Indigenous women leaders to gather at StFX and Coady this weekend

Featured Online First

More than 100 Indigenous leaders from across the country and beyond are traveling to Antigonish this week to take part in Coady Institute’s Indigenous Women in Leadership (IWCL) program’s Alumni Gathering, Nov. 1 to 4, at St. Francis Xavier Univerisity in Mi’kma’ki, the traditional and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq people.

Mi’kmaq entertainers Emma Stevens, We’koqma’qewiskwa The Women of We’koqma’q, and the Stoney Bear Singers will perform during Friday night’s opening ceremony and dinner that will include a Grand Entry. Stevens recorded Paul McCartney’s classic “Blackbird” in Mi’kmaq as part of the United Nations’ International Year of Indigenous Languages. The recording garnered international attention in the media when the recording went viral on the internet and caught McCartney’s attention.

After a day of discussion and dialogue Saturday Nov. 2, Dr. Ngahuia Te Awekotuku of New Zealand will give a public keynote address from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at Schwartz Auditorium. Te Awekotuku is descended from Te Arawa, Tūhoe and Waikato iwi. She has worked across the heritage, culture, and academic sectors as a curator, lecturer, researcher, and activist. Her areas of research interest include gender issues, museums, body modification, power and powerlessness, spirituality, and ritual.

Mi’kmaq Legends, Atlantic Canada’s premier indigenous theatre group, will perform Saturday night. Mi’kmaq Legends is a multi-media theatrical experience that combines the artistic disciplines of poetry, music, dance, and theatre performed by the Mi’kmaq Heritage Actors. The group has been a regular feature of the P.E.I. National Park interpretation program. In 2016, the Tourism Industry Association of Prince Edward Island presented the Parks Canada Sustainable Tourism Award to the group.