This upcoming event caught my attention because of the interconnections between women’s activism, racism, and art.

Find poets, storytellers, and sweat lodger facilitators among the Mamas in Movement.


Vancouver Status of Women
is proud to present…


Friday, 17 April 2009
Rhizome Cafe
317 East Broadway
Vancouver – Coast Salish Territory

This event is FREE.
On-site childcare, bus tickets and snacks are provided.
All genders welcome!
Special invite extended to MOMS, KIDS and OUR ALLIES!


Chiinuuks (Ruth Ogilvie) is a member of the Nuu-chah-nulth peoples of
Vancouver Island. She is a mother of two, Muhwa who is fourteen and Kimiwan who is two. She is a graduate of the Indigenous Governance Program  at UVIC and is currently enrolled in a PhD program in Literatures of the West Coast at UVIC as well.

I have been involved in community politics and organizing for a number of years. In 2006 I was one of the organizers of the Stop the Violence in Nuu-chah-nulth territories march. I am a former member of the now disbanded Westcoast Warrior Society. Currently I am working in a community way, with members of Tla-o-qui-aht, my mother’s nation, to fight against the current BC Treaty Negotiations, which has implications that affect the relationship between Indigenous peoples and their lands here in BC.

Andrea Canales Figueroa
Andrea Canales Figueroa is founder and director of the GoGirls, an arts
based leadership program for Racialized and Indigenous young women in Vancouver, BC. Andrea also coordinates the Girlz Group, a self-empowerment, community based program for Aboriginal girls and young women in East Vancouver. She also works as a consultant developing mentorship programs as well as tools and resources for the racialized community. Andrea is the proud mother of a 12 year old who keeps her on her toes and reminds her daily about the important things in life –  reading, laughing, eating, and never, ever giving up.

Mabel Nipshank
Mabel Nipshank is a matriarch of Cree descent, originally from Fishing Lake, Alberta. She has been a front-line worker in the anti-violence field since 1988, including working at the Battered Women’s Support Services and in a women’s safe house for many years. She has also worked with street-entrenched youth. Mabel raised three sons as a single mother, and also has three stepdaughters. She is a writer, singer, activist, sweat lodge keeper and proud grandmother of five.

Kat Norris
Kat Norris is Coast Salish/Nez Perce/Hawaiian Filipina. She says, “My sons and I continue to grow together and I’m so very proud of the honorable young men they have become.” Kat survived the Kuper Island Residential School experience and then racism as a young student in Vancouver.  These and other experiences of blatant racism motivated her to activism for her people.  She joined the American Indian Movement at 20 and hasn’t looked back.  Her first
action was against Bruce Allen and CFOX after a very racist tirade against her people in 2001. That year, she became First Nation Representative to the Langara Student Union organizing awareness forums and events.  Kat is founder of the Indigenous Action Movement, organizing and supporting actions, such as, against police abuse and in support of the missing and murdered women.  Her biggest success to date is the Frank Paul Inquiry.

Cynthia Oka
Cynthia is proud mama to five-year-old Paul, poet, community organizer, and the current LEAP Coordinator at VSW. She is currently working with allies to develop a storytelling project, called Radical Roots 4 Kidz, to facilitate children’s access to stories that challenge the dominant colonial culture and affirm the lives, struggles and dreams of marginalized peoples. Her feminist struggles have been deeply shaped by experiences of displacement, particularly as an immigrant from the Indonesian Chinese diaspora who is now residing on unceded Coast Salish Territory.  Her participation in the movement for liberation is compelled by a desire to transform experiences of isolation, victimization and powerlessness into skills and strengths for
building life-affirming, joyful and just communities where love is more

*What are the contributions and strengths that mothers and children bring to the movement for social justice?
*What are the challenges we face, particularly as single mothers?
 *What do we need from our allies?
 *How do we build decolonized feminist community?

We’ll be doing a dreaming session together, so bring your ideas, experiences and visions.

But most of all, bring your hearts.

TO RSVP, contact:

~ by artpoped on April 17, 2009.

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