[Blogger’s note: Following is a straight-up-so-inspiring-braap!-bam! kind of story dat I reposted dis excerpt – no remix (jus mo’ braaps!) Check dis….]

T-Dot Renaissance represents a group of emerging and interdisciplinary artists, working and rooted in Toronto……This collaborative project intends to be the launching point of a movement, a wave of cultural and artistic collaborations for this generation of emerging artists: Toronto’s own renaissance reminiscent of the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s and 30s.

“What is T-Dot Renaissance? Support System. The Voice.  The process of spiritual healing.  The Bat Signal.”  – Neil ‘Logik’ Donaldson

Quentin Vercetty & Ciel Lauren

Individually, the members are each proficient in multiple media; they are singers, painters, musicians, songwriters, poets, filmmakers, playwrights, photographers, actors, graphic designers, dancers, drummers, rappers, sculptors, and graffiti artists. The immediate intention is that throughout the production of these collaborative works, the artists will explore and create works in each other’s areas of expertise. They will be pushed from their comfort zones, and allowed to create truly interdisciplinary, collaborative works that they would not have otherwise realized.

“T-Dot Renaissance is a movement of proactive artists moving forward in love, courage and character to actively create together in an effort to allow the well of creative juices to flow freely, safely and loudly.  A group who inspires and practices truth, grit and integrity.  True artists.”  – Colanthony Humphrey

T-Dot Renaissance seeks to tell the stories that are not told, to give voice to those often silenced, and to encourage a kind of collaborative effort that is often missing from today’s individualistic and product-driven art market.

“The Renaissance of beautifully speaking what is unspoken.  Comparable to Lennox in the 30’s, all are open.  Creatively creating what’s

coat room

necessary to breathe under autumn leaves colourful as prison labour” – Myk Miranda

The name T-Dot Renaissance is inspired by memories and stories of the Harlem Renaissance, a time when African American artists were exploring, engaging, and collaborating to create a space they could define as their own artistic identity.  It is the shared belief of the artists involved in this collective that the city of Toronto is currently undergoing its own artistic renaissance.  This renaissance can particularly be felt amongst young people who, emerging from a Hip Hop generation, are empowered by a fundamental understanding that they can take power into their own hands to create their own stages, remix old forms and validate their stories – stories that are often silenced or re-written by the mainstream.

“T-Dot Renaissance is creative license to think, create, imagine without fear of censure. Untapped potential harnessed for possibilities we have realized in dreamscapes.  Freedom can be found here if we allow ourselves the possibility.  To be.  It is room and space to stretch and try, fail and cry…room to smile direct light shining from the inside.” – Amanda Parris

Are you reading for a multi-layered renaissance?

“Sacred spaces. Bredrin and sistren building solidarity among our villages. Healing not only ourselves but our communities, na hadithi zetu.” – Molisa Nyakale

Are you ready for T-Dot Renaissance? We been (re)presenting our diasporic journeys from time….

 “A patchwork quilt.  Threading narratives, some built before us.  Some built amongst us.  Life in colour clothes stories, skins, taking you where we’re at.  Where we’ve been.  Take it in.  Sincere together we hold space and time which we alone define together.  Take it in. Take it in.  Take it in.  Here we are.  Life in colour.” – Nayani Thiyagarajah.

Copyright © 2011, T-Dot Renaissance. All rights reserved.

December 3rd and December 4th, 2011

3pm – 8pm each day

Loft 404

404-263 Adelaide Street W.

Toronto, On

Hadithi, hadithi? Hadithi njoo. Paukwa, Pakawa. Sahani ya? Mchele. Giza ya? Mwizi.

Hapo zamani za kale de Great Spirit looked upon de dunia s/he had created according to hir vision, en s/he became sad. De minerals, de plants, de animals and de humans had all forgotten de law of unity by which they were to live. They were fighting with each other over de

smallest idea or action. They were being possessive of de powahs en talents they had been given. They were showing jealousy, hatred, greed.

De Great Spirit decided dat de dunia could not continue in dis way. S/he tried to send messages to all of dunia’s pikney to tell them to live in a betta way, but only some of de minerals, plants en animals would listen. De humans acted deaf. So s/he decided to send all those who didn’t listen into different realms where they could hear hir en learn their lessons.

S/he called all de spirits of de wota together en they descended upon de dunia. De rain came en rained streams all ova de dunia. De waves rose up en covered all of de land. Only de minerals en a few plants en animals survived. Still, de Great Spirit felt sad, for a dunia without humans was not a dunia that would fulfill de vision that s/he had been given.

