5th Annual

Gchi Dewin
Indigenous Storytellers Festival

Nov. 28-30, 2019

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

Co-presented by

logos_mmagrez91

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

All events are FREE and open to the public at The Stockey Centre for Performing Arts!

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.

Saturday
November 30, 2019
Winter Storytelling Show

Indigenous Appetizers, Festival Market & Give-Away

FREE!

7:00pm – 9:30pm (Doors open at 6:30pm)

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

Storytellers

  • Vance Banzo
    Vance Banzo Comedian
    Read Bio

    Vance Banzo is an award-winning actor and comedian based in Toronto. His sketch troupe, Tallboyz II Men, was a featured part of the OFF-Just For Laughs Festival. An alumnus of the Humber School of Comedy, he can be seen recently on The Beaverton. Banzo is a band member of Fishing Lake First Nation, Saskatchewan. Indian Horse (2017) is his feature film debut.

  • Stephanie Pangowish
    Stephanie Pangowish Comedian
    Read Bio

    A sassy and assy Anishnaabekwe (Ah-nish-nah-beh-kway) from Wiikwemkoong on Manitoulin Island, started performing stand up comedy in 2016 to educate Canadians on Indigenous culture. Based in Toronto Stephanie is a member of Manifest Destiny’s Child an all Indigenous women’s comedy troupe. She’s danced at pow wows for the past 10 winters, watched every movie with Adam Beach in it and pretends to have read all books about Native people.

  • Jodi Baker/Contin
    Jodi Baker/Contin Musician
    Read Bio

    From Wasauksing First Nation, is a member of the Martin Clan. Her Ojibway name translates to New Day Woman Coming and One Who Heals With Songs. Jodi is the Cultural Coordinator for Shawanaga First Nation, coordinating youth hunting camps, full moon ceremonies, monthly sweats, language classes, hand drumming and singing with the local school and community groups. In 2018 Jodi contributed original songs and performed alongside Jennifer Kreisberg in the Festival of the Sound production of Sounding Thunder: The Song of Francis Pegahmagabow about the life of the World War One Canadian hero and navigating the culture of the Ojibwe people. Composed by Tim Corlis, she also played a key role as an advisor for the appropriateness of songs that the show uses.

  • Ken MacDonald
    Ken MacDonald Musician
    Read Bio

    Ken MacDonald is Associate Principal horn with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and on the faculty at the University of Manitoba. He previously served as principal horn for the Hamilton Philharmonic, Symphony Nova Scotia, and the Vancouver Opera Orchestra. Ken has performed in every Canadian province, appearing with a variety of Canada’s top ensembles. Ken has a longstanding association with the Festival of the Sound (Parry Sound, Ontario) and the touring ensemble Octagon. He has performed at Canada’s leading chamber music festivals in Ottawa, Toronto, and Vancouver and has been a featured soloist with the Winnipeg Symphony, the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, and on many newly-commissioned works for the CBC. Since 2011, Ken has travelled to remote communities and reserves throughout Manitoba as a teaching artist for the NAC’s Music Alive Program. Ken lives near Winnipeg with his husband, two children, six goats, horse, and a number of chickens.

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

    Humourist, traditional storyteller and knowledge keeper, Zahgausgai zhinkaazo, Mukwa Dodemim, is an Ojibwa/Anishinabeninni and a 3rd Degree member of the Three Fires Midewiwin Society from WFN. He has made it a life passion to study the “MIikaans” Teaching which is about the whole development of the human before, during and after life. 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.

  • 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.

  • Chance King
    Chance King Storyteller
    Read Bio

    Chance King is a member of Wasauksing First Nation, where he grew up. He is a life long language learner; not yet a speaker, but maybe one day. He is the co-founder of the Wasauksing Nishnaabemowin Saswin.

  • Zeegwon Shilling-Tabobondung
    Zeegwon Shilling-Tabobondung Musician
    Read Bio

    Zeegwon is a local 14year old Wasauksing singer and musician who is just beginning to share his voice with the world. In November 2018 he was captured on camera singing Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah which went viral on Facebook garnering over

    100,000 views in 3 days. Zeegwon recently made his television acting debut as a guest star on CBC’s The Coroner.

  • Jim Walker
    Jim Walker Musician
    Read Bio

    Local talent, Anishnawbe musician Jim Walker sings beautiful ballads of family and home while paying homage to the timeless genius of Johnny Cash.

