessy Dame is a very proud self-identified Two-Spirit, gay, Métis Registered Nurse who has worked within Neonatal/Postpartum health, as well as, within remote communities on the coast and within northern BC. Jessy currently practices within a Queer sexual health clinic in Vancouver and works with the Community-Based Research Centre as the Two-Spirit Program Manager. Within this position Jessy is able to work with and for the 2S community to create resources and advocate for services.
Jessie Blair currently serves on the Board of Directors for Four Feathers Society/2SpiritBC. Their ancestors are Mohawk from Six Nations Reserve, as well as Irish and Scottish. They’re studying Sociology and Creative Writing at UBC. They believe that an equitable, more inclusive world is possible and that Indigenous peoples have the template for creating such communities.
Wayne Wallace is a descendant of the Wolastoqey Nation and a member of the Madawaska Maliseet First Nation with First Nation and French family roots in northwestern New Brunswick. After acquiring a Bachelor of Education from the Université de Moncton and a Law Degree from the University of Ottawa, Wayne began a career as a federal public servant with Indian and Northern Affairs Canada where he spent 17 years. Since joining the First Nations Health Authority in 2017 as an Executive Advisor Wayne has supported a number of initiatives. On May 3, Wayne will join permanently the FNHA as the inaugural Director, Urban and Away from Home and looks forward to continuing to support the health and wellness of all First Nations people in BC.
Lead up session 2: Interactive Self-care
April 14, 2021
3:00 – 4:30 PM
This interactive virtual session, led by Jessica Barudin, will focus on creating a safe space to connect and reflect on self-care and wellness strategies through movement, meditation, and sharing in a culturally-grounded and trauma-informed way.
Jessica is Kwakwa̱ka̱ʼwakw, a member of the ‘Namgis First Nation with ties to the Kwakiutl and Haxwamis on her mother’s side and Russian-Jewish on her father’s side. She is a proud mother of two daughters, wife, Sundancer, Indigenous health researcher, yoga teacher and doula. She has spent the last ten years working professionally in Indigenous peoples’ health and education including a variety of roles in health research, health promotion, project management, and community engagement. Jessica has a Masters of Applied Science in Physical Therapy from the McGill University and an Undergraduate Degree in Human Kinetics from the University of British Columbia. Jessica currently works with the First Nations Health Authority as the Traditional Wellness Specialist for Vancouver Island.
Lead up session 3: The Teachings of Our Ancestors Sustain Us
April 14, 2021
7:00 – 8:00 PM
This session will be led by Knowledge Keepers Hilistis Pauline Waterfall and Dr. Gwendolyn Point, respected cultural leaders within their respective communities of the Heiltsuk Nation and Stó:lõ Nation. Join us and as they share teachings on healing through culture, the connection between mind, body, and spirit, and values clarification. There will also be space to share our gifts of songs and drumming together.
The title of this session is drawn from the Women and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People’s Declaration:
We acknowledge that we are here because of the strength of our diverse cultures, traditions and teachings of our ancestors, which have sustained our people since time immemorial.
Dr. Point is a well-respected and recognized Stó:lō leader, mentor, and cultural advisor. She is also one of BCAFN’s Knowledge Keepers. She has spent decades advancing Indigenous education, serving in provincial, academic, and community roles. She has also contributed her deep cultural knowledge and experience to numerous books, conferences, workshops and communities. We are honoured to learn from her wisdom during this session.
Hilistis Pauline Waterfall is a Heiltsuk woman and ambassador who has spent decades working for access to education for First Nations peoples. She is known as a “keeper of knowledge” in her community and has contributed to the revitalization of the Hailhzaqv Language. Until recently, she was an adjunct professor at Vancouver Island University and taught in the First Nations Stewardship Tech program. She brings a deep understanding of traditional wellness to this session.
Would you like to share a song, drumming, prayer, or medicine with those gathered virtually during Lead Up Session 3: The Teachings of Our Ancestors Sustain Us?
If so, please let us know what you would like to share, and whether you would like to submit a pre-recording or share live via Zoom by emailing Sarah Froese at Sarah.Froese@bcafn.ca. A staff member from BCAFN will follow up with you to confirm the details.
Lead up session 4: Reclaiming Our Distinct Roles and Responsibilities
April 15, 2021
1:00 – 3:00 PM
This co-moderated panel will explore how women and gender-diverse people have strategically advanced and strengthened the role and representation of women and gender-diverse people in community leadership.
The title of this session is drawn from the Women and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People’s Declaration:
We acknowledge the tremendous strength and resilience of Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people in overcoming challenges and reclaiming our distinct roles and responsibilities in our societies. We will support each other, and vow to connect with one another when we need support.
Our moderators are Racelle Kooy and Taylor Behn-Tsakoza.
Racelle Kooy is of Secwepemc, St’atl’imc and Dutch ancestry, and a member of Samahquam First Nation with strong family ties to Stswecem’c Xgat’tem. She brings extensive experience working with all levels of government and in community, dedicating her passion and expertise in facilitation, communications, and political advocacy to all of her work. In 2019 she ran for federal office as a member of the Green Party.
Taylor Behn-Tsakoza is of Eh Cho Dene and Dunne Zaa ancestry. She is also one of BCAFN’s Youth Representatives. Taylor has been working with Indigenous youth in the fields of health, recreation and life promotion for the last several years. Culture, education and sports has kept Taylor focused on breaking harmful intergenerational cycles and she is passionate about creating a future that First Nations youth want and deserve.
- Marilyn Slett is a citizen of the Heiltsuk Nation and the elected chief councillor of the Heiltsuk Tribal Council. She is currently serving her fourth consecutive term as chief councillor, beginning in 2008 and following previous positions as tribal councillor and executive director of the Heiltsuk Tribal Council. She is also currently the president of Coastal First Nations, the co-chair of the Wild Salmon Advisory Council to British Columbia, and she has served as the B.C. women’s representative on the Assembly of First Nations Women’s Council.
- From the Musqueam and Qualicum Pentlatch Nations, Corrina Sparrow is an experienced and published Two Spirit scholar and helper. They have been a social worker, and leader with Indigenous communities for over twenty years, mainly focusing in the areas of cultural revitalization, child and family support programming, health and wellness, community safety, and community development. Corrina currently studies at the UBC, working on a PhD in the Social Justice Institute. For this international doctoral work, they will explore Two Spirit/Indigequeer identities and resurgence on Coast Salish ancestral territories, and how land-based Indigenous knowledges inform Two Spirit identity, community development, and relationality.
- Debra Foxcroft brings over 30 years of leadership and advocacy for First Nations health and wellbeing, currently serving as a Councillor for Tseshaht First Nation and a Director for the BC Aboriginal Childcare Society, she was also the former president of the President of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council and is a recipient of the Order of British Columbia.
- Kru Melissa Moses is a warrior and a survivor. A Nlaka’pamux, Syilx and Stl’atl’imx woman born and raised in the heart of the Nicola Valley, she is the founder, owner, and chief instructor at Nicola Valley Muay Thai. Giving back to her community has remained a key priority for Melissa who continues to receive requests to provide self-defense training to communities and women experiencing active threats and situations of abuse. In February 2020, Melissa was elected as the Women’s Representative for the Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC).