Barbara Blower
C# 905.649.0407

Acknowledging the
Land of the First People,
Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe

We don't offer a Land Acknowledgement to be "Politically Correct",
We do it to be Culturally Responsible.

Visit Our
Gallery Of Indigenous Artists

I Am Not Next Memorial Walk
Support MMIWG@S
Buy A Pin

Aboriginal Poppy Pins
For Remembrance Day

Updated: June 1/2021

June 6/2021
I Am Not Next Memorial walk

Walk on your own and post your pictures to this link between 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Join the “I Am Not Next” virtual walk on facebook to post your pictures

We will have we a live opening ceremony, awards being given out, and we ask you walk in your neighborhood holding signs and posting pictures of you. All people who post pictures will be entered into a draw for tbis rs donations.
please invite everyone you know.

This will be the eighth annual event organized by Miranda Bouchard organizer of “Justice 4 Stolen Sisters Memorial Walk”, previousley held in Oshawa. Maamawi Collective is honoured to be invited as one of the sponsors for 2021. Red Dress Pins have been created with kind permission of Cree artist Dianne Brown-Green who’s painting titled “SISTERS: We will not forget them”, has inspired this partnership. Funds from the sale of Red Dress Pins are shared with the “I Am Not Next” Virtual Event, and can be purchased from this site: Click Here to Purchase

Metroland Link to news story by Moya Dillon

June 1/2021
A Moment Of Silience

Maamawi Collective 215Members of Maamawi Collective along with neighbors and friends assemble in a circle, in front of Uxbridge Township Office at 2:15 pm, Tuesday, June 1st. Standing silently in a circle connected by an orange ribbon a Land Acknowledgement was offered acknowledging that First Nations, Métis and Inuit Peoples ….are not history …THEY ARE STILL HERE and their stories matter.

Each person will keep the piece of ribbon they held as a reminder TO DO SOMETHING.


Councillor Bruce Garrod accepted the “215 Orange Shirt” from Barbara Blower of Maamawi Collective, which is now on site at Township of Uxbridge near office front door... where it will remain for 215 Hours.

January 27/2021
Reconcilliation - Five Years On

Letters to the Editor - by Barbara Blower
(reproduced in the Uxbridge Cosmos and the Port Perry Standard newspapers)

The anticipation of a new year comes hand in hand with reflections on the that’s just done. Asked what we wish for in 2021 offers the opportunity to share thoughts. As a member of a local Uxbridge volunteer “collective”, I appreciate much will be different in 2021, expecting positive responses to the availability of a COVID vaccine is top of mind. However, if we each reach out a little further, positive change will happen related to food security, housing for vulnerable people, acceptance of diversity to suggest just a few.

Recently Senator Murray Sinclair expressed that not enough change has occurred in the five years since Canada’s Truth & Reconciliation Commission published its final report and corresponding 94 Calls to Action. Maamawi Collective has particular reference to “Number 53 - Part 4” as it calls on all Canadians to: “Promote Public Dialogue, Public/private Partnerships, and Public Initiatives for Reconciliation" in support of a National Council for Reconciliation.

Eight volunteer members of a “collective” based in Uxbridge, Ontario acknowledge this as Work In Progress that continues. An acknowledgement/fundraiser related to MMIWG2S Peoples continues in our town for 2021 and have adopted a mission statement:-
“We have been inspired by TRC Call to Action 53, Part 4. to:
“Promote public dialogue, public/private partnerships, and public initiatives for reconciliation” in support of a National Council for Reconciliation.

“New Beginnings - New Year” Maamawi Collective is asking members of service club, book club and other social gatherings, to ask your executive board members to offer Land Acknowledgement’s at the start of your meetings in 2021, as the Uxbridge PROBUS Club did in their fall AGM - 2020 Zoom meeting. The Uxbridge Defeat Depression Walk 2019 began with a Land acknowledgement and in 2017/18/19 Uxbridge Juried Art Show, part of Uxbridge Celebration of the Arts have opened their awards evening this way.

Our collective plans to contact service clubs in our community who have created recreational “physical” structures to consider adding a plaque recognize that the community of Uxbridge, Ontario is on the Land of the First Peoples, including the Hodinohso:ni and Anishinaabe, who have lived on these lands for millennia, taking only what they needed and leaving abundance for all who followed behind.

First Nations, Métis and Inuit (Indigenous) peoples are not history but continue to live, work and thrive on these lands.

Barbara Blower
Maamawi Collective

Link Here for CBC Calls To Action
SusanaMas : CBC News: Posted; Dec 14, 2015 /updated Deember 16, 2015
Commission Urges All Levels Of Government To Work Together And Advance Reconcilliation


Residential school survivor Lorna Standingready is comforted by a fellow survivor during the closing ceremOny of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on June 3, 2015. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

January 25/21
MMIWG2S Peoples Acknowledgement 2020 continuing 2021

An Open Letter To the Artist; Dianne Brown-Green,

Waachiyaa Dianne,
We offer so much gratitude for your willingness to partner with Maamawi Collective. Your painting SISTERS, We Will Not Forget Them inspired our 8 member administrative circle “collective” to create a fundraising effort that continues ’till an additional 100 Red Dress Pins are sold.

