Welcome! I love to write, and I love sharing what I write with my readers. I vary my style as much as I can-posting events, creative non-fiction, prose and poetry and the occasional video. Enjoy!



Monday, April 28, 2014

R.I.P my beloved Princess

Events for Week of April 28, 2014


Monday April 28, 2014-6-9pm-365 Days of African Liberation Film Series Screenings will take place beside Radio Regent in Regent Park Focus Youth Media Centre Community Room.

38 Regent, South of Dundas, East of Parliament.

April's Films

Black Power Mix Tape
United States of Africa:Beyond Hip Hop
Mama Africa

Free Admission
Donations and support to SaturdayMorning Live are always welcome..

Tuesday April 29, 2014-1:30pm-3pm-CALL TO ACTION- It is time to take action to address the fundamental issues facing Neskantaga First Nation that drive youth to tragically ending their lives: safe drinking water, food security, environmental concerns, housing, unemployment, education/training opportunities, recreation, social entrepreneurship, cultural revitalization and so on. There are many individuals, voluntary sector agencies and government organizations in Ontario with the skills, resources and motivation to mobilize a plan of action in partnership with the people of Neskantaga First Nation. It is time to come together with the intent of collectively making change happen.  Please join us @:  Park Hyatt Toronto | 4 Avenue Road | Queen’s Park South Ballroom | Toronto, ON, M5R 2E8

For more information, contact: Betty Lou Scholey @

Tuesday April 29, 2014-5:30pm-8pm-Infinite Reach - End of Year Gathering where we will be Celebrating our Metis Community!!! Fiddler
Alicia Blore will be joining us and we have some great community activities
planned as well!!

The gathering will be hosted at OISE-University of Toronto located at 252
Bloor St. West, on the 12th Floor in the Nexus Lounge! THIS IS A POTLUCK
EVENT, so please rsvp
indicating the dish you will be able to bring (if you are unable to bring a
dish, not to worry, just bring yourself!).

Tuesday April 29, 2014-6:30pm-7:30pm Information Session on the NEW Certificate in Aboriginal Knowledges and Experiences
Meet Ryerson Aboriginal Student Services staff, Director- Spanning the Gaps -
Access to Post Secondary Education, The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education
and the
Aboriginal Knowledges & Experiences Certificate
Academic Coordinator
*light refreshments served
& children permitted if you are unable to arrange childcare
please RSVP TO: cktrudeau@ryerson

31 Gerrard St..East, 3rd Floor, Toronto

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Please Attend: Call to Action on April 29, 2014@ Park Hyatt Toronto 1:30pm-3:00pm

Tragedy in a Ring of Fire First Nation: Call to Action

Backgrounder: Neskantaga First Nation

Neskantaga First Nation is an isolated fly-in Oji-Cree First Nation community located in northern Ontario along Attawapiskat Lake. The community itself covers approximately 831 hectares of vast northern Ontario landscape and has an estimated population of 420 residents, 60 percent of whom are youth.

This northern community has been, and continues to be, plagued by deplorable conditions which can only be described as fourth world. Neskantaga struggles with inadequate housing, the existence of mould in most family homes, an unemployment rate that exceeds 80 per cent, no access to safe drinking water, the lack of fresh, affordable and nutritious food, lack of adequate health and mental health services, youth having to leave their community in order to attend high school at age 14, high rates of prescription drug abuse, and the ongoing effects of intergenerational trauma.  These distressing conditions play a role in the appallingly high number of youth suicides. If any of these life threatening conditions were identified in Kitchener, Kingston, Sudbury or any other community in Ontario, there would be an immediate public outcry resulting in meaningful actions.

In this small community of 400 members, there have been seven youth suicides (7) and twenty seven suicide attempts (27) over a twelve month period which forced Chief Peter Moonias to declare a state of emergency in the spring of 2013. Since that time, the community has been calling on all levels of government, health providers, the justice community, social service agencies and families to collectively support Neskantaga during their time of crisis. While a number of initiatives were started to assist the community in dealing with their grief, suicides of young people continue. Regrettably, since the summer of 2013, three (3) more youth have taken their lives with the most recent suicide of a 16 year-old girl, which occurred on April 2, 2014. Until the basic needs and fundamental issues facing this community are adequately addressed, Neskantaga First Nation will be in a continual state of emergency.