Short films, Giveaways and more!

Thursday
November 28, 2019
Beautiful Land Film Festival & Film at the Stockey

Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band

FREE!

7:00-9:00pm

artist_robbie
theband_brothers2

Gchi Dewin Indigenous Storytellers Festival presents:

Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band

Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band is a confessional, cautionary, and occasionally humorous tale of Robbie Robertson’s young life and the creation of one of the most enduring groups in the history of popular music, The Band. The film is a moving story of Robertson’s personal journey, overcoming adversity and finding camaraderie alongside the four other men who would become his brothers in music and who together made their mark on music history. Once Were Brothers blends rare archival footage, photography, iconic songs and interviews with many of Robertson’s friends and collaborators including Martin Scorsese, Bruce Springsteen, Eric Clapton, Van Morrison, Peter Gabriel Taj Mahal, Dominique Robertson, Ronnie Hawkins, and more.

Building on a career spanning six decades, Robbie Robertson continues to create as a songwriter, producer, performer, actor, author and film composer. As a half-Mohawk, half-Jewish kid from Toronto, Robertson would travel from the dives of Yonge Street to the deep South as an ambitious 16-year-old on a musical mission. His raw talent would thrust him into the spotlight and put him at the centre of a cultural revolution, backing Bob Dylan on his notorious 1966 “electric” world tour and later, as a member of The Band, collaborating with Dylan on the ground-breaking Basement Tapes and inventing Americana with songs like “The Weight,” “Up on Cripple Creek” and “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.” After 17 years, The Band called it quits with a lavish farewell concert on November 25th, 1976, at San Francisco’s Winterland Ballroom, immortalized in the seminal concert film, The Last Waltz, directed by Martin Scorsese – considered by many as the greatest rock and roll film of all time.

Friday
November 29, 2019
Children of the Seventh Fire

FREE!

9:30am -11:00am
Youth Unstoppable

Watch the trailer

Youth Unstoppable: The Rise of the Global Youth Climate Movement

Documentary, 91 min.
(Auditorium, public, Grades 7-8, and high school)

Directed By Slater Jewell-Kemker

YOUTH UNSTOPPABLE takes us inside the rise of the Global Youth Climate Movement. Slater Jewell-Kemker was 15 when she began documenting the untold stories of youth on the front lines of climate change refusing to let their futures slip away. Over the course of 12 years and set against stunning visuals of a planet in crisis, YOUTH UNSTOPPABLE follows the evolution of a diverse network of youth rising up to shape the world they will live in.
YOUTH UNSTOPPABLE premiered at Michael Moore’s invite only Traverse City Film Festival, going on to screen at dozens of festivals around the world and garnering thirteen awards.

About the Director

Slater Jewell-Kemker has been making films since she was six. An award winning filmmaker and climate activist, Slater has been featured in Forbes twice and selected by the Hollywood Reporter as one of 15 filmmakers under 30 to watch.

Slater is an accomplished speaker and is frequently invited to speak on film and climate change panels to represent the voice of youth. She lives in a tiny house on wheels on her farm in Southern Ontario, Canada.

FREE!

11:00-11:40am
Ojibway Spirit Horse, Our Journey

artist_spirithorse

Ojibway Spirit Horse, Our Journey

(Auditorium, public, Grades 7-8, and high school)

Horses on site!

Classical Horn Musician with the Winnipeg Symphony, Ken MacDonald performs with Anishinawbe storyteller and singer Jodi Contin to share the survival story of the little known Ojibway Horse. That Ojibway Horse lived among the Anishinabek prior to contact and, until recently, was close to extinction. The horses are now being cared for by Indigenous and non-Indigenous community members who opened their hearts and minds to these special horses. Following the performance TJ Stables will be on sight with some of the rescued Ojibway horses for audience members to meet.

FREE!

1:00pm-2:00pm
Wiigwaasi-Jiimaan Birchbark Canoe Presentation

Watch the trailer for The Mentor

Wiigwaasi-Jiimaan Birchbark Canoe Presentation

(Auditorium)
The Mentor: Shared Knowledge, Short film, 5 min.

Directed By Gail Bannon

The Wiigwaas Jiimaan (Birch bark canoe) is deeply rooted within Anishinaabek cultural identity and tradition, connecting people to the water, the land, and each other. Beginning October 7th, the newly created youth collective known as the “Georgian Bay Anishinaabek Youth” c/o Georgian Bay Biosphere, hosted an immersive 20 day Wiigwaas Jiimaanke. GBAY team members, Dawson Bloor and Kyla Judge, will be sharing about their experiences building and launching the Jiimaan into the waters and what their vision for the future holds.

