3rd Annual

Gchi Dewin
Indigenous Storytellers Festival

December 7-9, 2017

Charles W. Stockey Centre for the Performing Arts, Parry Sound, Ontario

Presented by

logos_mmagrez91
Come enjoy a very special festival packed with traditional and contemporary storytelling for the entire family

Under the Spirit Moon

Gchi Dewin means “Big Heart”
in the Anishinabe language.

What is the Gchi Dewin
Indigenous Storytellers Festival?

Building on over three decades of combined diverse successful arts programming presentation by ReZ’91 Radio and MUSKRAT Magazine, the Gchi Dewin Collective has come together to present the annual Gchi Dewin Indigenous Storytelling Festival with the goal to generate awareness and build audiences for the rich Indigenous storytelling traditions.

Our mandate is to build cultural awareness and meaningful relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities and youth through traditional and contemporary storytelling.

Gchi Dewin means “Big Heart” in the Anishinabe language. Storytellers are individuals with ‘big hearts’ because they listen, hold, and share traditional knowledge with the community.

Indigenous art and culture in Ontario- and indeed the world- is founded in its oral storytelling traditions. The Collective recognizes that Indigenous identity is rooted in the land and that our stories convey our entire local histories and worldview.

Our work is important because generations of storytelling traditions have been uprooted by the negative impacts of colonization and the Gchi Dewin Indigenous Storytellers Festival reclaims, revitalizes and advances this traditional arts practice.

The Festival explores innovative ways of interpreting oral literature, history, language significance and Indigenous culture through storytelling presentation in traditional, on-line, and broadcast formats which contributes to building cultural awareness on local, national, and international levels.

Friday
December 8, 2017
Indigenous Storytellers Festival

Friday
December 8, 2017
12:00pm – 2:30pm
Welcome Feast and Storytelling

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Water Ceremony

Water Ceremony with Nokomis Water Walker Josephine Mandamin

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Special Reading

Special reading of The Water Walker, by author Joanne Robertson

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Rabbit and Bear Paws

Puppet Show with Rabbit and Bear Paws, Chad Solomon

Friday
December 8, 2017
7:00pm – 9:00pm (Doors open at 6:30pm)
Special Winter Storytelling Show

It is with big hearts that we welcome this year’s

Storytellers

  • John Rice
    John Rice Host, Storyteller & Knowledge Keeper
    Read Bio

    Zahgausgai zhinkaazo, Mukwa Dodemim, is an Ojibwa/Anishinabeninni and a 3rd Degree member of the Three Fires Midewiwin Society from Wasauksing First Nation. John’s Midewiwin Education began in 1982 and is ongoing. He has made it a life passion to study the “MIikaans” Teachings which are about the whole development of the human before, during and after life. John generously shares his knowledge throughout the region. He currently works as part of the Early Psychosis Intervention Team at CMHA in Barrie. His past work experience includes work as the Elder/Healer at the Mental Health Centre in Penetanguishene and Fenbrook Medium Institution near Gravenhurst, Ontario He has been a part time lecturer at Georgian College in Barrie. John travels internationally and is a well-respected teacher and Elder in the Anishinabe Nation.

  • Josephine Mandamin
    Josephine Mandamin Grandmother Water Walker
    Read Bio

    Josephine is a member of the Wikwemikong Unceded Nation. With a copper pail of water in one hand and a staff in the other, Josephine Mandamin, an Anishabaabekwe grandmother and traditional knowledge keeper took on a sacred walk, traversing over 10,900 miles around each of the Great Lakes; she is known as the “Water Walker.” In Anishinaabekwe culture, women have the responsibility to take care for the water.  “The water of Mother Earth, she carries life to us, and as women we carry life through our bodies.” In the wake of extreme extractive industries such fracking, oil, and coal mining, access to clean water is rapidly declining.  “In our prophecies, in our Three Fires Midewiwin Society, we are taught that water is very precious. In February 2016, Josephine was awarded the Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Award for Excellence in Conservation.

  • ISKWÉ
    ISKWÉ Performer
    Read Bio

    In a world where the sum of our lives is defined through another’s gaze, genuinely unchained artists like Winnipeg-bred Hamilton-based Iskwé (pronounced iss-kway) are a rare breed. Named one of the ‘Top 10 Artists to Watch’ by CBC Music, Iskwé’s (‘woman’ in Cree) unmistakable sound weaves her Irish and Cree/Dené/Métis roots with poignant politically charged lyrics, dark soulful R&B rhythms, electronic flourishes, and trip hop breakbeats. Her debut single “Nobody Knows” was featured in the Netflix series Between, captivated audiences by turning a stark spotlight on the more than 1200 missing and murdered Indigenous women here in Canada. Iskwé’s sophomore album ‘The Fight Within’ was just released.

  • Rabbit & Bear Paws
    Rabbit & Bear Paws Puppet Show, Chad Solomon
    Read Bio

    Chad Solomon is a member of the Henvey Inlet, First Nation. As a child, he and his family would visit with his late grandparents in the French River Ontario area. His grandfather Art Solomon, a traditional healer and justice activist would spend his time building wooden toys and playing with Chad and his siblings. Even in winter Art would go tobogganing with them. Learning from his grandfather, that no matter how old you become, you should always be young-at-heart and that laughter is the greatest medicine. This is the spirit behind the comical Adventures of Rabbit and Bear Paws  series.