Call to Action:

It is time to take action to address the fundamental issues facing Neskantaga First Nation that drive youth to tragically ending their lives: safe drinking water, food security, environmental concerns, housing, unemployment, education/training opportunities, recreation, social entrepreneurship, cultural revitalization and so on. There are many individuals, voluntary sector agencies and government organizations in Ontario with the skills, resources and motivation to mobilize a plan of action in partnership with the people of Neskantaga First Nation. It is time to come together with the intent of collectively making change happen.  Please join us on:

Date: April 29, 2014                      Time: 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm
Location:  Park Hyatt Toronto | 4 Avenue Road | Queen’s Park South Ballroom | Toronto, ON, M5R 2E8

For more information, contact:

Judy Finlay-
Professor, Ryerson University
(416)  357-1773                                                                                                                 
Betty-Lou Scholey-
Project Coordinator                   
(416) 979-5000 ext. 4809   

Mike Raimondo- 
Call to Action Coordinator 
 (416) 509 6869

Monday, April 21, 2014

Call Out to Writers and Publishers!

Hello (Aanii!)

As a freelance writer, I'm trying to drum up business. This is a call out to writers, readers, and publishers.

Do you have any books you think I might want to read or possibly review?

If so, please contact me at

Big Thank you (Chi miigwetch!)

Christine Smith (McFarlane)

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Event Posting- Plaid Party with Veronica Johnny @ the Sister 1554 Queen Street West April 24, 2014 @ 8pm

Plaid Party with Veronica Johnny, Plaid on Flannel, +Open Mic!
@ The Sister 1554 Queen St West Thursday, April 24 @ 8pm 

 Veronica Johnny Plaid on Flannel + Open Mic! $6 or PWYC Prizes for best plaid clothing. Musicians sign up at the door.

Facebook event:

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Book Review: Rabbit and Bear Paws Sacred Seven (Respect)

Waaboos Miniwaa Mkwa Ziden- Gchi-Twaa Niizhwaaswi
Mnaandendiwin- Rabbit and Bear Paws Sacred Seven

I’ve never really been drawn to graphic novels, but the graphic novels that Chad Solomon writes are fun, educational and inspirational. They are something that I wish I had had as a child growing up because I’m sure if I had had them under the right circumstances, I would have been drawn to their bright pictures, and the accessibility to the teachings behind each story he tells within them.

“Rabbit and Bear Paws- Respect” is a part of a Sacred Seven series of graphic novels for the young at heart, and is book three in a series that teach the Seven Grandfather Teachings.  The other titles in this series involve love, courage, honesty, humility, wisdom and truth.

Rabbit and Bear Paws butt heads in this graphic novel trying to understand what it means to have RESPECT for people and animals. Rabbit and Bear Paws are out collecting birch bark with their friends and see a herd of buffalo grazing not far from them.

Clover Blossom, Rabbit’s mother reminds Rabbit to keep his distance and tells him “We must respect their space, as we share this land with them.” As they are told this, Rabbit mimics the buffalo and stuffs some grass into his mouth, spits it out, and says “Blech, this tastes like musty old moccasins.”

The reader is taken on a journey as Rabbit and Bear Paws struggle to understand their place beside the buffalo and the animal world. They realize after an adventure that brings them close to disrespecting the buffalo and their space that they must show respect in order to have respect shown back to them.

I love how at the end of the story Clover Blossom asks the kids “what did you learn from today’s adventure?” because when kids read it, they are also given a teaching through characters that they can relate to. Another great thing about this Sacred Seven Series is that underneath each sentence in the story, the Ojibwa translation is there for you to read along with your kid.

Rabbit and Bear Paws Sacred Seven- Respect is an educational, funny and inspirational graphic novel written by Chad Solomon. It also comes with audio pdf PC version cd to help you and your child while reading.

The End

Mii iw!

Chad Solomon is also available to do presentations with his characters Rabbit and Bear Paws. To book and to check on availability and costs, please contact Chad Solomon.

Email:, Phone: (647) 519-2986, Web:

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Life's Journey: Changes

Life’s Journey
By: Christine Smith (McFarlane)

So I haven’t written my column “Life’s Journey” for a while. I know I promised that I would keep up ‘Life ‘s Journey’ on my blog, after changes late last year saw my column cancelled in one of our community newsletters. Life’s Journey has been about documenting the journey my life has taken. In recent months, life has handed me many changes. Changes that have made me see that sometimes sitting down and writing can become downright difficult.

 Changes in my life have included working steadily on my first manuscript, which I can now say is done and sent out! I have been struggling with a few things that have resurfaced in my life, mainly depression and the return of an inner anxiety that has me struggling with feelings of insecurity and a sadness because one of the most important people in my life- my oldest niece has gotten to adulthood and boyfriends, and doesn’t need me as much as she used to.

Sometimes I wish she could stay a little girl forever, but I know that’s impossible. She needs to get older, and experience her own life’s journey. My niece’s 18th birthday is coming up, and it feels like just yesterday that I was playing with her, watching her in the park playing on the swings or one particular favorite memory is her running through the park with a mason jar in her hand because she wanted to catch fireflies. Those carefree days are over, as she now adjusts to adulthood.

Adjusting to change can be difficult.  I know that I’m not alone in that, but sometimes when you’re in the middle of experiencing changes, you feel like no one really understands and your reaction to that is to withdraw and isolate, even though you know that you need to do the opposite-reach out and be with people.

