With the news of the birth, Spirit Wind called on the audience members to join in singing and drumming a traditional welcoming song for the newest and very blessed member of our community.
There are times when the universe conspires a perfectly orchestrated synchronicity of events that no human could possibly plan. The evening of the Toronto book launch of Honouring Indigenous Women – Hearts of Nations Vol. 2. was one of those times. The launch was co-presented by community partners: MUSKRAT Magazine, The Sound of my Heart Collective, and the Toronto & York Regional Métis Council. The book launch was also a fundraiser for the No More Silence community run database documenting violent deaths of Indigenous women/Two-Spirit and Trans who have died as a result of colonialism. The decision to hold the launch at the Birth Centre was to ground the launch in a community space which is symbolic of healing nations and building healthy communities. The Toronto Birth Centre, envisioned and designed by Aboriginal midwives wanting to provide culturally secure space to create positive birth and community stories, struck a good and powerful balance to the somber realities our communities sometimes face.
Contributing writers in attendance included: Zainab Amadahy, Tera Beaulieu, Angela Mashford-Pringle, Catherine McCarty, PJ Prudat, and Faith Turner who drove all the way to Toronto from Timmins, Ontario (that’s 22 hours!) to attend the launch. The writers shared powerful readings and discussed what inspires their writing practice as the audience feasted on a delicious venison stew with bannock, compliments of the Native Women’s Resource Centre of Toronto.
As a small crowd gathered on the second floor of the Birth Centre, word spread that there was a woman downstairs in labour, and that she happened to be the first Indigenous mother who would be giving birth at the centre. The evening progressed and Spirit Wind drummers led a drum circle, inviting audience members to participate. It wasn’t long before a birth attendant informed us that the first Aboriginal baby had just been born at the Birth Centre! The baby had been welcomed by his extended family and had two Aboriginal midwives and an Aboriginal midwifery student providing care. Upon hearing the news, the crowd at the booklaunch let out a huge cheer and the room filled with joyous energy. With the news of the birth, Spirit Wind called on the audience members to join in singing and drumming a traditional welcoming song for the newest and very blessed member of our community and people departed the evening with full hearts.
Faith Turner is a Moose Cree First Nation member. Faith and her family currently reside on Moose Factory Island in Ontario. Her passion is writing and the arts with her writing published in various magazines and in an Anthology Book of Poetry and also read on stage in Poetry Readings. Combining the written word with varying topics such as FASD, Suicide Prevention, Residential Schools to bring awareness and understanding of Indigenous culture and people.