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, August 25, 2014

OP-ED Piece on the Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women in Canada

OP-Ed Piece on the Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women in Canada
By: Christine Smith (McFarlane)

As a First Nations woman, it incenses me to hear of the ever-increasing number of so many Missing and Murdered Women. It also tears at my heart when I wonder how many more Aboriginal/First Nations women are going to go missing or be murdered before the Canadian government stands up, takes notice and takes action.

The issue of the Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women in Canada impacts all Aboriginal women and girls. It’s not something that you can read about and forget. It stays in your mind, and infuriates you when you see the government ignore the pleas from the public for help.

It is beyond sad that the number of missing and murdered Aboriginal/First Nations women in Canada is disproportionately high. The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) research indicates that, “between 2000 and 2008, Aboriginal women and girls represented approximately 10% of all female homicides in Canada. However, Aboriginal women make up only 3% of the female population.”

NWAC also states “Most of the cases involve young women and girls. Just over half of the cases (55%) involve women and girls under the age of 31, with 17% of women and girls 18 years of age or younger. Only 8% of cases involve women over 45.

In late 2013, the Commissioner of the RCMP initiated an RCMP led study of reported incidents of missing and murdered Aboriginal women across all police jurisdictions in Canada. The report is damning, in the sense that it states there are

·      Police recorded incidents of Aboriginal female homicides and unresolved missing Aboriginal females in this review total 1,181- 164 missing and 1,017 homicide victims and
·      There are 225 unsolved cases of either missing or murdered Aboriginal females: 105 missing for more than 30 days as of November 4, 2013, whose cause of disappearance was categorized at the time as “unknown” or “foul play suspected” and 120 unsolved homicides between 1980 and 2012.”

Despite all this, the Conservative government has rejected all calls for a national inquiry into murdered and missing Indigenous women, with Prime Minister Stephen Harper saying “We should not view this as sociological phenomenon. It is crime against innocent people and it needs to be addressed as such.”

Well, I’m sorry to say this Prime Minister Stephen Harper, but what is happening to my fellow Aboriginal/First Nations sisters are not just crimes; but if you took your head out of the sand, you would see that it is a sociological phenomenon also.

It’s a sociological phenomenon because it is ongoing and happening too often. It is also an important reminder of Harper’s rightwing ideology and what it’s all about. Harper's recent claim that the disappearance and murder of hundreds of Aboriginal women should not be viewed as a "sociological phenomenon" is an important reminder of how he sees Aboriginal people (in this case women) as not that important.

It is infuriating that we have a Prime Minister who doesn't seem to care about finding a solution to the issue of our missing and murdered sisters, and ignores the pleas of the public to do something to stop this.


Works Cited:

Weekly Events


August 29, 2014-4pm-5pm- First Story Video Launch Presentation @ the Native Canadian Centre. Join us Friday August 29th at 4:00pm in the Talking Room at the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto to learn about the First Story App project and view exciting new history videos that were created this summer by 4 youth- Bella McWatch, Joseph Harper, Samuel Kloetstra, & Michael Keshane.

About First Story:

August 30, 2014-8pm-1am- Essencia Water Festival-This festival has 3 components:

1. Large scale MURAL dedicated to "Water", located on Jane Street, at the 400 underpass (Aug 18th -28th).

Featuring 18 local and international artists: Sapiens, Feone, Jarus, CTR, Random, Chris Dyer, Kevin Ledo, Adrian Hayles, Mas Paz, Uber 5000, Flips, EGR, SPUD, Skratch, Mr.PRVRT, Smoky, Shalak, Fiya.

2. CONFERENCE on Sat Aug 30th, 1pm-3pm,
Lula Lounge.
Opening Ceremony featuring
Spirit Wind Women's Hand Drum Group. Speaker series featuring:

Michelle Papas, Disaster Management with focus on Water

Cathrin Winkelmann, Project Manager of Toronto & Region Conservation Authority's Black Creek SNAP (Sustainable Neighbourhood Retrofit Action Plan), Stormwater Management and Rainwater Harvesting

Bernadette Wycks, FAC, Feminism & Water

Kahsenniyo, Sustainable Living & Earth Homes

Sapiens, Social Political Effects of Climat Change

Freedom Fridayz Youth, Youth Perspectives

Sat Aug 30th, doors at 8pm, at
Studio Bar, 824 Dundas W
Over 40 local and International artists dedicate their artwork, music and dance to Water!!p;

Saturday September 13, 2014-5pm-7:30pm- Fundraiser Gala and Silent Auction @ the Native Canadian Centre-Order tickets via Eventbrite:

Please join us in this event to support and learn about our Memory Meaning-Making & Collections project. You will have the opportunity to view specially selected items from our artifact & art collection and enjoy a musical performance by Cris Derksen.

