Kanahus Manuel, Secwepemc and Ktunaxa, is member of the Secwepemc Women Warriors and Tiny House Warriors, a mother of 4 and a twin (her unceded Territory lies within so-called British Columbia, Canada), she was born into Indigenous Resistance and Land Defence, coming from a high-profile political family known for bringing their fight for their Traditional Territories and homelands into the spotlight from the local to the international level. Kanahus’ inheritance of the land struggle has led her to spearhead many Indigenous frontlines. Kanahus is traditional birth keeper, traditional tattoo artist and warrior. She appeared in a documentary film made by Doreen Manuel, called “Freedom Babies” and Firestarter Films documentary Akicita: the Battle at Standing Rock premiered at Sundance film festival. Kanahus is well known for her activism and direct actions against Sun Peaks Ski Resort, Imperial Metals, the Mount Polley mine disaster and was arrested with the water protectors at Standing Rock. She is currently playing a leadership role in fighting the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion through more than 500 kms of Secwepemc territory. In a creative from of pipeline resistance Kanahus’ and the Secwepemc Women Wstripes have spearheaded the Tiny House Warriors, building 10 tiny houses to place in the path of the Kinder Morgan pipeline. As a result of her activism she has been named in several court injunctions and has been jailed by the Canadian state.
Kanahus’ fight for freedom also includes prison justice work, heading an indigenous-led organization and campaign, Indigenous Innocence to advocate for the freedom and exoneration of Orlando Watley, a wrongfully convicted Chickasaw Native being held in the California prison system for the past 25 years.
Derek Nepinak/ Niibin Makwa
Niibin Makwa (Nepinak), LLB, BA (Hons) served as Grand Chief of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs from 2011-2017, is a former Chief of the Pine Creek First Nation & a former Chairman of the West Region Tribal Council.
Nepinak has built a reputation as a strong leader & negotiator, with an educational background in law, policy, history & art. His advocacy approach is built on understandings of inherent & treaty rights as the foundation for relationship building & reconciliation with Canada.
During his time as Grand Chief, Nepinak was a constant advocate for the return of children to their homes and communities and played a key role in establishing Manitoba’s indigenous Child & Family Advocate’s office.
Nepinak holds a first class honours BA from the University of Alberta, a law degree from the University of Saskatchewan & has completed the intensive program in indigenous lands, resources & governance at Osgoode Hall law school at York University in Toronto. During his time in law school, Derek earned the award for the top student submission to the Indigenous Law Journal, University of Toronto, as well as the Roger Carter Scholarship from the native Law Centre in Saskatoon Saskatchewan.
Nepinak is a sundancer, a father of four beautiful children & partner to Sarah.
Manon Massé was first elected to the National Assembly in 2014. She has been a member of Quebec Solidaire since its creation in 2006. Manon was born in Windsor in the Eastern Townships, and grew up in a working-class family. Manon’s lifelong commitment to making the world better for others will change the tone of politics at the National Assembly. Her work with community organizations has informed her approach to fighting for a more equitable and just society for all, to confront climate change and fight for the rights of Indigenous people, racialized, queer and disabled people.
Christi Belcourt is a Michif (Métis) visual artist with a deep respect for Mother Earth, the traditions and the knowledge of her people. In addition to her paintings she is also known as a community based artist, environmentalist and advocate for the lands, waters and Indigenous peoples. She is currently a lead organizer for the Onaman Collective which focuses on resurgence of language and land based practices. She is also the lead coordinator for Walking With Our Sisters, a community-driven project that honours murdered or missing Indigenous women. Her work Giniigaaniimenaaning (Looking Ahead) commemorates residential school survivors, their families and communities to mark the Prime Minister’s historic Apology in 2008 and is installed at Centre Block on Parliament Hill commissioned by the Government of Canada. She was named the Aboriginal Arts Laureate by the Ontario Arts Council in 2015. In 2016 she won a Governor General’s Innovation Award and was named the winner of the 2016 Premier’s Awards in the Arts. Author of Medicines To Help Us (Gabriel Dumont Institute, 2007) and Beadwork (Ningwakwe Learning Press, 2010). Christi’s work is found within the permanent collections of the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario, Gabriel Dumont Institute, the Indian and Inuit Art Collection, Parliament Hill, the Thunder Bay Art Gallery and Canadian Museum of Civilization, First People’s Hall.
Eriel Tchekwie Deranger
Eriel Tchekwie Deranger is a Denesuline woman and mother of two. Deranger is the Executive Director and co-founder of Indigenous Climate Action (ICA) – an Indigenous-led climate justice organization. Prior to her work with ICA, Deranger worked with her First Nation to launch one of the largest intersectional keep in the ground campaigns – the international Indigenous Tar Sands campaign challenging Alberta’s Tar Sands. Deranger is recognized for her role in creating the UN Indigenous Youth Caucus; interventions at UN Climate Summits; lobbying government officials in Canada, the US, the UK and the EU; her role in creating the Tar Sands Healing Walk; spring boarding Internationally recognized Indigenous rights-based divest movements; and working to develop and lead mass mobilizations. Deranger’s work has resulted in her far reaching reputation for bridging the environmental and Indigenous rights movement together and building out an Indigenous rights based approach to challenging fossil fuel development.
David Solnit is an arts and direct action organizer and a puppeteer. He works with movements to use culture, art, giant puppets and theatre in mass mobilizations, for popular education and as an organizing tool.