Up in de clouds there lived a spirit woman who, at one time, had lived upon de dunia. With most of de life gone from de dunia there wasn’t anything left for her to watch or help with en she became lonely. She asked de Great Spirit to send her a spirit man. One came and, eventually, they mated en she became pregnant. De spirit man left dem as he had fulfilled his purpose. She was again alone in de skies.

De animals on dunia were lonely, too, for companionship similar to dat de humans had  given dem in earlier days when they remembered de law of unity. They saw de woman in de sky en decided to invite her to come to de dunia. But they were perplexed because they knew she would need land to walk upon, en everything was then under wota. While they sat in council on some rocks that protruded above de wotas wondering wot to do, de giant turtle came en stuck his head out of de wota.

“Friends,” Kobe said, “I have a large, strong back. Perhaps de Sky Woman would come here if I rose my back out of de wota so dat she could come en be on it.”

“Wonderful,” said Bear, chief of de council. “That would be de perfect solution. We will ask her to come en be with us en have her pikney here so dat they can grow up among us en learn young de harmony in which we should live. And perhaps they will teach this to their pikney.”

So de animals had Kobe raise his back up out of de wota en they all crawled from their various rocks onto it. They ran around en bounced en jumped en played because they were happy to have such a large space to walk upon again, en they also wanted to make sure all de movement wouldn’t hurt Kobe. They knew how much mo movement humans would make. When they were satisfied that his was a good home, they called up to Sky Woman en asked her to come down en be among dem. She accepted, happy that she would not have to be lonely anymore.

When she came down, she walked all round de kobe’s back en saw dat it was indeed a large en fine home. This took her many days to do because de turtle was a very large one. When she came back to de eastern place where she began, she said, “Kobe, you are a brave en strong animal to offer your back to me en to all of de humans that will come from me en my pikney. If you stay as a our home forever, you will not have de chance to do de tings dat kobes should, so I will help you wota animals, go en search out de land at de bottom of de ocean en bring some back to me.”

All of de wota animals dove down en tried. Some brought back a grain of earth but there wasn’t enough. Finally when they had all just bout given up, de muskrat came up with a mouthful of dirt en laid it at de Sky Woman’s feet before collapsing. After she used her medicine to revive Muskrat, she took de earth en again walked all around Kobe’s back. As she walked, she dropped de earth all around de back. When she got back to de beginning, she breathed de breath of life upon de earth en it multiplied, covering all of Kobe’s back.

“Kobe,” said Sky Woman, “you may now return to your life. But, in honor of de sacrifice dat you made en were ready to make, dis land shall be called Turtle Island, en even though you tend to be a creature of de wota you will also be thought of as de creature of dis land, dis part of de dunia.”

And dat is how Kobe became de totem of de earth clan.

[source: wahenga thru The Medicine Wheel – Earth Astrology, written by Sun Bear and Wabun]

check dis…where I learned, that this is American Indian Heritage Month

check dis too…..

Toronto Indigenous Sovereignty Week 2010 – Resistance and Renewal



Ceremonial opening

Native Canadian Centre of Toronto – 16 Spadina Road, just north of Bloor.

Join us as we open Indigenous Sovereignty Week with drum, song, and food, and an opening address by Lee Maracle (Stó:lō) and Derek Bressette. Performers will include Zainab Amadahy (Tsalagi) and a big drum (TBA).



“The Scars of Mercury”

A film about Grassy Narrows

Native Canadian Centre of Toronto – 16 Spadina Road, just north of Bloor.

Please join us to watch a documentary film about Grassy Narrows, and to mark the opening of Indigenous Sovereignty Week.

‘The Scars of Mercury’ explores the processes that threaten the destruction of a traditional and contemporary Indigenous hunting, fishing and gathering way of life, through residential schools, relocation, treaty violations, and clear-cutting, with a special focus on mercury poisoning.

The Grassy Narrows community has fought decades for justice on mercury issues, and is home to the longest running blockade in Canada – established to stop clearcut logging of their forests.  Grassroots people are working tirelessly to heal their community, revive their culture, and take control of their lives and territory.

See the film website.


Stay informed and to take action in support of Grassy Narrows





Fighting for Indigenous education

UTS, 371 Bloor Street West, between Huron and Spadina (to be confirmed)


Joanna Anaquod (Anishinaabe), organizer of the 1989 hunger strike  to protect post-secondary education funding for status Indians

Ruth Koleszar-Green (Kanienkehaka), Academic Support Advisor at Aboriginal Student Services, Ryerson University (on leave)

Others TBA

Moderator: Lee Maracle (Stó:lō), well-known poet, thinker, feminist, elder-in-residence at U of T, and long-time Indigenous sovereignty activist

Canada’s education system has been a pillar of Canadian colonialism – it has been a primary weapon of cultural genocide in Canada; it has shaped racist images of Indigenous peoples in public discourse; and it has disappeared Canada’s history of colonialism, so that non-Native people do not see or understand their role in Canadian colonialism.