FREE!

3:00pm-4:00pm
8th Fire Prophecy with Jim Dumont (Onaubinisay)

artist_8thfire
(Artwork by Chris Dyer)

Watch the trailer

8th Fire Prophecy with Jim Dumont

(Auditorium, mature audience)
Short film, 15 min, Biskawbiyung: The Return

Directed By Sage Petahtegoose
Sacred song by Shelley Charles

Jim Dumont is Onaubinisay (Walks Above the Ground), an Ojibway-Anishinabe of the Waubezhayshee(Marten) Clan. He is a 5th Degree Midewiwin of the Three Fires Midewiwin Lodge, originally from the Shawanaga First Nation on Eastern Georgian Bay. Since 1970 Jim has pursued the cultural and spiritual roots of the traditional Anishinabe Way of Life. From 1974, this pursuit has involved him thoroughly in the exploration, participation and learning of the Ojibway-Anishinabe Midewiwin Tradition, which has resulted in the achievement of 5th Degree Midewiwin, sweatlodge rites, ceremonial leadership, and traditional-teacher responsibility. Jim (Onaubinisay) has been “raised up” as Chief at the Eastern Doorway of the Three Fires Midewiwin Lodge, and as such, is the keeper of the sacred Waterdrum and leader in the Eastern part of Anishinabe Midewiwin Territory.

Since 1975, Jim has been professor of Native Studies at the University of Sudbury of Laurentian University. He is one of the founders of the Department and served for four years as its Chair from 1984 to 1988. In his tenure there, he has created and taught courses in Tradition and Culture, Native Psychology, Native Way of Seeing, Native Education, and Issues of Indigenous Peoples in the International Context. He retired in 2000 after 25 years of professorship in Native Studies. Jim now teaches in the Indigenous Masters Program with the Seven Generations Institute.

Full Schedule

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Beautiful Land Film Festival & Film At The Stockey

7:00PM

Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band

Directed by Daniel Roher
Documentary, 100 minutes

Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band is a confessional, cautionary, and occasionally humorous tale of Robbie Robertson’s young life and the creation of one of the most enduring groups in the history of popular music, The Band. The film is a moving story of Robertson’s personal journey, overcoming adversity and finding camaraderie alongside the four other men who would become his brothers in music and who together made their mark on music history. Once Were Brothers blends rare archival footage, photography, iconic songs and interviews with many of Robertson’s friends and collaborators including Martin Scorsese, Bruce Springsteen, Eric Clapton, Van Morrison, Peter Gabriel Taj Mahal, Dominique Robertson, Ronnie Hawkins, and more.

Building on a career spanning six decades, Robbie Robertson continues to create as a songwriter, producer, performer, actor, author and film composer. As a half-Mohawk, half-Jewish kid from Toronto, Robertson would travel from the dives of Yonge Street to the deep South as an ambitious 16-year-old on a musical mission. His raw talent would thrust him into the spotlight and put him at the centre of a cultural revolution, backing Bob Dylan on his notorious 1966 “electric” world tour and later, as a member of The Band, collaborating with Dylan on the ground-breaking Basement Tapes and inventing Americana with songs like “The Weight,” “Up on Cripple Creek” and “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.” After 17 years, The Band called it quits with a lavish farewell concert on November 25th, 1976, at San Francisco’s Winterland Ballroom, immortalized in the seminal concert film, The Last Waltz, directed by Martin Scorsese – considered by many as the greatest rock and roll film of all time.

Friday, November 29, 2019

Children Of The Seventh Fire

9:30am-11:00am
Youth Unstoppable

Youth Unstoppable: The Rise of the Global Youth Climate Movement

Directed By Slater Jewell-Kemker
Documentary, 91 min.
(Auditorium, public, Grades 7-8, and high school)

YOUTH UNSTOPPABLE takes us inside the rise of the Global Youth Climate Movement. Slater Jewell-Kemker was 15 when she began documenting the untold stories of youth on the front lines of climate change refusing to let their futures slip away. Over the course of 12 years and set against stunning visuals of a planet in crisis, YOUTH UNSTOPPABLE follows the evolution of a diverse network of youth rising up to shape the world they will live in.
YOUTH UNSTOPPABLE premiered at Michael Moore’s invite only Traverse City Film Festival, going on to screen at dozens of festivals around the world and garnering thirteen awards.