He’s currently 350.org‘s arts organizer and has facilitated arts making for Powershift in Alberta and the US, at Standing Rock anti-DAPL resistance, Nebraska anti-Keystone Pipeline, with the Poor People’s Campaign, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, for People Climate Marches and the Toronto March for Jobs, Justice and the Climate.
He was a lead organizer in the shutdowns of the WTO in Seattle in 1999 and in San Francisco the day after Iraq was invaded in 2003. Solnit edited Globalize Liberation: How to Uproot the System and Build a Better World. With Army veteran Aimee Allison he co-wrote Army of None; How to Counter Military Recruitment, End War, and Build a Better World. He co-wrote/edited The Battle of the Story of the Battle of Seattle.
Melissa Mollen Dupuis
Melissa Mollen Dupuis grew up in Ekuanitshit in Northern Quebec’s Côte-Nord region. She has had a multifaceted career sharing her Innu culture with mainstream Canada, and in 2012 founded the Quebec brach of the Idle No More movement with fellow organizer Widia Larivière. In 2014, she was named President of the Wapinoki-Mobile, an indigenous arts organization, and in 2017 received Amnesty International’s Ambassador of Conscience award along with five other Indigenous leaders and Alicia Keys. Since 2018, she’s been responsible for the David Suzuki Foundation’s Forests campaign.
Harsha Walia is a cofounder of the migrant justice group No One Is Illegal, award-winning author of Undoing Border Imperialism, and Project Coordinator at the Downtown Eastside Women’s Center. For the past two decades she has been involved in anti-racist, anti-imperialist, feminist, and low-income grassroots community organizing including through Anti-Capitalist Convergence, Olympics Resistance Network, Boycott Divest Sanctions campaigns, Defenders of the Land network, and the February 14th Women’s Memorial March Committee. Harsha is a recipient of the Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives Power of Youth Award, Westender’s Best of the City in Activism Award, and been named one of the most influential South Asians in BC by the Vancouver Sun, one of the coolest people to who call Vancouver home by the Huffington Post, and one of Canada’s most brilliant and effective organizers by Naomi Klein. Harsha’s vision is of a world with no bombs, no borders, no bosses, no banks, no bitumen, and no bros.
Isaac Murdoch (Bomgiizhik)
Isaac Murdoch (Bomgiizhik) is Ojibwe from Serpent River FN. He dabbles in visual arts and storytelling. He currently resides at Nimkii Aazhibikoong, a language revitalization camp located in his traditional territory. You can often find him finding ways to unite people through the arts for environmental change and humanitarian justice.
Romeo Saganash is the Member of Parliament for Abitibi-Baie James-Nunavik-Eeyou; he is a member of the Cree community of Waswanipi. Romeo is a survivor of the Indian Residential Schools; he was the first Indigenous person to receive a law degree in Quebec; he founded the Cree Nation Youth Council, was Deputy Grand Chief to the Grand Council of the Cree; and he has been a key negotiator for many national and international initiatives, including the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Vanessa Gray is a Anishinaabe kwe from the Aamjiwnaang First Nation, located in Canada’s Chemical Valley. As a grassroots organizer, land defender and educator, Vanessa works to decolonize environmental justice research by linking scholarly findings to traditional teachings.
Mohammad Ali Aumeer (Socialist Hip Hop)
Mohammad Ali is a emcee, poet, author, and activist who ups the bar on protest music with a hard-hitting selection of workers’ anthems and gritty frontline labour narratives designed to instil new energy in the movement for workers’ rights. Having shared the stage with Hip Hop heavyweights Talib Kweli, Wu-Tang’s Ghostface, and KRS-ONE, performed at rallies from Queens Park to Parliament Hill, and toured from Newfoundland to British Columbia, the Socialist Vocalist is redefining how his generation views political music.
Will Prosper is a filmmaker, community organizer and activist focusing on civil and human rights. Co-founder of Hoodstock, a space for dialog and social innovation for more inclusive, safe and dynamic urban spaces, Prosper aims to dismantle systemic inequality in Quebec and elsewhere. Over the years, he has been a part of a number of Québécois initiatives for civil rights such as the Coalition For Equality, the “Faut qu’on se parle” collective, the League of Rights and Liberties and the Public Commission on Political Repression. He frequently contributes to print media as well as broadcasted media, speaking on matters of social justice and human rights.
Sean Devlin 叶 世民 is a Filipino-Canadian comedian, filmmaker and activist. His comedy has appeared on CBC radio and CTV while his film work has been featured in the Guardian and the New York Times. He is a long time collaborator with The Yes Men and was the Co-Founder and Executive Director of ShitHarperDid.com. In 2016 he wrote and directed a short film with Edward Snowden which was commissioned by Roskilde Festival, Northern Europe’s largest music festival and exhibited at Copenhagen’s Kunsthal Charlottenborg. His latest feature film WHEN THE STORM FADES was called “Beautiful, breathtaking and hilarious” by VICE. The film earned him the jury prizes for Best Director at the Liverpool Film Festival and Mumbai Indian Cine Film Festival respectively. At the 37th Vancouver International Film Festival the Director’s Guild of Canada awarded him the prize for Best Emerging Canadian Director.
Ottawa River Singers
The Ottawa River Singers, is a drum group of First Nations men and women singers. The singers of the group live in Ottawa, but their families are from Northern Ontario and Manitoulin Island. They have been singing together in the Capital region for over three years. The songs they sing have many different meanings often including uplifting words of encouragement to those who are listening.
The drum, is the heartbeat of mother earth and is the center of our culture. The beat of the drum combined with the collective sounds of our voices is a medicine that can uplift and carry others in a positive way.