Generations of Indigenous people were forced to go to residential schools, where they were brutalized and forced to forget their languages, customs, and cultures. Today, the reality of most education for status Indians is that it is underfunded and inadequate. Governments spend much less on education for on-reserve Native students than they do for non-Natives. And they are doing little to address issues of language loss and cultural alienation. Meanwhile, post-secondary funding for Indian students is being threatened for the first time in 20 years.

Learn about the history of education in Canadian colonialism, and about how Indigenous people are fighting attacks on their access to education, while at the same time creating Indigenous models of education that are part of a process of decolonizing Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples alike.




Every inch of our land is who we are: protecting mother Earth, protecting traditional knowledge

Fitzgerald Building, Room 103, University of Toronto – 150 College Street

Land, life, and language are inseparable from the identity of First Nations. Many First Nations still live in a traditional subsistence economy – gathering food and medicines, hunting and trapping for food and clothing, and building shelter on their traditional territories. Over thousands of years of living on and caring for the land, Indigenous Peoples have developed a vast and sensitive knowledge of their territories and the beings that live within them. Destruction of traditional food sources threatens the survival of Indigenous Peoples and their knowledge – but destruction of Indigenous Peoples also threatens the survival of the planet.

Aamjiwnaang First Nation, in Chemical Valley near Sarnia, has been devastated by toxins produced in the petrochemical plants near the community. The Wet’suwet’en First Nation in Northern BC is fighting the building of a pipeline to carry tar sands oil through their territory. Our speakers will talk about the struggles for environmental justice on these territories, and on strategies for preserving traditional ecological knowledge for future generations.


Ron Plain (Aamjiwnaang), has been a leader in environmental justice struggles by First Nations, particularly in his home community of Aamjiwnaang

Toghestiy Wet’suwet’en (Wet’suwet’en), hereditary title holder in the Wet’suwet’en nation

Leanne Simpson (to be confirmed), professor of Native Studies at Trent University

Moderator: Sylvia Plain (Aamjiwnang), organizer with the Native Students Association




Igniting resistance through Indigenous Bodies: Sexuality, Two-Spirit and Creativity

Native Canadian Centre of Toronto – 16 Spadina Road, Toronto

This evening will focus on a discussion and a workshop around resistance through Indigenous bodies in the creative spaces that they exist. Topics will include self-determination, youth empowerment, sex and the crucial role of two-spirit people in the fight for sovereignty. Join us for refreshments, intense conversations, and fun!


Erin Konsmo (Saulteaux), Indigenous feminist, artist, and Alberta representative on the National Aboriginal Youth Council on HIV/AIDS (NAYCHA).

Krysta WIlliams, Lead Youth Advocate for the Native Youth Sexual Health Network, an Indigenous Feminist and Turtle clan from Moravian of the Thames First Nation.

Louis Cruz (Mi’kmaq)


Dana Wesley (Cree)

Shanee Qua (Plains Cree) Two-spirit Trans Aboriginal who speaks on behalf of Two Spirit, HIV/AIDS, Trans and Native Issues.

Daniel Heath Justice (Cherokee)

Cosponsored by the Centre for Women and Trans People (U of T)


11 AM – Peaceful march on child welfare issues

Meet at Queen’s Park at 11AM. There will be a feast at the end of the march.

Hosted by Grass Roots Committee of Ontario

A call out to all supporters, warriors, leadership and community members for accountability and changes to the subsequent attacks on native people in this society. We want CAS (Children’s Aid Society) off our communities and replaced by our own services as developed by our own people both on/off reserve level. Do our First Nation leadership have control of these programs? No, so we demand answers.


The Privatization of Reserve Lands: the Conservative shortcut to assimilation of status Indians?

Music Room at Hart House (University of Toronto), 7 Hart House Circle

Accessible: Yes, for more information, see:


Arthur Manuel (Secwepemc), veteran of the Sun Peaks struggle, former chief of Neskonlith First Nation, and spokesperson for Defenders of the Land and Indigenous Network on Economies and Trade

Armand Mackenzie (Innu), Innu Lawyer for the Council of Nitassinan, has been defending his nation from low-level military flights and hydro projects for over 15 years.