"Ayhay for all your help and understand as we learn to… ...walk together in a good way…"*

(*Words from Mim Harder - Hodinohso:ni & Anishinaabeg
and Matthew Stevens - Who hails from Georgina Island First Nation and is a Cultural Coordinator for Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation)

Cree Artist Dianne Brown-Green.
Her original painting titled "SISTERS We Will Not Forget Them”
has been digitally reproduced with her kind permission
for this Red Dress Pin fundraising event.
Photo Credit:Preston Gallery, Uxbridge. 

Our Fundraising Efforts
MMIWG2S Peoples Red Dress Pin fundraising sales began “On-Line” and in person in the community of Uxbridge, Ontario on November 11/2020 and continued to December 31/20 with resulting proceeds of $1,150. share between Native Women’s Resource Centre - Toronto, Lil’ Red Dress Project - Comox, BC and as an ongoing partnership with Justice 4 Stolen Sisters Memorial Walk - Oshawa - 2021, and continuing as sponsor for 2021.

Future proceeds from the sales of 100 Red Dress Pins @ $10. each, in acknowledgement of MMIWG2S Peoples will be shared as 50% forwarded to JFSSMW - 2021 and 50% retained by Maamawi Collective for future projects related to the following:-

Mission Statement:-
We have been inspired by TRC Call to Action 53, Part 4. to:
“Promote public dialogue, public/private partnerships, and public initiatives for reconciliation” in support of a National Council for Reconciliation.

Barbara Blower
C # 905.649.0407
Acknowledging the
Land of the First People,
Hodinohso:ni & Anishinaabe.

The Toronto Star January 5/21

Brandi Morin is an award-winning French/Cree/Iroquois journalist from Treaty 6 in Alberta.

Five Bold Steps Towards Reconciliation by Brandi MorinFrench/Cree/Iroquois journalist from Treaty 6 in Alberta.

Link Here to the Toronto Star article

Comments by Barbara Blower Coordinator - Maamawi Collective.

They are numbered # 1 to 5, but # 2 resonated with me the most.
“Most people my age weren’t taught the ugly truths of this country, such as treaty covenants broken by Canada, the enslavement of Indigenous peoples, the stealing, rape and abuse of their children and the ongoing colonial assault against Indigenous survival.”

I’m an immigrant and therefor a settler, none-indigenous citizen/resident in Canada since 1966. I believe the work of RECONCILIATION is work that settlers, immigrants, none-indigenous people who live in Canada now must do. Suggesting that previous generations of settlers did the damage so todays settlers are not responsible is, in my opinion, the biggest barrier to achieving Reconciliation.

September 27, 2016 | Big Thinking on the Hill
Link Here
Professor Cindy Blackstock, member of Gitxsan First Nation

Cindy BlackstockWords by Professor Cindy Blackstock, member of Gitxsan First Nation, are paraphrased “When We Know Better We Must Do Better ”. So! Education in all it’s forms for every settler living in Canada today will become the huge stride we all must make as we …walk together in a good way… words given to me by members of Hodinohso:ni & Anishinaabe and Chippewa First Nations in response to my questions “what can each and every settler do?”.


Professor Cindy Blackstock -First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada

TVO Television Panel Discussion Wed Jan 20/21
Moderated by Steve Paikin

“Is Reconciliation Dead?”
Link Here to On Line 4 person panel discussion

My E mail to Liane Kotler - Program Producer

Comments from Barbara
Aniin Boozhoo Hello,

I’m settler living on the land of the Hodinohso:ni & Anishinaabe Nation about an hour drive north from Toronto.
My story is available to read on the home page of the web site linked below.

Our collective’s mission statement is:

Maamawi Collective Mission Statement: - Uxbridge, Ontario.
We have been inspired by TRC Call to Action 53, Part 4. to:
“Promote public dialogue, public/private partnerships, and public initiatives for reconciliation” in support of a National Council for Reconciliation.

To this end we created a facebook page and web site, hoping to inspire other settlers to recognize that ...the work of reconciliation is the work all settlers…

We are guided by in-person meetings and ‘phone and e-mail conversations with a number of members of First Nations, who live, work and play among us. We thank them for their stewardship of This Land, for thousand and thousands of years, taking only what they needed, leaving abundance for those who follow after.

I’m not sure how much “info” you you wish to see so I’ll finish with a simple statement that Maamawi Collective continues to fundraised in our Small Town Ontario - Uxbridge community as acknowledgement or Orange Shirt Day and MMIWG2S Peoples.

In response to your program title: Is Reconciliation Dead? I offer a respectful comment: If Canadian's (settlers) just wait for 3 layers of government to “do the work” then I agree with your three members of First Nations panel speakers that not enough has changes in the five years since TRC closed.

Related to the mission statement our collective adopted in October 2020, we accept that “public” means general population, people and communities and that's why Maamawi Collective was created in January 2018.

Our web site:

December 2020

It’s usually All About The Coffee …not so much about the “CUP”!

But if your picking up a hot drink at your local Mc Donalds during this Holiday Season your cup has a story to tell! The design work of Indigenous Elder Philip Cote 111 - member of Moose Point First Nation in Muskoka Ontario, is featured on a number of mural’s around Toronto. Now Phillip has been asked to collaborate with other commercial artist on behalf of Mc Donalds, to create what he calls “a sprinkling of Indigenous Identity in a place where everyone can see and learn”.

Link to Mc Donalds cup info:

September 29, 2020
Everyone Welcome At Powwow
Connections and conversations with First Nations
People Who Welcomed Me.