Participate in a silent auction for a chance to own:

- Rare Framed print of Carl Beam’s “Fragile Skies”

- “The Next Leaders” Original painting by Manitou Animki Penashi

- Jewellery and artwork by local Aboriginal artists such as Phil Cote, Barb Nahwegahbow, Amber Sandy, and Mike Ormsby

- Hand-crafted wooden bowl by Stinson Studios

- Vintage turtle blanket throw from Pendleton Woolen Mills.

-Ticket purchases are eligible for a charitable donation tax receipt.

- And much more!

For more information please contact the Native Canadian Centre.

October 16-19, 2-14-Anishinabe Nini – Men’s Traditional Gathering scheduled for October

SERPENT RIVER FIRST NATION – Chief Isadore Day is sending out an invitation to Anishinabe Nini – a Men’s Traditional Gathering in his community Oct. 16-19, 2014. “The gathering is important to Anishinabek men and will have an agenda to begin clearing the path toward a stronger sense of roles and responsibilities in our families, communities and in our nation,” says Chief Day.

Monday, August 18, 2014

CALL OUT for Indigenous Writers for Upcoming Shameless Magazine's Food Issue

Call Out for Indigenous Writers for Shameless Magazine’s Upcoming Food Issue

“Shameless is feminist magazine for teen girls and trans youth. Our print magazine is produced three times a year and is distributed throughout Canada, and we host an active feminist blog dealing with issues in ways that are accessible to youth.”

As editor of both the "Beyond the Books" column and a Blog Editor for Shameless Magazine, I'm looking for writers of all ages to contribute to the upcoming Food Issue.
 For Beyond the Books, I am looking for Indigenous writers who can write a 700 word piece on how food can play a role in decolonization, nationhood, and keep us rooted in our culture and way of life. Please send your pitches my way.
In your pitches, please write a short statement of what you would be interested in writing about. No experience is necessary as I am open to working with writers of all experience levels.

** Note: Shameless is also run on 100% volunteer power, so at this time we are not in a position to pay our bloggers or contributors (and staff aren’t paid either)… but please don’t let this stop you. I want to hear from you and hear your ideas!

Monday, August 11, 2014



August 11, 2014-August 24, 2014- Building Healthy Families Parenting Program @ The Native Canadian Centre
This Building Healthy Families Parenting Program is for youth ages 12-24 and their kids. This program will help strengthen the bonds between youth, their children and their communities!
To participate in the program, youth must be able to commit to the entire two weeks of programming.
Dinner and tokens will be provided to youth who participate!

August 11th: Parenting Support Circle (6pm-8pm)
August 12th: Family Movie Night (5:30-8pm)
August 13th: Family Dance Class (6pm-8pm)
August 14th: Family Swimming (5pm-8pm)
August 15th: Family Picnic and Outdoor Games (5pm-8pm)
August 16th: Toronto Zoo (10am-8pm)
August 18th: Family Arts and Crafts (6pm-8pm)
August 19th: Moss Bag Making (5pm-8pm)
August 20th: Cooking with Kids (6pm-8pm)
August 21st: Budgeting with a Family (6pm-8pm)
August 24th: Ripley’s Aquarium (11am-4pm)

August 14, 2014-7:30pm Cree Stories: An evening with Neil McLeod, Duncan Mercredi and Rosanna Deerchild, Neechi Commons, 865 Main Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba

August 15, 2014- Dance Party/Celebration for Making A Stage for Our Stories Conference Making a Stage for our Stories afterparty and fundraiser!

Gladstone Melody Bar
Friday, August 15


PWYC // Suggested donation $10

Venue and washrooms wheelchair accessible

+ DJs all night feat. DJ Zehra, DJ Kai Yin, & more to come!
+ Astrology Matchmaking Wisdom
+ Raffle of worthy prizes
+ Sweet ppl, lots of dancing, and not to mention...
+ ASTRO//TIME TRAVEL//SPACE THEMED -- more info to come (relatively) soon ;)

This year's conference is happening without any funding, so any amount will go a long way to directly compensate ILL NANA/DCDC and all the folks who put it together! If you can't make it to the party and still want to donate, please visit:

August 16, 2014-7pm- Drum Journey Circle @ the Life Loft, 390 Dupont Street, Suite 201, Toronto. Please be sure to read the full invitation details before attending so you know what to expect and can come prepared:

**Space is limited thus please be sure to RSVP here or via my website or via email.**

August 16, 2014-1:30pm-3pm- Romanceship- A Play reading @ the Incubator 1115 Queen Street West , Toronto, ontario M6J 3P4 Canada@

August 17, 2014-7pm- Shameless Magazine Clothing Swap@ Bike Pirates. We are launching our Fashion issue with a clothing swap!

$5 admission includes a copy of the Fashion issue
Gender-neutral, single-stall washroom

Swap details: Please bring clothing and accessories (shoes, belts, scarves) in clean and good condition (no rips, tears, stains). All adult sizes welcome in any style. Bring your own tote or grocery bag to fill with your finds (one bag per person)!