Bertha Wilson (Coast Salish), continues to fight the Tsawassen treaty which privatized her people’s land

Pamela Palmater (Mi’kmaq),  chair in Indigenous Governance and Associate Professor in the Department of Politics and Public Administration at Ryerson University

Moderator: Heather Dorries (Anishinaabe)

Since the 1800s, Canada has been seeking to terminate Indigenous Peoples and extinguish their title to their lands. From the 1850s on, a favoured strategy has been the conversion of reserve lands into “fee simple” lands that can be bought and sold like other lands – including to non-Native people. This idea was most clearly put forward in the infamous White Paper of 1969, and the Buffalo Jump memo of the 1980s, a cabinet memo that described how “fee simple”, among other policy tools, would channel Indigenous Peoples to voluntary termination and extinguishment. Today, in a massive push by the Department of Indian Affairs and high-powered Conservative thinkers close to Stephen Harper – including the Fraser Institute and Harper’s mentor Tom Flanagan – the idea of fee simple is again being peddled to Indians as a panacea.

Despite the legacy of colonialism and racism surrounding the creation of reserve lands, reserve lands have served to anchor Indigenous Peoples in their traditional territories. Fee simple has only one goal – the alienation of reserve lands, the extinguishment of Aboriginal title, and the termination of Indigenous Peoples. Hear how the government is trying to roll out this policy, and how it can be stopped.

Sponsored by Indigenous Law Journal, University of Toronto Initiative on Indigenous Governance, Aboriginal Law Students Association, Barriere Lake Solidarity



Tkaronto – Film Screening

University College Room 179, 15 Kings College Circle

… a reflective and provoking exploration of two Aboriginal 30-somethings, Ray and Jolene, who make an unexpected connection at the pinnacle of a common struggle: to stake claim to their urban Aboriginal identity…

Director Shane Belcourt will be in attendance!

Sponsored by the departments of Geography and Planning and Canadian Studies at the University of Toronto


The Aboriginal City – panel discussion

University College Room 179, 15 Kings College Circle

What does it mean to work with, for and/or in the Aboriginal city? What would a decolonizing city look like? How do we get there?


Shane Belcourt (Director, ‘Tkaronto’), Heather Howard (University of Michigan), Evelyn Peters (University of Winnipeg), Lee Maracle (University of Toronto)

Moderator: Shiri Pasternak (University of Toronto)

Light refreshments will be provided.

Sponsored by the departments of Canadian Studies and Geography and Planning at the University of Toronto.


Indigenous Law, Justice, Governance

Wilson Hall 1016, New College, University of Toronto

Speakers: Toby Decoursay, elder, Algonquins of Barriere Lake; others TBA

Aaaron Mills, (Anishnabe – Couchiching First Nation)

Moderator: Dawnis Kennedy (Anishinaabe – Roseau River)

Join us for an evening of learning about the legal, constitutional, and justice systems of Indigenous peoples. While some of these customary traditions were buried throughout periods of colonial repression, unbroken lines of knowledge continue to pass along between generations and continue to govern the social orders of communities across this land.

Sponsored by Indigenous Law Journal, University of Toronto Initiative on Indigenous Governance, Aboriginal Law Students Association, Barriere Lake Solidarity



Mobilizing support for Canada to implement the United Nations Declaration on the RIghts of Indigenous Peoples

Bowing to intense political pressure, Canada has finally signed the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples – with caveats and provisos. KAIROS Canada has chosen to make the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples its major focus for 2010-2011. Come learn about the UNDRIP, its background, and how you can be part of the campaign to get Canada to implement it.

Speaker: Arthur Manuel (Secwepemc), Defenders of the Land & Indigenous Network on Economies and Trade


Great Indian Bus Tour

The Native Canadian Centre

16 Spadina Road – north of Bloor

Get on the bus! A real tour of the Indigenous history of Toronto!


The Toronto Native History Project at The Native Canadian Centre in partnership with Indigenous Sovereignty Week is proud to present The Great Indian Bus Tour.

2:00pm to 5:00pm (Arrive 10 minutes early to get seated)

The Bus tour will depart from and return to The Native Canadian Centre (NCC) on Saturday Nov. 27 located at 16 Spadina ROAD, north of Bloor.

Seating must be reserved and paid in advance by contacting Tannis Nielson at the NCC 416-964-9087 ext. 326. We recommend booking and paying for your seat early to guarantee your spot. Payment must be made to Tannis no later than Thursday Nov. 25.