Ben Benson member of Chippewas of Rama First Nation - At Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation PowWow - Photo Credit: Barbara Blower

See More Images Click Here

Byline: Barbara Blower

Letter To The Editor The Standard Newspaper Port Perry, Ontario. 2020

As the COVID virus continues to effect our lives, many events we enjoy with family and friends are cancelled or postponed. Browsing CBC Radio on line, I came across an interesting podcast when Drew Hayden Taylor was interviewed by Candy Palmater in 2016. Ojibway author Drew Hayden Taylor has been attending powwows his entire life. “Summer is powwow season across the country. But many Canadians have never been to one and don't know much about them”. he says. “Powwows are a celebration of Aboriginal culture in many different forms," he ads. The author's even set two of his plays at powwow events.

During the conversation with Candy, Drew suggested that every Canadian should attend a powwow and the interview continued with his reasons why this was a good idea. What caught my attention was his suggestion that attending a powwow shows none-indigenous visitors First Nations people as they are. Happy to be greeting family members and friends to celebrate weddings and births that have happened since they last saw each other and to show something other than the stereo typical images often reported in media.

Hearing Drew and Candy’s conversation reminded me of the powwows I attended at Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation. After being told that when First Nations say “Every one welcome” that they do mean everyone, and that includes settlers like me. My decision to go to the first powwow needed some thought and emotional preparation on my part. All concern evaporated as I approached the admissions gate and a First Nations woman looked right at me and said “You Are Welcome Here”.

I remember being nervous as I walked among dancers waiting eagerly to perform. I had learned the word regalia, refers to what dancers wear to perform and had seen photos in magazines and news video coverage but nothing prepared me for the real thing! Vivid colours, intricate beadwork and many feathers! The voice of the Big Drum and the announcer asking everyone to acknowledge “All Veterans” as they entered the circle first as the Grand Entrance began.

Performers outside the circle chatted with visitors mostly about their regalia. My conversation with a performer telling me that he first knew of his First Nations family in his mid 20’s still gives me goose bumps. He told me he had learned to bead as tribute to his Grandmother. His intricate regalia had thousands of beads sewn onto red and yellow fabric.

It’s always respectful to ask permission before photographing people and I had permission slips ready. Every person who gave permission asked where the photo’s would show up. That they will be posted on Maamawi Collective’s web site was fine and almost everyone signed my permission slips. One conversation became a memorable teaching/learning moment for me.

After asking and receiving verbal permission to photograph someone I offered my permission slip for signature. I was gently informed that permission had been given. I think that I again offered the pen and slip for a signature. Again! I was gently reminded that permission had been given. Finally! I understood! I took a tobacco tie from my pocket, offering it with my left hand, I said Chi-Miigwetch - Thank you for your teaching!

Watching from a distance at first, but then understanding that questions were welcome, I summoned the courage to ask questions also! For each person I approached I asked if it was OK, to ask about something they were wearing. The response was always Yes, followed by something like “happy to share our culture with our visitors”. I chatted for some time with an elder from Nova Scotia who wore an epaulette from a WWI Army uniform, she told me she wears it to honour her Great Grandfather, who fought in that war. I began to notice many Remembrance Day poppies and I asked about them. I learned the poppy was worn to honour a relative, but a number of men who wore them said it was also because they were or had served in Canada’s Armed Forces.

A young woman whose regalia included a bowler hat explained that she wore it to honour her family connections in South America. As a professional photographer, carrying the tools of her trade, she deftly hid her camera and tripod for my photos.

I learned that the jingles on the regalia of Jingle Dress Dancer’s have a very significant role. A young girl with a huge smile was so happy to tell me that she sewed more than 100 jingles on her dress. She wore it to show pride in her ancestors and to encourage healing. She mentioned she worked locally and may be the one serving your coffee next time you are at a local restaurant drive-through.

I noticed another Jingle Dress Dancer wearing knee high yellow leather boots with wrap around strips of leather holding them in place. She told me how comfortable they were and cleaning with a stiff brush was all that was needed. Imagine how surprised we were when we discovered that she and my daughters had been members of a competitive swim team where I lived and she has kept in touch with the swim club coaching staff. We chatted by phone in August this year and I was so pleased to hear she is well and living in Ottawa after graduating from university with a teaching certificate and now working for a Federal Government Agency.

Becoming a little more comfortable, I asked two women if I might take their picture! I’d noticed that they looked very much alike and was not surprised to learn they were sisters! They spoke of their community and listened as I spoke of my grandchildren. Delighted to find the common ground of grandmothers everywhere, my next question was “How many do you have?”. They answered in unison “Between us, thirty six grandchildren… and one sister added that she had great-grandchildren too.

At a previous powwow, I was given permission to photograph a grandmother and grandfather who just happened to be holding their tiny granddaughter. It became my most favorite photo and the first time I had noticed a Remembrance Day Poppy worn on regalia. Next year, when I attended the powwow, I took with me a print of the photo, hoping to see the grandparents and offer the print with my thanks. Grandfather was so happy to accept and his wife told me “You have given a gift of great value, judging by the care he is taking to put it in a safe place”. Our conversation continued with her request that I take another picture, which I was most happy to deliver.

Conversations via e-mail continue and I’m happy to see messages from people I met at Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation powwow such as Ben Benson, a young man who dances with his father and uncle. They are known as the Benson Boys - Chippewas of Rama First Nation. He Graduated Fleming College with a diploma in Outdoor Adventure Education, Ben’s happy to be living close to “Queen Elizabeth II Wildlands Provincial Park” to keep himself active on the land and I understand when he says, “I miss powwow season so much”.