We suggest dressing in layers (leggings are great!) for ease of trying on items over your clothes. There is one private washroom.

This event is for women and trans* people.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

PRESS RELEASE-Crystal Favel aka DJ Kwe Life After Death


August 5, 2014

Crystal Favel aka DJ Kwe has released a new album titled “Life After Death”.  Favel has an electronic portfolio that includes 17 years experience performing as a Spoken Word Artist, Music Producer, Disc Jockey and Motivational Speaker. Her latest release “Life After Death” promises to be her greatest work yet, as she has wrote, recorded, produced and mastered the entire album.

After Favel’s father died last year, she learned that she was the youngest Favel and the last Favel in her lineage to leave a legacy of healing and inspiration in her family. She knows that as the last Favel, her lineage dies with her but she can leave motivational music and stories that can live on forever. The songs Crystal aka DJ Kwe writes are meant to help her move on from a troubled past and make up for the sacrifice her ancestors have made to give her a better life.

Song Titles in “Life After Death” include Reverence Introduction (Spoken Word), Ancestors Lament (Music Composition & Sound Design), Angry Ancestors Crew (Music Composition & Sound Design), Ancestors Revival (Music Composition) & Sound Design), Speaks from the Heart (Storytelling), Forbidden Freedom (Spoken Word), Gitawaa Home Away from Home (Electronic Drum Music), Deep Animism (Electronic Drum Music), Ancestors Revival (Radio Edit) (Electronic Drum Music), Rare Interview with Cree Elder (Storytelling) and Wahayakwe (Electronic Drum Music)

Crystal has won the International DJ Invitational, FPCC, Lee Award and National Soccer Champion awards. She hosts the Aboriginal DJ’s, Electronic Artists, Radio Producers & Spoken Word Weaver on Facebook with almost 300 members in 6 months and growing, which brings DJ’s and music producers together from all around the world that believe music can heal and inspire others through the tough times. (

The Life After Death Cd can be used as a tool when our people are going through tough times, you play the cd and find inspiration through music, storytelling, interview with Vern.Buy the cd on iTunes, Amazon & CD Baby. (

“Life After Death” showcases Favel’s “Digital Storytelling Featuring Electronic Drum Music” She is looking to connect with other music composition and sound design projects that require an authentic Indigenous music producer and to continue mentoring youth interested in the Electronica industry as up & coming DJ's & Music Producers. 


For more information Please Contact:

Crystal Favel
778 968 0923

Monday, August 4, 2014

Events for Week of August 4, 2014


UNDER THE STARS, Regent Park Film Festival's outdoor screening series, takes place every Wednesday from June 18th - August 20th.

On Wednesday August 6th, the Regent Park Film Festival will be co-presenting the film SHORT TERM 12 alongside Rendezvous with Madness Film Festival!  At 9pm


When: Wednesday August 6th at 9pm

Where: Outside Daniels Spectrum at 585 Dundas Street East at the new Regent Park (formerly known as the Big Park).
Rain plan: We'll move inside Daniels Spectrum.

Admission: Free!

Refreshments: Popcorn and pop will be sold. All proceeds will go towards keeping the Regent Park Film Festival free and widely accessible.

We encourage audiences to bring their own blankets and warm clothing, as the screening will take place outside.

Please be advised that the film is rated R and is not suitable for young audiences.

Wednesday August 6, 2014- Origin of Life Launch Party @ the Native Women’s Resource Centre-launch of Aboriginal creative arts company
-Meet & Greet twin sisters/entrepreneurs, Sandy and Cindy
-paintings, jewelry, poetry, short stories for sale
-gift bags
-light refreshments & snacks

For more details, visit:

August 7, 2014-7pm-10pm- Kinship Opening Reception-This exhibit is not your typical algorithm—KINSHIP pairs artists of disparate disciplines together to disrupt conventions and patterns of each other’s typical practice. From painters to poets, illustrators to sculptors, filmmakers to designers, this social exhibit encourages spontaneity, story-telling and little bit of the usual blind date awkwardness. @ Gallery 1313 Queen Street West. Toronto

Friday August 8, 2014-8pm-10pm-TPFF Annual Outdoor Screening- Laila’s Birthday-TPFF is proud to announce that on Friday August 8th, we will be screening Laila's Birthday under the stars in Christie Pits Park. Approximate start time 8:30pm but join us earlier for some fun and food courtesy of Caplansky's in the park.

From acclaimed Palestinian director Rashid Masharawi (Palestine Stereo, Land of the Story), TPFF's 2008 closing night film Laila's Birthday is a wry, dark comedy tracing a day in the life of a judge-turned-taxi driver.

August 9 and 10, 2014-12pm-8pm- The Pan American Food Festival@ Daniels Spectrum-585 Dundas Street East. A one of a kind gastronomic event is taking over the heart of Toronto, one that promises to reveal the flavours of the Americas, local artists and talent: Hosted by Santa Pecado Mexican Catering. For more information please visit