The art of fire: reviving the Indigenous craft of cultural burning

Indigenous Peoples have managed their lands with fire since time immemorial. But colonizers criminalized the practice, leading to a loss of culture and an increase in the risk of wildfires. Now, a small but mighty group of people is revitalizing the craft Yunesit’in Chief Russell Myers Ross stands in a clearing surrounded by seared pine trees in Tsilhqot’in territory in central B.C. on a crisp, sunny spring day.

Michelle Latimer Puts Indigenous Stories Front and Centre at TIFF 2020

Métis-Algonquin director Michelle Latimer has two projects premiering at the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival: the CBC television series Trickster and documentary Inconvenient Indian. While the series and film are each based on books – Trickster is a riff on the gripping Eden Robinson book Son of a Trickster and the doc is born from Thomas King’s The Inconvenient Indian – the two separate projects evolved into a kind of a call and a response of each other.

Christian Allaire Is a New Kind of Vogue Editor

Christian Allaire is rewriting the rules of fashion journalism. Allaire, who is Ojibway, is the fashion and style writer at Vogue. When his first Indigenous-focused fashion article for the venerable fashion title, “How 6 Indigenous Designers Are Using Fashion to Reclaim Their Future” went live, Indigenous people sent him a over a hundred tweets, DMs and comments. “It opened the floodgates. I started receiving a ton of pitches and started being introduced to so many great new artists and designe

Indigenous Artists Are Creating Boundary-Pushing Pieces That Inspire Strength and Healing

While Mainstream media has been slow to hear this appeal, a tide of Indigenous female artists are responding by smashing stereotypes and taking ownership of their own sexuality in their work. Crafting provocative pieces – from beaded BDSM masks to burlesque performances centred around residential schools – these creatives are striving to make space for positive representations of our bodies and sensuality by producing art that can help heal both the viewer and the maker.

We Cannot Be All Of The Things

This is the refrain I need to remind myself daily: “I cannot be all of the things.” For the most part I understand that the sacrifice my family of four is making by staying home and social distancing is an extremely small price to pay in order to stop the spread of Covid-19. We are lucky. We’re not frontline workers or employed by essential services and our kids are young enough that they’re not missing major school events or lessons. We are healthy. Our loved ones are healthy.

Water Is Life: Indigenous Women Are Fighting For Rivers, Lakes and Oceans

Our most precious resource faces endless threats, including pollution, resource extraction and for-profit bottling. Across Canada, these women are trying to protect it. Makaśa Looking Horse, Six Nations of the Grand River (near Brantford, Ont.) “Knowing that my community doesn’t have clean drinking water, and then a large corporation like Nestlé is making billions off of our water is maddening,” says Makaśa Looking Horse.

An Ode to Rihanna

Even to a non-member of the Rihanna Navy, it’s easy to admire the powerhouse singer and business woman also known as Robyn Rihanna Fenty. Besides, what better time to write a love letter to Rihanna – we’ve got time as we’re social distancing – and especially to enjoy her March 2020 British Vogue cover in a durag (the mag’s first cover appearance of the headgear, a symbol of black life, writes British Vogue’s editor-in-chief Edward Enninful).

Yolanda Bonnell's bug is an enthralling journey into Indigenous women's lives

BUG by Yolanda Bonnell (Manidoons Collective/Theatre Passe Muraille/Native Earth Performing Arts). At Theatre Passe Muraille (16 Ryerson). Runs to February 22. $17-$38. 416-504-7529, passemuraille.ca. See listing. Rating: Yolanda Bonnell’s solo show bug is an enthralling journey into the struggles of two Indigenous women – and their vices. The character we spend the most time with is the Girl, who starts out naive and hopeful, full of love for fireflies and wishing she, too, could glow.

Toronto prof creates app to help Brazilian trans women avoid violence

Maria Clara de Sena has lived in Toronto for two and a half years, but still receives calls from her home country Brazil with news of another trans person who has been murdered. “The process in Brazil now is to kill us one by one,” she says during an interview at the cafe in the 519 Community Centre. “Many Trans woman have to go to the street every single day to work as sex workers to survive.”

STRONG MEDICINE FOR AN AILING SYSTEM

Racism in doctors’ offices and emergency rooms is a fact of life for Indigenous people living in the GTA. But this trio of women – a communications mastermind, a doctor and strategist, and an Elder in residence – have set out to change that Several years ago, Joy Henderson was at home alone, indulging in a rare nap, when a cyst in her ovary ruptured. As her symptoms intensified, her in-laws happened to drop in, and they drove her to Scarborough General Hospital.
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