Barbara Blower,

Additional Link about Powwow:
This link is from July 12 - 2016.

Why every Canadian should attend a powwow: Drew Hayden Taylor explains the spirit of the gathering

“Summer is powwow season across the country. But many Canadians have never been to one and don't know much about them.
Ojibway author Drew Hayden Taylor has been attending powwows his entire life. 
"Powwows are a celebration of Aboriginal culture in many different forms," he said. The author's even set two of his plays at the events.
He talks to Candy about what powwows mean to his culture and why it's important for all Canadians to attend one.

Nov 16,2020, Arts Can Circle, Toronto, Ontario

Canadian’s saying and playing along to the refrain:
“My life is greater than COVID-19”

maamawi collelctive

Watch The Video - Click Here

Mike Stevens – A Walk in My Dream
A chance encounter with at-risk youth in Northern Labrador alters the course of harmonica virtuoso Mike Stevens’ professional path and leads to an epiphany of why he plays music in the first place.

Mike Stevens’ CBC Radio Interview – 
Listen to Mike’s initial interview on CBC’s As It Happens radio show from the CBC archives broadcast Nov. 23, 2000. “The healing power of music at Davis Inlet”

Nov 9, 2020

National Aboriginal Veterans Day November 8th

maamawi CollectiveNational Aboriginal Veterans Day across Canada is acknowledged on November 8th. Dianne Brown-Green Cree artist, is pictured with son James as they place traditional tobacco honouring Elders at Royal Canadian Legion Branch 170 Uxbridge Cenotaph. The wreath ribbon carries an Ojibway word MISHKOOZIIDAA meaning “To Stand With Strength”. This word came from Matthew Stevens of Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation - Cultural Director of Mississaugas Of Scugog Island First Nation for our wreath in 2019. Maamawi Collective continues to acknowledge Aboriginal Veterans and serving members of Canada’s Armed Forces.
Photo Credit:Stuart Blower

November 2, 2020

Remembrance Day Activities In Uxbridge

As with many day to day activities, local Cenotaphs Services on Remembrance Day will be effected by COVID-19. Royal Canadian Legion Branch 170, Uxbridge, invites people to a DRIVE BY PARADE in Elgin Park to honour our Veterans. Maamawi Collective is pleased that the Lapel Pin recognizing ABORIGINAL VETERANS will be available for pick up or order at the Uxbridge branch.
For complete information please check their web site:

For More Information About Ordering The Pin - Click Here

October 4, 2020

MMIWG2SMMIWG2SMissing and Murdered Indigenous Woman and Girls and Two Spirited Individuals

A key mandate of the National Inquiry is to honour the truth through public education and awareness. The education campaign is part of our terms of reference to promote and advance reconciliation and to contribute to public awareness. The goal is to help the broader Canadian community understand the issue and the impact of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.
We invite you to learn more

Truth Sharing Podcasts

The Truth Sharing Podcasts give life to the truth. The series visited five Canadian communities to give voice to those who have experienced loss, examine the ways in which those affected are trying to heal, and shine a light on those trying to bring about positive change.
Find out more

Coalition on MMIWG

Learn More about the Coalition

June is Indigenous History Month.

In 2017 the name Aboriginal Day was changed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to National Indigenous Peoples Day. A web site was created and posters and information is ready for downloading So when we called Blue Heron Books, our Uxbridge award winning book store, asking what they had available in the category of First Nations, Métis and Inuit books and we prompley received the following message.

Hi Barb,

This link will show you what is currently in-store or available for order.  There are LOTS more! Hope this helps educate, inspire and motivate.

Click Here: For first Nations and Indigenous books

Shelley Macbeth
Blue Heron Books
Canadian Booksellers Association Libris Awards
Two-time Bookseller of the Year for Canada
62 Brock Street West
Uxbridge, Ontario L9P 1N1
905-852-4282 P
905-852-6522 F
For on-line ordering

Letters To The Editor:

In March this year, Maamawi Collective’s Facebook page carried a response to Federal Minister of Indigenous Services, Marc Miller’s announcement that funds have been allocated to Grassy Narrows First Nation. Clicking on the link below this article offers recent information. Resulting from the post an facebook we were happy to receive a message from Doris Ames, a non-indigenous resident of Manitoba, now living in USA. The message contained family photographs of time spent at Grassy Narrows in the early 1960”s.

This message is in response to Maamawi Collective’s notes about Grassy Narrows on social media and the fact that MP Marc Miller has signed a deal to build a mercury poining care home in Grassy Narrows

Hi Barbara, I'm glad the photos arrived. I am non- indigenous and was born in Manitoba in 1944 in East Braintree Manitoba. My father immigrated from Germany in 1927 and my mother was of English extraction and born in Rivers, Manitoba. My first husband Barrie Walker and I used to go fishing and camping in the Grassy Narrows area in the early 1960's. Recently my son was organizing and digitizing all my old photos and I found these again. They were taken with one of the first colour Polaroid cameras.  I thought perhaps someone would like to see how beautiful it was then. Maybe I will get back myself someday and see how it looks now. As you can see from my Facebook page I live in Winnipeg.