When I withdraw, I notice that my personal writing goes by the wayside and it becomes difficult for me to sit down and focus on just any particular thought or incident. The journey that life takes me on is one that is unpredictable. I never deal well with unpredictability because I can go from feeling elation about something that I’ve done or something a friend has done to feeling low about something.

Today, I learned of another loss in our community, and thought this would be a good time to sit down and write. I’m learning how fragile life is, and how we can take life for granted. You meet someone, or see him/her around on a daily basis and then BANG, one day you hear they’re ill. You hope that they get better, and keep a light of hope within that you’ll see them again. When it doesn’t happen, you go through a million different emotions, because you wish that you had just had more time to know them.

Tonight, I let myself cry and feel the loss our community has encountered, and then I went through the typical emotions that a loss can bring- feeling anger and sadness. Anger because someone beautiful has been taken away too soon, and anger that we have such diseases like cancer that can take someone away so quickly. I feel for this woman’s family and the community as a whole.

After I let myself cry and feel the sadness I began to realize that lately, I haven’t been letting myself genuinely feel. After I lost my favorite uncle in February, I shut myself down. I know that I’ve been feeling the emotions but I just haven’t been giving them any airtime. Not giving my feelings any airtime is not necessarily a good thing. I have learned that in order to be truly healthy, you need to let yourself feel things, and then you need to be able to slowly let them go, in order for true healing to happen.

Grieving is difficult though, no matter what. According to the “Grief Recovery Handbook: The Action Program for Moving Beyond Death, Divorce, and Other Losses,” written by John W. James and Russell Friedman it is said that “since most of us have been socialized to attempt to resolve all issues with our intellect, grief remains a huge problem.”

This is where sometimes I wish life came with an instruction booklet. Wouldn’t it be nice, if there were a booklet on how to deal with things that come our way? But then again, if it did, life would be boring, and the things we encounter in life would become predictable and there would be no learning.

Death is a hard thing to deal with. Loss or changes made in your life are two of the most stressful things you can encounter in your life’s journey, but as you go through life, you slowly learn how to deal with these things in a way that is conducive to where you are in life. That’s what life’s journey is all about.

If you are grieving, or feeling at odds about things going on in your life, don’t be afraid to reach out. To all of those out there, who may be struggling with something, I send love. I will put semaa (tobacco) down for you.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Events for April 7-11, 2013


April 7-10, 2014-2-5pm-The Native Students' Association presents: Jib Jam! The end of the year at university is always a time of hurry, stress, and studying. The Jib Jam (short for Ojibway) will be open to all students currently enrolled in ABS courses. It will take place from April 7th until April 10 at First Nations House. Snacks and refreshments will be provided, as well as a silent study room and a room where students may connect with their peers in order to relax or recover for a few hours after a hard year. Each day an academic leader will be present to provide any needed assistance with studying or editing. This Monday, the academic leaders is Min Kaur.

We hope to see you there!

April 8, 2014-2pm Graduating? First Nations House will be honouring all Aboriginal graduates. Please join us. If you are graduating and you still have not registered, please do so now by emailing   There will be a gift and certificate for all
graduates.  Even if you cannot make the event, please add your name to the
graduate list!  We include all students graduating in June AND Nov. from all
programs on all campuses including TYP and Academic Bridging. 

April 10, 2014-5pm-7pm-OISE Library-Aboriginal Knowledge(s): Colonialism, Decolonization and Education
Keynote speakers:
Janice C. Hill, Director, Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre, Queen's University, Kingston; Turtle Clan, Mohawk Nation

Verna St. Denis, Professor, College of Education, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon; Cree and Metis - Beardy's and Okemasis First Nation

A public forum sponsored by Department of Humanities, Social Sciences and Social Justice Education (HSSSJE), OISE.
INFO: C. Sinclair

April 10, 2014-7pm- Images Festival 2014- Opening Night- From Gulf to Gulf to Gulf @ the Royal Cinema, 608 College Street. Kicking off the festival at the Royal Cinema on April 10 @ 7 PM, is an intimate and epic film by the Indian collective CAMP (artists in attendance). Having screened at Experimenta Festival, FID Marseille and Documenta, we are thrilled to bring this incredible film to Toronto audiences for our opening night.

Co-presented with Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival and SAVAC.

And please join us afterwards for the Opening Night Party at The Boat (158 Augusta Avenue), starting at 9pm!!

April 11, 2014-1pm-Dione Joseph will be visiting on April 11, 2014 at 1:00pm. The title of her talk is "Poetics of Performance: Identity Politics in Contemporary Indigenous Australian Theatre"

Come check it out! Free and open to everyone. @ the Centre for Aboriginal Initiatives, Turtle Lounge, 2nd Floor 563 Spadina Avenue.