MomenTO by Canoe

The Maawandoon Jiimaan Colective will be at MomenTO by Canoe: Celebrating The Humber



Sun 10 AM · Etienne Brule Park, Entrance at 10 Catherine Street

Evergreen Brick Works Canoe Build


Wiigwaasi-Jiimaan: Birch Bark Canoe Build

Image credit Mike Ormsby

Wiigwaasi-Jiimaan (Birch bark canoe): The culture and tradition of the canoe and its sustainability.

Watch artist Mike Ormsby and his team as they construct a traditional Anishinaabe birch bark canoe at Evergreen Brick Works this September through Toronto Arts Council’s Animating Historic Sites program. Viewing is free and open to the public during designated hours.

Aside from the actual building process, through the culture and the traditions involved, the canoe can be a means to understanding much more about both Indigenous & non-Indigenous peoples of Turtle Island. This is especially true for our shared histories, and where we can go from here. These vessels are also an example of what humans can accomplish when they work with nature rather than against it – being connected to the earth and nature.

Mike Ormsby

This project is part of the Toronto Art Council’s Animating Historic Sites program at Evergreen Brick Works.

Dates & Time

The canoe build will be on display to the public from September 11 to September 24, 2017 from 10am-3pm daily.

Next Up

Now the Water Is Life benefit concert is over (just have to get the final total from ticket sales/art auction/lobby sales….will post next week….then send out monies to the Water Walk and the Onaman Collective), I am really looking forward to heading up north….to get out on the land….and the water….to gather & harvest materials (birch bark, cedar, spruce roots, spruce gum etc.)….and build some canoes.


Water Is Life Benefit Concert

Water For Life Benefit Concert
Presented in Partnership with Hart House Theatre, and the Hart House Farm and Social Justice Committees.

We are holding the WATER IS LIFE music benefit, with proceeds going to Grandmother Josephine’s last Water Walk this spring and summer AND to the Onaman Collective’s Culture Camp Forever, that will begin to be built in May.

“Special appearances” include the following acts:

Digging Roots, Tara Williamson, Marie Gaudet, Ansley Simpson, Jenny Blackbird, Marc Meriläinen, Arthur Renwick, Andy Mason, Isaac Murdoch, Christi Belcourt, Shane Belcourt, Gillian Austin, Marie Gaudet, Cliff Cardinal plus The Water Is Life house band.

There will be a silent art auction also….artists such as Christi Belcourt are generously donating work.

Ticket prices are $25 for non-students and $15 for seniors and students, available online and in person at Hart House Theatre Box Office….see

We have a very full night planned….actually QUITE FULL:

7:00-7:10 PM Opening Banakonda Kennedy Kish Bell
Video Messages From Grandmother Josephine Mandamin/Isaac Murdoch
Opening Song Marie Gaudet
7:10-7:25 Ansley Simpson
7:25-7:40 Arthur Renwick
7:40-8:00 Isaac Murdoch/Christi Belcourt/Shane Belcourt
8:00-8:20 Digging Roots
8:20-8:30 BREAK
8:30-8:45 Gillian Austin
8:45-9:00 Cliff Cardinal
9:00-9:15 Tara Williamson
9:15-9:30 Andy Mason
9:30-9:50 Marc Meriläinen Band
9:50-9:55 Finale-‘Thunderstruck’ (Nish version) with as many performers on stage as interested joining in
9:55-10:00 Closing Banakonda Kennedy Kish Bell
Closing Song Jenny Blackbird

Check out these links for more info on these great causes:

For the Earth and Water Walk 2017 From West to East:



Onaman Collective:




Paddling Together Art Show


St Anne’s Anglican Church presents
an exhibition of art by Indigenous artists

Merlin Homer
Kevin Lamure
Sage Paul
Mike Ormsby

Curated by Mike Ormsby

May 13th – May 28th, 12 – 6 pm, Saturdays and Sundays only.
Opening Reception: May 13th 12 pm

St. Anne’s Anglican Church, 270 Gladstone Ave. Toronto

St. Anne’s Anglican church presents Paddling Together, an event which includes an exhibition of contemporary works by Indigenous artists and a series of related events focusing on the theme of reconciliation. Our response to the 150th anniversary of Canada’s Confederation is to focus our events and our discussion on the next 150 years. Where do we want to be by then, with regard to the relationship between First Nations people and the rest of us later arrivals. This event assumes that we are in it together. We are all treaty people and if we are not working together we are getting nowhere.

