GUELPH – Energy and knowledge will likely be showcased at an Indigenous-focused poetry occasion right here on June 17, with “one thing distinctive to be gained for many who are prepared to pay attention,” mentioned poet Mike O’dah Ziibing Ashkewe.
Poets will share “unbelievable tales of affection, trauma, triumph and energy,” he added.
Ashkewe is a reporter and group advocate in Guelph, and one of many poets performing.
He mentioned writing and performing poetry is a robust means for him to honour his “Indigenous inventive blood.”
Folks in Wellington County ought to “completely” head to Guelph for the poetry slam, Ashkewe mentioned, as a result of the chance to listen to from the native Indigenous group is “such a singular expertise.
“As we begin to transfer the needle in the direction of reality and reconciliation, a part of that’s listening to Indigenous voices,” he mentioned.
“There’s a number of wealthy historical past right here that I don’t assume lots of people are educated about. We’re extra than simply the Indigenous Gathering Circle in Fergus and the Sacred Fireplace in Royal Metropolis Park in Guelph.”
The poetry slam is co-organized by Guelph Spoken Phrase and the Indigenous Poets Society, a gaggle of writers who meet on-line to share “inspiring tales, ideas, and inventive ardour,” Ashkewe mentioned.
Guelph Spoken Phrase is a non-profit group that hosts poetry slams, open mic occasions, author’s circles, and workshops.
Guelph Poetry Slams occur on the third Saturday of each month and “invite poetry of all ranges and skills,” Ashkewe mentioned.
Poetry slams are vigorous occasions the place feels like finger snapping, cheers, hisses, moans, and call-and-response phrases ring out from the gang whereas contributors compete for factors.
Every slam features a efficiency from a characteristic poet too, and this month is completely different as a result of there will likely be three options, all Indigenous: Kevin Wesaquate, Hope Engel and Ashkewe.
Unique poetry is carried out and folks watching are inspired to name out phrases of encouragement and assist.
In Guelph, the poet with the very best rating walks away with a $100 prize.
Every Guelph Poetry Slam begins with an open mic efficiency the place individuals can share their poetry with out the strain of competing within the slam.
However Ashkewe extremely recommends becoming a member of the competitors – “it’s all the time value it to creatively spar, but in addition problem your self to do one thing new and thrilling.”
All poets are invited to take part within the slam and open mic – they don’t must be Indigenous or have expertise performing.
For Ashkewe, it has been “such an rewarding expertise to be a part of this creative group” at poetry slams.
Guelph Spoken Phrase “encourages me a lot in my inventive journey,” he mentioned.
“I owe a lot to Beth Anne and Reality Is for giving me a voice.”
Beth Anne Ellipsis is the founding father of Guelph Spoken Phrase and Reality Is volunteers with the group, typically internet hosting Guelph Poetry Slams.
Ashkewe mentioned Guelph Spoken Phrase was instrumental in “serving to me uncover who and what I used to be at my core.”
A lot of Ashkewe’s poetry attracts from his experiences as a Sixties Scoop survivor.
Sixties Scoop refers back to the removing of tens of hundreds of Indigenous kids from their households and into the Canadian baby welfare system.
Ashkewe mentioned he could share his poem about how “regardless of every little thing that has occurred to us we’re nonetheless right here – we resisted tried genocide.”
His purpose is to “empower the Indigenous voices within the viewers” whereas exhibiting non-Indigenous individuals the “energy and power in our work.”
Ashkewe mentioned he’s going to be writing some new poems this month.
His inspiration will draw from his mom, who’s Ojibway from Chippewas of Nawash First Nation, from receiving his spirit identify and spirit animal, and from land defenders like these at 1492 Land Again Lane on Six Nations of the Grand River and in Moist’suwet’en, B.C.
The poetry slam is at Silence, at 46 Essex St,. from 8 to 11pm. The associated fee to attend is $15, however free for anybody performing in the course of the open mic or slam competitors.
There are a restricted variety of free and diminished priced tickets – to request one, electronic mail [email protected].