The Power Plant


Thu Aug 06 2015

4:00 PM – 5:30 PM

Space is limited. Click below or call 416.973.4949 to reserve tickets. Please note that if the event is sold out, reserved tickets that are not picked up by 6:55 PM will be released.

Brigantine Room, Harbourfront Centre

Left to Right: Elwood Jimmy, Wanda Nanibush & Brian Norton

Ombaasin is a collective of First Nations word and image warriors committed to innovative programming that builds community and helps the arts grow through spaces of experimentation and exchange. Ombaasin means to be lifted by the wind in Anishiinaabemowin. Its members include Wanda Nanibush, Elwood Jimmy and Brian Norton.
Ombaasin will present a panel discussion with communities affected by and artists drawing attention to the oil sands and proposed pipeline. They will also make the connection between violence on the land and violence against First Nations women through the interventions of performance art. The voices and bodies of First Nations are honoured and heard through art and dialogue. Welcome to the capitalism frontier.

Brian Norton is an anishnawbe from Chimnissing First Nation with a passion for supporting the arts and promoting environmental responsibility through active involvement in the community.

Originally from the Thunderchild First Nation in northwestern Saskatchewan, Elwood Jimmy works in Toronto as a curator, programmer, writer, cultural manager, and artist.

Wanda Nanibush is an Anishinaabe-kwe image and word warrior who has organized for Idle No More. She has taught and written on the history of Indigenous women's resistances. Currently she is adjunct curator at the Art Gallery of Ontario, writing a book on Indigenous women's resistance to violence and finishing a film called A Love Letter to My People. She is a member of Beausoliel First Nation and lives on her people's territory.


Featuring Eriel Tchekwie Deranger and Amanda Lickers Moderated by Wanda Nanibush

Ombaasin presents the panel discussion Oil and Water with community change makers Eriel Deranger and Amanda Lickers in conversation with collective member Wanda Nanibush. Going forward, the understanding of the earth's knowledge will rewrite the policy on resource extraction.


Eriel Tchekwie Deranger, is the Communications Manager of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation of Alberta, Canada. She is one of the most powerful and tireless activists working to resist the fossil fuel industry’s immense extractive operations in Alberta’s “tar sands,” that causes devastation to her people’s ancestral homelands in the boreal forest around Lake Athabasca, to the world community and the global biosphere already in the throes of climate change-induced cataclysms. Eriel has organized demonstrations and campaigns, initiated lawsuits, and traveled the world speaking to audiences, including at the UN, to defend her people’s right to survive and the fragile ecosystems and wildlife habitat of northern forests at risk of annihilation, as well as the very future of life on this planet.


Amanda Lickers (Turtle Clan, Onondowa'ga Haudenosaunee) is a spoken word poet, filmmaker and curator for Reclaim Turtle Island (@defendourlands). Amanda spends her time fanning the flames of the Indigenous insurrection, supporting grassroots land defense and sovereignty struggles. Currently based in Tiotiah:ke ("montreal"), occupied Kanien'keha:ka territory, she organizes against land exploitation projects that threaten the health of her territories, like line 9 and energy east. She recently released her first short film, co-produced with titled Kahsatstenhsera, a short on Indigenous resistance to tar sands pipelines in NE Turtle Island.


The collective will collaboratively create new work that honours the active and prolonged resistance of Indigenous people, in particular Indigenous women and two spirited people, to violence and colonization. We invite Indigenous community members to create a huge braid with us in the days leading up to the performance. Participants can bring any material from hair to cloth to sweetgrass for use in the braid. The material can be personally significant in honoring a particular person if desired. An elder will guide the group through the sweet grass and braid teachings. The braid is worn in our hair to remind us of the balance between mind, body and spirit. A braid of sweetgrass is the hair of mother earth. Its medicine purifies, heals, communicates, and is used when women give birth. It is a symbol of our will power, wishes and way of life.

During the Live Performance at The Power Plant, the braid will be presented to the public and we will sing our songs to its spirit. The braid will then be given to the community and housed with No More Silence, a network supporting the work being done by activists, academics, researchers, agencies, and communities to stop the murders and disappearances of Indigenous women. Celebrated Cree singer Rosary Spence will conduct free song workshops in advance of the performance. Together we create a new reality where Indigenous women and two spirited people are honoured, protected and heard. Our fate is linked to mother earth.


Songs of Spirit Workshop with Rosary Spence
27, 28, 29 July 2015 5:30 - 8:30 PM
Centre for Indigenous Theatre
Bring a drum or rattle. We are in need of additional drums and rattles. If you can donate some to our event please email
More info on Rosary Spence HERE.

Braid of Resistance community creation with Ombaasin Collective
31 July, 2015 5:30 - 7:30 PM
1 - 2 August, 2015 1:00 - 3:00 PM
Centre for Indigenous Theatre
Bring cloth, sweetgrass, hair or any other material you would like to use. Attend as many sessions as you would like.

Live Performance at The Power Plant
8 August, 2015 1:00 - 5:00 PM
South Terrace


Live Performance

Date and Time

08 Aug, 2015 | 1:00-5:00 PM


South Terrace, The Power Plant

Panel Discussion: Ombaasin on Vimeo