Paddling Together will present art works and installations in various media by four Indigenous artists. The exhibition is curated by Mike Ormsby, artist, canoe builder and educator from the Curved Lake First Nation.

The canoe, in all its uses, practical and metaphorical, is a key image for this exhibition and the related events. The canoe continues to teach us. It offers us an opportunity to understand and celebrate the accomplishments and contributions of First Nations peoples. These contributions have long been absent from our historical narratives. It invites authentic questions and encourages connected thinking in a variety of different ways. It can serve as a catalyst for a trans-disciplinary, holistic approach that can offer meaning and insight into the values and worldviews of the people who created it. It provides opportunities to learn about each other.

We need to re-float or right the canoe that is Canada, especially as we work towards reconciliation. This is both a hope and a challenge for us; what we strive towards as a real possibility for a shared future; to remind Canadians that we’re all in the same canoe and that to make this country work we should all be paddling together.

Schedule of Events:

History Lecture: Wednesday, May 10th, 7 pm
The Rev. Canon David Neelands, Dean of Divinity, Trinity College will discuss the history of the church in Canada and its effect on Indigenous cultures.

Paddling Together: Exhibition opens. Saturday, May 13th, 12 – 6 pm
Artists: Merlin Homer, Kevin Lamure, Sage Paul and Mike Ormsby. Curated by Mike Ormsby.

Blanket Exercise, Saturday, May 13th, 1:00 pm
Presented by Kairos Canada and Canadian Roots Exchange: This learning experience will lead us through the history of the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada.

Worship Service: Sunday, May 14th, 10:30 am
Guest preacher: The Rev. Chris Harper, Indigenous Native Priest of the Diocese of Toronto.

Reconciliation And The Canoe We Are All In, Wednesday, May 17th, 7 pm
Panel discussion with Susan Blight. Moderated by Mike Ormsby.

Historic Walk, Sunday, May 21st, 12:30 – 4 pm
A walk through our neigbourhood led by Mike Ormsby. The walk will focus on the history of Indigenous peoples in this area from pre-European settlement to the present.

Panel discussion on Paddling Together exhibition, Wednesday, May 24th, 7 pm
With Bonnie Devine and Kevin Lamure. Moderated by Mike Ormsby.

Worship Service Sunday, May 28th,10:30 am
Guest preacher: The Rev. Canon Andrew Wesley.

More information: | 416-536-3160


This event is generously supported by the Anglican Foundation of Canada.


Original Instructions

Elders such as Art Solomon often spoke about the Original Instructions. The Original Instructions are ways of living from the heart of humanity within the heart of nature….reminding us about gratitude, kinship, and a reverence for community and creation. Human beings have forgotten their instructions. What is wrong with people? Why is there war, violence, oppression, greed, injustice, poverty, indifference and destruction of the environment? Because people have forgotten these Original Instructions.

All of Creation is formed by them – what some refer to as Natural Law, Dharma, or Tao. In addition to what is hardwired in our living cells by DNA, human beings learn other instructions about living and relating through the teachings of the communities where they are raised. Those instructions for successful and happy relationships with families and communities and with all life, the Earth and the Cosmos, were passed down through the generations by Elders, who lived successfully and happily by them until they were invaded by newer cultures of domination, oppression and greed. In a culture of domination there is more violence, more fear, more isolation, and less love and happiness than in the old ways of all people at one time, ways of cooperation and equality, of respect and relatedness and thanksgiving.

Many now believe that these teachings need to be brought to the world as they are not just Indigenous but actually Human Being teachings….and should be shared to any who seek and wish for that knowledge.

I believe that these Original Instructions are the basis for all human belief systems….whether Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist or whatever way one chooses to believe. If you took the Bible, the Koran, or any other religious book ….then distill it down to their very basic teachings….removing any of the interpretations of the men who have read such books….I believe you would find many of the same essential guidelines. Because they would speak of having a Good Life….being kind to each other….treating each other with respect….loving one another….and so on.

In the Seven Fires Prophecy, there are the two roads that the light-skinned race will have to choose in the time of the Seventh Fire. If they choose the right road, then the Seventh Fire will light the Eighth and final Fire, an eternal fire of peace, love brotherhood and sisterhood. If the light skinned race makes the wrong choice of the roads, then the destruction which they brought with them in coming to this country will come back at them and cause much suffering and death to all the Earth’s people. The right road leads back to the Original Instructions.