Updates Click Here:

Link To MMP Marc Miller Comments

Dr. Jane Philpott - Dean of Medicine at Queens

We are pleased to hear that Dr. Jane Philpott will be taking on a new role as Dean of Medicine at Queens University in July 2020, but will maintain connections with the Nishnawbe Aski Nation as a Special Advisor on Health. Many of you will remember Dr.Jane Philpott visited Uxbridge, (Ontario) in 2018, when she addressed Orange Shirt Day audiences as Federal Government Indigenous Services Minster.

Learn More

Indigenous Writes:
A Guide to First Nations, Metis and Inuit Issues in Canada

This book is written with educators in mind…but is recomended by Kaitlyn Watson, consultant to our Administrative Circle, suggesting that it is appropriate for everyone in Canada wishing to educate themselves about First Nations, Métis and Inuit People and communities.

Learn More

Anishnaabe World:
A <Survival> Guide for Building Bridges between Canada and First Nations

In every walk of Canadian life--from business to education to the everyday--the reality is that increasingly you will be in contact with Anishnaabe World. Knowing something about Aboriginal people and their reality not only gives you an advantage over those who don't, it's just plain polite in this country now called Canada.
In the spirit of Thomas King, Drew Hayden Taylor and Tomson Highway, Roger Spielmann's Anishnaabe World is an irreverent, teasing, hilarious, yet cross-culturally astute "Survival Guide" for Canadians increasingly aware of our country's chequered past relations between Natives and non-Natives.

Chief Ovide Mercredi says
"I challenge the reader to really listen to what Roger Spielmann's saying."

Learn More

“Tentative Agreement”

Sunday March 1/2020 - Global News Report that 3 days of talks with
Wet’-suwet’en Traditional Chiefs and a number of representatives of Canada’s Federal Governmaent have produced a “Tentative Agreemnet” with more work to do. This appears to be a continuation of work related to Canada’s Supreme Court Decision in 1997 when the Delgamuuke Decission was handed down.

Global News Link

Globe and Mail Link

Two-Spirit physician visits Queen's to discuss decolonizing medicine.

Dr. M. Nancy Tatham (left) and her partner Donna Henderson (right) pictured with guest speaker Dr. James Makokis.

Learn More


May 13, 2020
Reconciliation and Museums: A Personal Journey.

Raised in Udora and Uxbridge, Ontario, Dr Laura Peers’ work explores the meanings of heritage objects to Indigenous people today in healing from colonial oppression, and the changing relationships between museums and Indigenous peoples. She has opened dialogues between North American Indigenous communities and museums across the UK, Europe and North America. She is Curator and Professor Emerita, Pitt Rivers Museum and School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography at the University of Oxford; Adjunct Professor, Department of Anthropology and School for the Study of Canada, Trent University; and an independent consultant on museums and Indigenous heritage issues.

Uxbridge Scott Historical Society
2020 Anual General (Meeting Visitors Welcome)
Wednesday May 13.
Guest Speaker - Dr. Laura Peers
Time : 7:00 PM
Place: Uxbridge Historical Centre
7239 Concession Rd 6, Uxbridge, ON L9P 1N5

For more information visit (
To contact Uxbridge Scott Historical Society

April 4-5, 2020
First Nations Cultural Tours at Sunderland Maple Syrup Festival









Jacob Charles

Maamawi Collective is so pleased to see that First Nations Cultural Tours will invite festival visitors to join members of Chippewas Of Georgina Island First Nations Singers, Dancers and Story Tellers and the Traditions Of The Big Drum and to join in a “A Round Dance.

Sunderland Maple Syrup Festival has been growing in the number of visitors traveling to this small town over the years. This years festival is the 25th anniversary and more vendors than in previous years are already signed up.

Jan 27/20

Maamawi Collective Collects Art & Science Supplies
For Elephant Thoughts Northern Trip.

Pictured left to right are Johanna Blake, Lou Weaver, Peter Sullivan, Barbara Blower and Lynda Bowerman. Volunteers sorting and re-packing Art & Science supplies destined for Kasabonika Lake, First Nation, a fly-in reserve located north of Sioux Lookout, Ontario. Collected on behalf of Elephant Thoughts, Collingwood, the supplies are destined for a school on the reserve and will be flown in via Elephant Thoughts.

Art & Science supplies collected in Uxbridge through Maamawi Collective, are destined for a school on Kasabonika Lake First Nation, located north of Sioux Lookout, Ontario. Boxes from our town will join many other boxes collected in South Durham that are traveling to Collingwood Ontario, to be shipped to the fly-in reserve by Elephant Thoughts, a registered education charity, started by a group of teachers based in Collingwood, Ontario. Elephant Thoughts have been working alongside Indigenous communities both in Canada and around the world to support education solutions and empower youth.
For more info go to

Maamawi Collective is looking forward to “working with” Elephant Thoughts on future projects.

Mission Statement - 2020:-
“To Create and Promote Public Dialogue, Public/Private Partnerships, and Public Initiatives for Reconciliation”... as requested in
TRC Call to Action #53 section #4

Jan 26/20

Indigenous Authors among Finalists
For CBC Canada Reads 2020…One Book to Bring Canada Into Focus.

