FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oakville, Ont., March 21, 2023 – Three students who submitted poetry as part of Gimaa’s Allyship Poetry Contest have been recognized for their artistic achievement.
In November, Gimaa (Chief) R. Stacey Laforme of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation (MCFN) partnered with Debwewin: The Oakville Truth Project to launch the second Gimaa’s Allyship Poetry Contest.
Gimaa Laforme shared his own poem titled “Nii jii” which means “friend” in Anishinaabemowin. He then invited post-secondary students from Sheridan College, Oakville and MCFN to share their own poetry on what friendship or allyship looks like or means to them.
Suha Tariq, Dakota Tabicoe and Nicole Abiyo were recognized at the Treaty Day event at the Oakville Public Library on February 28th and at the Truth and Allyship Event on March 4th as they read and presented their poetry live and on screen to the in-person and livestream crowd. The three chosen poetry entries also received scholarships to their post-secondary institutions from the Oakville Community Foundation.
“I would like to say Miigwech to all of the students who participated and bravely shared their talents through their poems,” said Gimaa Laforme. “I encourage each of them to continue to use their voices and express themselves through their art. I am already looking forward to next year’s entries.”
There were over thirty entries and the three scholarship recipients were chosen by a panel of adjudicators for their work, which consisted of: Tiana Bone, Georgia Laforme, Kelly Laforme and Courtney Waddell. All of the students’ creative pieces are available for viewing on the Debwewin: The Oakville Truth Project website.
We acknowledge all our relations, we acknowledge the first relationship with Mother Earth, the original nations of the trees and plants, the original stewards of the four legged, the flyers, the swimmers, the crawlers. We acknowledge the waters as being life and sacred as we acknowledge the carriers of those teachings, the females. We acknowledge the grandfathers, as well as Father Sun, Grandmother Moon and our distant relations, the stars.
We acknowledge Oakville Community Foundation is located on the Treaty Lands and Territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, as well as the Traditional Territory of the Haudenosaunee, and Huron-Wendat people. Further, we acknowledge that the Town of Oakville is covered by Treaty 14, the Head of the Lake Purchase (1806) and Treaty 22 (1820).
About Debwewin: The Oakville Truth Project
Debwewin: The Oakville Truth Project, a collaboration between the Oakville Community Foundation and MCFN, is proud to present this integrated community celebration in recognition of Treaty Week and the signing of Treaty 22 in Oakville. The Project relies on an Advisory Council led by Elder Peter Schuler and local allies through Gimaa’s Ally Leadership Council.
About Gimma Laforme:
Stacey Laforme is the elected Chief of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation (MCFN). Born and raised on MCFN, Chief Laforme has served his community for over twenty years being first elected to council in 1999.
Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation
Mississaugas of the Credit are an Ojibwe (Anishinaabek) First Nation with 2,600 Members, 850 of whom approximately live on the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation Reserve near Hagersville, Ontario.
Oakville Community Foundation
The Oakville Community Foundation is a local charitable solutions provider, delivering the tools to realize your charitable passions. The Foundation acts as a philanthropic medium, investing donations to generate new money for our community. We conduct local research to provide our diverse donors with knowledge and solutions to make an impact in the local community, both today and in the future. Thanks to the visionaries in our community who started The Foundation more than 25 years ago, The Foundation has granted more than $57 million to support charities locally and beyond.
Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation Contact:
Georgia LaForme (she/her)
Communications and Engagement Lead
Gov.Comm@mncfn.ca | 905-516-1830
Oakville Community Foundation Contact:
Director – Communications
firstname.lastname@example.org | 905-844-3562 x. 312