  • Waubgeshig Rice
    Waubgeshig Rice Author, Journalist
    Read Bio

    Waubgeshig Rice is an author and journalist originally from Wasauksing First Nation. He developed a strong passion for storytelling as a child while learning about being Anishinaabe. The stories his elders shared and his unique experiences growing up in his community inspired him to write creatively. Some of the stories he wrote as a teenager eventually became Midnight Sweatlodge, his first collection of fiction published by Theytus Books in 2011. His debut novel, Legacy, was also published by Theytus in the summer of 2014. His journalism career began when he was a 17-year-old exchange student in northern Germany, writing about being Anishinaabe in a European country for newspapers back in Canada. He graduated from Ryerson University’s journalism program in 2002, and has worked in a variety of media across Canada since. He started working for CBC in Winnipeg in 2006. Along with reporting the news, he has produced television and radio documentaries and features for the public broadcaster. He currently works as a video journalist for CBC News Ottawa. In 2014, he received the Anishinabek Nation’s Debwewin Citation for Excellence in First Nation Storytelling.

  • Esther Osche
    Esther Osche Storyteller, Professor
    Read Bio

    Esther is a storyteller and teacher of local history in Birch Island – Whitefish River First Nation (Manitoulin) where she lives. She visits schools and libraries sharing stories of the Ojibwa people that were passed down to her from her grandparents. These stories address the interconnectedness to all things through human relationships with the natural world, thunder beings, water and wind spirits.

  • Mskwaankwad Rice
    Mskwaankwad Rice Anishnaabembda Noongo Host
    Read Bio

    Mskwaankwad is Anishinaabe from Waasaaksing. In recent years Mskwaankwad has sought to learn his traditional language of Anishinaabemowin in order to help revitalize and pass it on to future generations. He hosts a beginner Anishinaabemowin learning program on CHRZ Rez 91.3 FM and is involved in language revitalization efforts across Anishinaabe Akiing.

  • Little Spirit Singers
    Little Spirit Singers Musical Guests
    Read Bio

    The Little Spirit Singers started about a decade ago when students at the Wasauksing Kinomaugewgamik school went to teacher Deina Bomberry saying they missed the singing they’d done while in her Grade 1 / 2 class. She and the girls started gathering at recess and eventually were invited to perform in public. It took off from there. The traditional singing group of elementary and high school-aged girls has performed around Ontario, for special events and conferences for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the Union of Ontario Indians, and Town of Parry Sound Mayor’s New Year’s Levee. Last year the community celebrated the Little Spirit Singers and their Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Award for Youth Achievement.

Short films, Giveaways and more!

Thursday
December 7, 2017
Our Beautiful Land Film Festival

Thursday
December 7, 2017
10:00am – 12:00pm
Building Bridges Program

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Building Our Bridge

An award-winning illustrated book about reconciliation by Parry Sound High School students will be told and presented on stage.

Striking Balance

The people of Georgian Bay struggle to mitigate the impact of increasing numbers of cottagers and a new four-lane highway on the region’s endangered species. 53 min

Thursday
December 7, 2017
12:30pm – 2:30pm
Journeys of Decolonization
Directors in Attendance!

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Spirit of Birth

After a colonial legacy of silencing Indigenous women’s wisdom, a searching mother and midwives journey to unearth traditional birth practice. They call back their ancient birthright as life-givers, and breathe pride, identity, and tradition back to a struggling community. Directed by Rebeka Tabobondung. 11 min

Colonization Road

Anishinaabe comedian and activist Ryan McMahon takes us to his hometown of Fort Frances and down its main drag, which is called Colonization Road. On his journey through Ontario, McMahon explores the history of these roads, meets with settlers in solidarity and raises significant questions about “reconciliation” and what it means to “decolonize.”  Directed by Michelle St. John. 50 min

Thursday
December 7, 2017
7:00pm – 9:00pm
RUMBLE: The Indians Who Rocked the World

RUMBLE: The Indians Who Rocked the World

Tells the story of a profound, essential, and, until now, missing chapter in the history of American music: the Indigenous influence. Featuring music icons Charley Patton, Mildred Bailey, Link Wray, Jimi Hendrix, Jesse Ed Davis, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Robbie Robertson, Randy Castillo, and others, RUMBLE will show how these talented Native musicians helped shape the soundtracks of our lives.

RUMBLE is inspired by the Smithsonian Institution exhibit “Up Where We Belong: Native Musicians In Popular Culture,” created by Tim Johnson and Stevie Salas for the National Museum of the American Indian.