Maamawi Collective looked at the 15 long-listed books and is so pleased to see the work of many indigenous authors included this year. Read Excerpt

How do we move forward together? These books inspire readers to think twice about the lens through which they see themselves and Canada.
From deeply personal memoirs to poetry and speculative fiction, the 5 Finalists Include:

Eden Robinson


Author Eden Robinson
Eden Robinson. Eden Victoria Lena Robinson (born 19 January 1968) is an award-winning Aboriginal Canadian author. She is a member of the Haisla and Heiltsuk First Nations.
Born: 19 January 1968
Works written: Traplines, Blood Sports



George Canyon is defending From the Ashes by Jesse Thistle on Canada Reads 2020. (CBC)

Author Jesse Thistle
He is a Métis-Cree academic specializing in Indigenous homelessness, addiction and inter-generational trauma. For Thistle, these issues are more than just subjects on the page. After a difficult childhood, Thistle spent much of his early adulthood struggling with addiction while living on the streets of Toronto. His memoir From the Ashes details how his issues with abandonment and addiction led to homelessness, incarceration and his eventual redemption through higher education.

Moving Forward In 2020

When I write about The First People of This Land I write First Nations, Métis and Inuit Peoples or Communities. Going forward in 2020 there are other opinion to consider, Among them is that Indigenous is also respectful. Our Maamawi Collective Administrative Council is growing and as co-ordinator I offer opinions from various personal conversations.

Follows:- "Some peoples use FNMI (First Nations, Metis, Inuit) as an acronym. Some people know what it means, some don't. I like First Nations, First Peoples, Original People of this Land. Indigenous is still the current "term". Some people still use Aboriginal. For me, as long as whatever term is used is used with respect, the chosen names don't bother me…

Mim Harder. 2020.

Music For Northern Communities

Jan 6, 2020

ArtsCan Circle has been raising funds to make it possible for Musicians to travel to Canada’s Northern Communities, taking along instruments and staying long enough to offer students or all ages the possibility of Learning To Make Music.

For More Information

An Invaluable Resource
Jan 6, 2020

Awards for this book by Bob Joseph are accumulating.“an Invaluable resource. Quotes Shelagh Rogers O.C. Awards for this book by Bob Joseph are accumulating. In June 2011, she was inducted as an honorary witness for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.
Also in 2011, she was named an Officer of the Order of Canada "for her contributions as a promoter of Canadian culture, and for her volunteer work in the fields of mental health and literacy."[6] Her Order of Canada citation reads: "Shelagh Rogers is a passionate journalist, activist and promoter of all things Canadian.

21 Things You May Not Know About The IndianAct

"From declaring cultural ceremonies illegal, to prohibiting pool hall owners from granting Indigenous people entrance, from forbidding the speaking of Indigenous languages, to the devastating policy that created residential schools, Bob Joseph reveals the hold this paternalistic act, with its roots in the 1800s, still has on the lives of Indigenous people in Canada in the 21st century. This straightforward book is an invaluable resource. There is much for non-Indigenous people to learn and to do. But equally important, there is much to unlearn and to undo. The time is right for this book. Thank you, Bob Joseph. Gilakasla."

Shelagh Rogers, O.C.
Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada Honourary Witness

Maamawi Donates Over $700 to Uxbridge Legion
Nov 28, 2019

A great wrap-up to our Aboriginal Veterans Commemorative Pin Project is captured here with Royal Canadian Legion Branch 170 - Uxbridge’s president Sherrill Hodgson receiving Maamawi Collective’s cheque for $743.

We are so pleased that our last Aboriginal Veterans Commemorative Pin placed in the hands of a caring fostered parent who honoured the First Nations Culture of the child in their care!

Our local Uxbridge Legion is keeping a quantity of Aboriginal Commemorative Pins on hand for folks who drop in to purchase. Additionally, orders will be accepted for future pick up.

Nov 28. 2019
Walking In Two Worlds Lecture
Read Our Notes, See Photos and Comments From The Audience - CLick Here

Hi Everyone!

We Are Pleased To Announce Our Guest Lecture Series
“Walking & Working
in Two Worlds”

Royal Canadian Legion - Uxbridge Branch 170
109 Franklin St, Uxbridge, ON L9P 1J5
Thursday Nov 28/19
7:00 PM to 9:30 PM

We welcome Story Teller - Darrell LaFrance, who is of French Native American descent, a Traditional Eagle Feather Dancer and Story Teller belonging to the Algonquin Bear Clan Tribe, His great grandfather was a Tribal Chief.

The topic we chose is “Walking & Working in Two Worlds”.

Many lunch time visitors to Orange Shirt Day - Uxbridge 2019 chatted with Darrell because he is pictured on the Durham Region Police Services First Nations Cruiser.

Everyone Is Welcome and Registration is Required
Please Phone/Text 905-649-0407
or e-mail:

Donations will be Gratefully Accepted at the Door


Welcome to our Administrative Circle

Kaitlyn Watson, PhD (ABD) is our newest member of Maamawi Collective's Administration Circle. Kaitlyn grew up in Uxbridge and now lives with her husband and 2 small children in Cannington.

Thank You
To everyone who purchased Royal Canadian Aboriginal Commutative Pin’s in acknowledgement of First Nations, Métis and Inuit Veterans and Serving Members of Canadian Armed Forces.

Nov 15/2019
Aboriginal Veterans Poppy/Pin Sales Raise Over $700 for the Royal Canadian Legion, Uxbridge Branch 170

Nov 11/2019
Honouring Our First Nations Veterans

Matthew Stevens places an offering of natural tobacco on the Maamawi Collective wreath

November 11, 2019 Remembrance Day Service at Uxbridge Cenotaph! Honouring Canada's Veterans. Maamawi Collective's wreath ribbon carries an Ojibway word "MIshkooziidaa" - To Stand With Strength - in honour of the many thousands of First Nation, Métis and Inuit Veterans and Serving Members of Canadian Armed Forces. Matthew Stevens - Cultural Coordinator of Mississaugas Of Scugog Island First Nation laid his offering of natural tobacco to ancestors in acknowledgement of their service and sacrifice to the protection of life.