Ticket cost is $20 per person

Cash payment only


MUSKRAT magazine Launch & Creation Tales

Walnut Studios, 83 Walnut Avenue (near Bathurst and King)

With Special Guest Storytellers:

Come sit around the fire and listen to The Anishinabek Creation Story (inspired by Muskrat) and told by Mnijikining storyteller, Mark Douglas

Witness Creation, a Video Performance by Métis Visual Artist, Tannis Neilson

New Works showcase by:

Visual Artist Travis Shilling & Filmmaker & Photographer Keesic Douglas

The MUSKRAT is an on-line Indigenous arts, culture, and living magazine that honours the connection between humans and our traditional ecological knowledge by exhibiting original works and critical commentary. MUSKRAT embraces both rural and urban settings and uses media arts, the Internet, and wireless technology to investigate and disseminate traditional knowledges in ways that inspire their reclamation.



Symposium on building new relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples, and working in solidarity, including:

Canada’s termination policy – an overview by Roger Obonsawin (Abenaki)

Building Indigenous unity -a workshop with Roger Obonsawin

Learning lessons from the past and present of solidarity organizing with Ed Bianchi (KAIROS)

Indigenous Solidarity for people of colour

Closing debrief circle

Further details TBA


FIND US ON FACEBOOK:!/event.php?eid=170827162936733

Press Release

 ( aka. the truth about our stories: revisited)

The q/t werd is our [epic of a] quest for unity within our diversity.

A mystic, organic, us/folk driven caravan of  real talks with (en legends of) people we love, respekt and admire, and need to get to know betta .

The series examines the fragmentation and intersections of our diversity and charts the growth of our communities through interviews with a diverse bunch of POC, and topical themes from identity politics, community accountability, using the arts for revolushunary change to ethics and guides in dating and non-monogamous relationships and survivor accounts

It uh go (go) something like


#1 a is for (mama) afrika

#2 b is for bredrin en dadas in solidarity

#3 c is for colour spill productions

#4  d is for (the spaces between) dini ya msambwa (lukemi en santeria)

#5  e is for (the link between) Elijah Masinde (and Elijah Wilson)

lakini leo ni leo ni monday is for medusa, the official opening of the word! sound! powah! (graduation) fest of the artists in residence at anitAFrika dub theatre……the fiya, wota, earth en air this time, in this place here (aka. tdot), is blessed

En so (mpaka) kesho, it only makes sense that we shud tell you mo’ about the art of nneka en nneke, in the Q/T werd, au siyo?

hadithi? hadithi? hadithi njoo…..

 I give thanks for yesterday, today and tomorrow, thank you for guiding us here today. Bless those who pray for us, who love (and share with) us. Bless the motherless and fatherless. Bless the homeless. Bless those sick in hospital.

Inspire those without hope, Ifa, I pray that you strengthen those without faith.  Bless our ancestors, whose shoulders we stand on.

Bless our healers and peacemakers. Bless our freedom fighters. Bless granmama dunia and our wotas. Bless all our living relatives.

Bless the pikney and guides of the peace camp & the communities we’re re/building partnerships with.

I pray for health and prosperity, not only for myself but for others.

I pray for humbleness, not only for myself but for others.

I pray for clarity and wisdom, not only for myself but for others

Forgive my sins, those that I know and those that I don’t know about, those that I have yet to commit. Forgive my foolishness.

I pray that we continue to be guided to our right/full destinies……


 Open letter to Tdot;

On Friday July 23rd, children and their companions will proceed on a path of peace, before that, we’ll meet to pray for grandmother earth and all our relatives @ taylor creek park, and after we will break/fast together…..

The  ”peace-is-possible” parade plan is to converge @ the parking lot of Shopper’s World, 3003 Danforth at 10:00am,

The parade starts @ 11:00am, and we’ll parade west along the danforth to dawes road, and north to (a picnic lunch in) taylor creek park

@ 1:00pm – the matinee of ‘The Space Between’ by The Peace Camp @ the peace theatre

[blogger’s notes: one version of the peace is possible parade is something like]

Drum circle with the funketeers

6:30AM – Sunrise ceremony  – Yoruba house project

A/(c)/r/ti/vists & volunteers hub

8:00 – (community) breakfast  @ the peace theatre

9:30 – Yoga class – the people project

10:00 – Dance class – house of munro

11:00 – parade led by the samba kidz & the piper: Merril Matthews

11:30 – water stop @ Dentonia  Park United Church

11:45 – silent “B.O.P” march with LAL


NOON  – lunch @ taylor creek park – afghan women’s catering group


1300 – MATINEE: THE SPACE(S) BETWEEN – outdoor amphitheatre @ the (children’s) peace theatre

305 Dawes Road

1800 – outdoor film screening @ The peace theatre

 red lips [cages for black girls] & trailers of Walking in Victor’s shoes/Nekkyd en The q[‘t] werd series


2000 – tambor