11:00-11:40am
Ojibway Spirit Horse, Our Journey

Ojibway Spirit Horse, Our Journey

(Auditorium, public, Grades 7-8, and high school)
Horses on site!

Classical Horn Musician with the Winnipeg Symphony, Ken MacDonald performs with Anishinawbe storyteller and singer Jodi Contin to share the survival story of the little known Ojibway Horse. That Ojibway Horse lived among the Anishinabek prior to contact and, until recently, was close to extinction. The horses are now being cared for by Indigenous and non-Indigenous community members who opened their hearts and minds to these special horses. Following the performance TJ Stables will be on sight with some of the rescued Ojibway horses for audience members to meet.

11:45am-1:00pm
Ojibway Spirit Horse, Our Journey

Classroom groups meet and pet the horses

Horse trailers and pen in the Stockey parking lot

12:00pm-1:00pm
Lunch

Lunch in the Lobby

(Lobby public, Grades 7-8, and high school)
Johna, Kayla, and Dawson to bless food

1:00pm-2:00pm
Wiigwaasi-Jiimaan

Wiigwaasi-Jiimaan Birchbark Canoe Presentation

Directed By Gail Bannon
(Auditorium)
The Mentor: Shared Knowledge, Short film, 5 min.

The Wiigwaas Jiimaan (Birch bark canoe) is deeply rooted within Anishinaabek cultural identity and tradition, connecting people to the water, the land, and each other. Beginning October 7th, the newly created youth collective known as the “Georgian Bay Anishinaabek Youth” c/o Georgian Bay Biosphere, hosted an immersive 20 day Wiigwaas Jiimaanke. GBAY team members, Dawson Bloor and Kyla Judge, will be sharing about their experiences building and launching the Jiimaan into the waters and what their vision for the future holds.

3:00pm-4:00pm
8th Fire Prophecy

8th Fire Prophecy with Jim Dumont (Onaubinisay)

Directed By Sage Petahtegoose
Sacred song by Shelley Charles
(Auditorium, mature audience)
Short film, 15 min, Biskawbiyung: The Return

Jim Dumont is Onaubinisay (Walks Above the Ground), an Ojibway-Anishinabe of the Waubezhayshee(Marten) Clan. He is a 5th Degree Midewiwin of the Three Fires Midewiwin Lodge, originally from the Shawanaga First Nation on Eastern Georgian Bay. Since 1970 Jim has pursued the cultural and spiritual roots of the traditional Anishinabe Way of Life. From 1974, this pursuit has involved him thoroughly in the exploration, participation and learning of the Ojibway-Anishinabe Midewiwin Tradition, which has resulted in the achievement of 5th Degree Midewiwin, sweatlodge rites, ceremonial leadership, and traditional-teacher responsibility. Jim (Onaubinisay) has been “raised up” as Chief at the Eastern Doorway of the Three Fires Midewiwin Lodge, and as such, is the keeper of the sacred Waterdrum and leader in the Eastern part of Anishinabe Midewiwin Territory.

Since 1975, Jim has been professor of Native Studies at the University of Sudbury of Laurentian University. He is one of the founders of the Department and served for four years as its Chair from 1984 to 1988. In his tenure there, he has created and taught courses in Tradition and Culture, Native Psychology, Native Way of Seeing, Native Education, and Issues of Indigenous Peoples in the International Context. He retired in 2000 after 25 years of professorship in Native Studies. Jim now teaches in the Indigenous Masters Program with the Seven Generations Institute.

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Winter Storytelling Show

7:00pm–9:30pm
(Doors open at 6:30pm)
Indigenous Appetizers, Festival Market & Give-Away

Indigenous Appetizers, Festival Market & Give-Away

Comedy, music, and the Ojibway Spirit Horse with:

  • John Rice
  • Vance Banzo
  • Stephanie Pangowish
  • Zeegwon Shilling-Tabobondung
  • Jim Walker
  • Waubgeshig Rice
  • Jodi Contin
  • Ken MacDonald
  • Chance King
  • Little Spirit Singers
  • C&H Foods
  • and more!

Festival Location

Charles W. Stockey Centre for the Performing Arts

2 Bay Street, Parry Sound, Ontario

Miigwetch / Thank you
to our

Sponsors