Nov 10/2019

Mamaawi Collective partnered with Local Uxbridge Legion to sell Aboriginal Pins.

The Royal Canadian Legion has chosen to recognize Canada’s Aboriginal Veterans and the significant contribution they have made through our long history and that they continue to make today. This commemorative pin presents the Legion Poppy on the centre of a dreamcatcher, their coupling acknowledging the efforts and sacrifices of Veterans from all of our Aboriginal Communities. For More Info:

Proclamation Presentation June 21/2019

Barbara Blower of Mamaawi Collective, Matthew Stevens Cultural Coordinator of MSIFN, receives the official Township of Uxbridge proclamation from Mayor Dave Barton, along with Michell Evans First Nations resident of Uxbridge.

My address to council

Monday, June 17, 2019

Good Morning Everyone!
My name is Barbara Blower and I am here representing Maamawi Collective

Maamawi Collective is “A Collective of Volunteers”, Who strive to provide a source of information and create positive connections with “First Nation, Métis, and Inuit People”

We acknowledge the many local groups and individuals who have a strong commitment to indigenous communities in Ontario and have also been working on various projects for many years.

I offer sincere thanks to our Mayor and Council for issuing their proclamation and for this opportunity to acknowledge :

NATIONAL INDIGENOUS PEOPLES DAY - June 21. Recognized as Summer Solstice.

I am learning that Indigenous is an overall term and that it is respectful, in verbal and written conversations, to ask First Nation, Métis and Inuit people how they wish to be addressed.

In January this year I asked this council to consider TRC Calls to Action # 53 iv, which, in part, ask’s companies, community groups and individuals to:-
Create First Nation, Métis and Inuit Acknowledgements.

I am so pleased that our council has adopted a Land Acknowledgement that is now read at each regular Council Meeting and there is also a newly created logo featuring the feather. I’m told that this logo will begin to populate the townships’ print and digital media in the coming months. I believe these acknowledgements happened through consultation with Chief Kelly LaRocca, Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation, our neighbors, just up the road, in Port Perry.

I am honored to speak on behalf of Maamawi Collective and in closing, I ask that you imagine, with me, a door-way. It’s about 500 years old!

450 of those years - the door opened one way!

Beginning about 50 years ago - the door began to be pulled back - starting with discussions about the residential schools.

Today we find many conversations happening, creating more awareness of Canada’s history.

What will be accomplished towards Reconciliation in the coming years is dependent on what we write on that door today…


Thank You for your time and attention today. Chi-Miigwetch

Barbara Blower
Maamawi Collective

Uxbridge Times Journal Coverage
Proclomation Piece by Moya Dillon

National Indigenous Peoples Day

Entering Uxbridge on Hwy 47 we are pleased to have the following message on the
electronic sign in place untill June 30/19


Orange Shirts Being Delivered
Our first order of ORANGE SHIRTS has been distributed around town. Don't know what Orange Shirt Day is all about ? Ask anyone whos’ wearing one!
SAVE THE DATE - Sunday September 2019

Grants Preserve Indigenous Culture in Canada
Library and Archives Canada ... more info
The Listen, Hear Our Voices initiative offers funding and digitization services to preserve Indigenous culture and language recordings. Grants of up to $100,000 are provided to digitize existing Indigenous culture and language recordings and to build the skills, knowledge, and resources needed to digitize and preserve these recordings. Nonprofit Indigenous (First Nations, Inuit, or Métis Nation) organizations are eligible to apply. Applications must be submitted by July 17, 2019.

Defeat Depression
“More than a 100 Defeat Depression Warriors walked The Country Side Preserve to end the stigma of mental illness" - Jill Thomas
Welcome, Jill Thomas, spokesperson for Defeat Depression - Uxbridge Walk and Chi-Miigwetch for inviting me to offer the Land Acknowledgement at your event on Sunday June 9/19. I understand there were more than 100 participants. A number of folks asked me ..."what is a Land Acknowledgement” and "why do I do it" as a "None Indigenous Citizen of Canada! I was so pleased to be have these converstaion and explain...So! Your event had
many, many messages! Barbara.

Left to right
Const. B. Campbell DRPS, Barbra Blower - Invited to give Land Acknowledgement on behalf of Maamawi Collective,Const D. Redwood DRPS, Uxbridge Mayor Dave Barton, Jill Thomas - Spokesperson - Defeat Depression - Uxbridge Walk


Aniin - Hi Everyone,

Maamawi Collective has been granted a proclamation by THE TOWNSHIP OF UXBRIDGE, recognizing NATIONAL INDIGENOUS PEOPLES DAY at their council meeting on Monday June 17/19 at 10:15 AM.

I have spoken with a representative of MISSISSAUGAS OF SCUGOG ISLAND FIRST NATION and extended an invitation to attend, and I believe he (they) will be with us.
Uxbridge residents who are members of First Nation and Métis will receive the proclamation from our Mayor Dave Barton.
On behalf of Maamawi Collective, please accept this as your invitation to join us.

June is National Indigenous History Month

National Indigenous History Month is a time to honour and recognize the contributions made by the First Nations, Inuit and Métis people in the shaping and strengthening of our communities, provinces, territories and country as a whole. It is a time to thank all the generations of people who took care of this land for thousands of years, as they were the first to inhabit and connect with it.

