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Left to Right: Elwood Jimmy, Wanda Nanibush & Brian Norton | Image Source: The Power Plant

Ombaasin is a collective of First Nations word and image warriors committed to innovative programming that builds community and helps the arts grow through spaces of experimentation and exchange. Ombaasin means to be lifted by the wind in Anishiinaabemowin. Its members include Wanda Nanibush, Elwood Jimmy and Brian Norton.

Braid of Resistance and Live Performance:

The collective will collaboratively create new work that honours the active and prolonged resistance of Indigenous people, in particular Indigenous women and two spirited people, to violence and colonization. We invite Indigenous community members to create a huge braid with us in the days leading up to the performance. An elder will guide the group through the sweet grass and braid teachings.

During the Live Performance, the braid will be presented to the public and we will sing our songs to its spirit. Celebrated Cree singer Rosary Spence will conduct free song workshops in advance of the performance.

Events Schedule

Songs of Spirit Workshop with Rosary Spence
27, 28, 29 July 2015 5:30 – 8:30 PM
Centre for Indigenous Theatre
Bring a drum or rattle. We are in need of additional drums and rattles. If you can lend some to our event please email

Braid of Resistance community creation with Ombassin Collective
31 July, 2015 5:30 – 7:30 PM
1 – 2 August, 2015 1:00 – 3:00 PM
Centre for Indigenous Theatre
Bring cloth, sweetgrass, or any other material you would like to use. Attend as many sessions as you would like.

Live Performance at The Power Plant
8 August, 2015 1:00 – 5:00 PM
South Terrace
We will have a mic for anyone who wants to share their story, song or poem.



Centre for Indigenous Theatre
180 Shaw Street
Suite 209
Toronto ON M6J 2W5

Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery
231 Queens Quay West
Toronto, Ontario M5J 2G8

Co-presented with Planet IndigenUS.

For more information:

AUGUST 6 @ 8:00pm Harbourfront Centre, Brigatine Room
Featuring Eriel Tchekwie Deranger, Amanda Lickers, Wanda Nanibush

Ombaasin presents the panel discussion Oil and Water with community change makers Eriel Deranger and Amanda Lickers in conversation with collective member Wanda Nanibush. Going forward, the understanding of the earth’s knowledge will rewrite the policy on resource extraction.

Eriel Deranger

Eriel Tchekwie Deranger, is the Communications Manager of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation of Alberta, Canada. She is one of the most powerful and tireless activists working to resist the fossil fuel industry’s immense extractive operations in Alberta’s “tar sands,” that causes devastation to her people’s ancestral homelands in the boreal forest around Lake Athabasca, to the world community and the global biosphere already in the throes of climate change-induced cataclysms. Eriel has organized demonstrations and campaigns, initiated lawsuits, and traveled the world speaking to audiences, including at the UN, to defend her people’s right to survive and the fragile ecosystems and wildlife habitat of northern forests at risk of annihilation, as well as the very future of life on this planet.

Amanda Lickers

Amanda Lickers (Turtle Clan, Onondowa’ga Haudenosaunee) is a spoken word poet, filmmaker and curator for Reclaim Turtle Island (@defendourlands). Amanda spends her time fanning the flames of the Indigenous insurrection, supporting grassroots land defense and sovereignty struggles. Currently based in Tiotiah:ke (“montreal”), occupied Kanien’keha:ka territory, she organizes against land exploitation projects that threaten the health of her territories, like line 9 and energy east. She recently released her first short film, co-produced with titled Kahsatstenhsera, a short on Indigenous resistance to tar sands pipelines in NE Turtle Island.

Harbourfront Centre, Brigatine Room
235 Queens Quay West, Toronto, ON M5J 2G8

Brian Norton is an anishnawbe from Chimnissing First Nation with a passion for supporting the arts and promoting environmental responsibility through active involvement in the community.

Originally from the Thunderchild First Nation in northwestern Saskatchewan, Elwood Jimmy works in Toronto as a curator, programmer, writer, cultural manager, and artist.

Wanda Nanibush is an Anishinaabe-kwe image and word warrior who has organized for Idle No More. She has taught and written on the history of Indigenous women’s resistances. Currently she is guest curator at the Art Gallery of Ontario, writing a book on Indigenous women’s resistance to violence and finishing a film called A Love Letter to My People. She is a member of Beausoliel First Nation and lives on her people’s territory.

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About The Author

MUSKRAT Magazine

MUSKRAT is an on-line Indigenous arts, culture 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.

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