RUMBLE has a long list of music artists, historians, family members, and experts participating in the film, including: Buddy Guy, Steven Van Zandt, Tony Bennett, Taj Mahal, Cyril Neville, Ivan Neville, Martin Scorsese, John Trudell, David Fricke (Rolling Stone Magazine), Steven Tyler, Derek Trucks, Corey Harris, Guy Davis, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Monk Boudreaux, George Clinton, Jackson Browne, Martha Redbone, James “Hutch” Hutchinson, Joy Harjo, Iggy Pop, Wayne Kramer (MC5), Marky Ramone (The Ramones), Taylor Hawkins (Foo Fighters), Pura Fe Crescioni (Ulali), Dan Auerbach (The Black Keys), Phil Soussan (Ozzy Osbourne), Matt Sorum (Guns ‘N’ Roses), Mike Inez (Alice in Chains), Robert Trujillo (Metallica), Taboo (Black Eyed Peas), Slash (Guns ‘N’ Roses), Charlie Sexton (Bob Dylan), Rhiannon Giddens (Carolina Chocolate Drops), Pat Vegas (Redbone), Robbie Robertson, Buffy Sainte-Marie, and many others.

Full Schedule

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Our Beautiful Land Film Festival

10:00am – 12:00pm
Building Bridges
Program

Building Our Bridge
An award-winning illustrated book about reconciliation by Parry Sound High School students will be told and presented on stage

Striking Balance
The people of Georgian Bay struggle to mitigate the impact of increasing numbers of cottagers and a new four-lane highway on the region’s endangered species. 53 min

12:30pm – 2:30pm
Journeys to Decolonization
Directors in Attendance!

Spirit of Birth
After a colonial legacy of silencing Indigenous women’s wisdom, a searching mother and midwives journey to unearth traditional birth practice. They call back their ancient birthright as life-givers, and breathe pride, identity, and tradition back to a struggling community. Directed by Rebeka Tabobondung. 11 min

Colonization Road
Anishinaabe comedian and activist Ryan McMahon takes us to his hometown of Fort Frances and down its main drag, which is called Colonization Road. On his journey through Ontario, McMahon explores the history of these roads, meets with settlers in solidarity and raises significant questions about “reconciliation” and what it means to “decolonize.”  Directed by Michelle St. John. 50 min

7:00pm – 9:00pm
RUMBLE: The Indians Who Rocked the World

RUMBLE: The Indians Who Rocked the World
Tells the story of a profound, essential, and, until now, missing chapter in the history of American music: the Indigenous influence. Featuring music icons Charley Patton, Mildred Bailey, Link Wray, Jimi Hendrix, Jesse Ed Davis, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Robbie Robertson, Randy Castillo, and others, RUMBLE will show how these talented Native musicians helped shape the soundtracks of our lives.

RUMBLE is inspired by the Smithsonian Institution exhibit “Up Where We Belong: Native Musicians In Popular Culture,” created by Tim Johnson and Stevie Salas for the National Museum of the American Indian.

RUMBLE has a long list of music artists, historians, family members, and experts participating in the film, including: Buddy Guy, Steven Van Zandt, Tony Bennett, Taj Mahal, Cyril Neville, Ivan Neville, Martin Scorsese, John Trudell, David Fricke (Rolling Stone Magazine), Steven Tyler, Derek Trucks, Corey Harris, Guy Davis, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Monk Boudreaux, George Clinton, Jackson Browne, Martha Redbone, James “Hutch” Hutchinson, Joy Harjo, Iggy Pop, Wayne Kramer (MC5), Marky Ramone (The Ramones), Taylor Hawkins (Foo Fighters), Pura Fe Crescioni (Ulali), Dan Auerbach (The Black Keys), Phil Soussan (Ozzy Osbourne), Matt Sorum (Guns ‘N’ Roses), Mike Inez (Alice in Chains), Robert Trujillo (Metallica), Taboo (Black Eyed Peas), Slash (Guns ‘N’ Roses), Charlie Sexton (Bob Dylan), Rhiannon Giddens (Carolina Chocolate Drops), Pat Vegas (Redbone), Robbie Robertson, Buffy Sainte-Marie, and many others.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Indigenous Storytellers Festival

12:00pm – 2:30pm
Welcome Feast and Storytelling

Water Ceremony with Nokimus Water Walker Josephine Mandamin
Special reading of The Water Walker, by author Joanne Robertson
Puppet Show with Rabbit and Bear Paws, Chad Solomon
Youth changemaker, Autumn Peltier

7:00pm – 9:00pm
(Doors open at 6:30pm)
Special Winter Storytelling Show

Host: JOHN RICE  

Featuring:

  • JOSEPHINE MANDAMIN
  • ISKWÉ
  • RABBIT AND BEAR PAWS
  • WAUBGESHIG RICE
  • ESTHER OSCHE
  • MSKWANKWAD RICE
  • LITTLE SPIRIT SINGERS

Short films, Giveaways and more!

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Rez Radio Anishinabemowin

Showtimes
9:30am
12:30pm
5:30pm
7:30pm

Tune in to ReZ 91.3 FM or live stream at rez.91.com to hear a special radio documentary about a Wasauksing mother’s dream to pass the language onto her son.

Festival Location

Charles W. Stockey Centre for the Performing Arts

2 Bay Street, Parry Sound, Ontario

Miigwetch / Thank you
to our

Sponsors