June 21 is National Indigenous Peoples’ Day, a day to celebrate the First Nations, Inuit and Métis people, and each of their distinct heritages, languages and spiritual beliefs. You can take part in celebrating by learning about Indigenous heroes, visiting local Indigenous sites, taking in a traditional dance or drumming performance, or honouring Indigenous veterans.
You can consult your local Friendship Centre for further ideas and guidance. If you’re hosting your own event for National Indigenous Peoples’ Day be sure to use #NIPDCanada when promoting it on social media, to be part of the online conversation and community.

Learn More

Church of the Ascension Events:
Doctrine of Discovery.
Stolen Lands, Strong Hearts, a documentary film and study discussions, spread over two sessions. First installment Monday May 27, 4pm-5:30 pm, held in church sanctuary. Documentary produced by the Anglican Church of Canada. Bring friends or neighbours. All welcome. Date of second part TBA.

Dave Mowat, MSIFN (Misssissaugas of Scugog Island First Nation) is coming to speak at the church on Monday June 10 at 4pm. He will speak about issues around Truth and Reconcilliation, the history of the MSIFN, the Williams Treaties, and touch on land acknowledgements.

New logo for Uxbridge
The Township of Uxbridge has included an indigenous acknowedgement in the form of a feather, on it's new logo. Cards and stationary will be updated as existing stocks are replaced.

Uxbridge logo

Uxbridge Celebration of the Arts invites Musicians and Dancers to register for Trail Mix 2019
Sat. Sept 21 - noon to 3 pm.

Preparations for this year’s Uxbridge Celebration of the Arts are in high gear, with event coordinators promoting participation in this well-loved annual extravaganza. This year, the group has added a new segment called “Trail Mix,” to be held on September 22 starting at noon. Imagine a unique trail walk through Elgin Park, where all genres of the arts will be presented in a glorious outdoor setting. The Trail Mix committee, headed by Amy Peck, is looking for buskers, musicians, dancers, painters, photographers, sculptors and artists in any other genres who would like to perform and exhibit in the show.
“This is an event to celebrate our local talent and trails with a busker-style showcase through the paths of Elgin Park,” Peck says. “It will be a great outing for the entire family and it’s free! Attendants can bring a picnic, stroll through the park, and experience the wealth of talent in our community.

An outdoor celebration of the arts!” Anyone interested in performing or displaying their work should send an email to
Watch for more details to come on the Celebration of the Arts, with events running in September and early October.
And remember, to sign up to display your work or perform during Trail Mix, email
Register to perform
Follow on Instagram: trailmixuxbridge

Go to the Celebration of The Arts website

Rediscovered Art By Residential School Students Goes On Display Done 50 Years (Globe and Mail, MARCH 27, 2013 )

maamawi news
Photo: Chad Hipolito/The Globe and Mail
These paintings were done by students at a notorious residential school on Vancouver Island more than 50 years ago, and appear in today'sGlobe and Mail. Until recently, the artworks lay in bags and boxes in an archive, forgotten.
They were rediscovered two years ago by a field studies class at the University of Victoria. This weekend, they'll be celebrated at a repatriation ceremony in Port Alberni, B.C.
Students at the school faced abuse and difficult lives, as teachers - obeying government policy at the time - tried to suppress their culture. They were also subjected to a dorm supervisor who has since been labeled a "sexual terrorist" by Canadian courts.

maamawi news
Photo: Chad Hipolito/The Globe and Mail
But their volunteer art teacher, Robert Aller, was different.
In his memoirs, Aller criticized the treatment of kids at residential schools. And when he taught, he would push the desks aside, and bring in photos of First Nations ceremonial masks for the students to study and draw.
Aller inspired Arthur Bolton, one of the former students whose work is featured in this collection.
"He had talked to us a lot about how to memorize where you have been - you see that painting in your mind, you throw it down," Bolton told the Globe. MORE

APRIL 12/2019
Scugog Cultural Connections:
A Multi-Arts Symposium.

Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation were the main sponsor for the Multi-Arts Symposium. Scugog Council for the Arts lead the programing and thanked MSIFN for their collaborative spirit for co-hosting the event. SPARC (Supporting Performing Arts in Rural and Remote Communities) provided additional funding through their Collaborative Community Initiatives Program.

I attended this event represented MAAMAWI COLLECTIVE, and wish to thank the volunteers and organizers for their work in creating a very worthwhile event.

Opening with a smudging ceremony, offered by Matthew, helped us to settle into the “Talking Feather Circle”, we passed The Eagle Feather around the circle introducing ourselves to the group. Matthew Stevens, Ojibwe , Georgina Island First Nation, is cultural coordinator of MSIFN and he spoke of traditions and explained the connection of the drum to his songs.

A simple breakfast helped us to settle into the Speakers Forum part of the program.
Excellent information from the key-note speaker Jason Maghanoy, from his many relationships related to understanding and promoting “Your Brand and Knowing Your Audience". A series of five panelist and facilitators presented addition suggestions for promoting “Your Brand” followed by a question period.

We broke for a wonderful LUNCH served by IND/GENESIS chef Tamara, who specilizes in idigenous cuisine. We dined on roast turkey, squash and wild rice pilaf with a dessert of meringue, ginger custard and sweet grass.

The afternoon program continued with networking and group workshops. MAAMWI COLLECTIVE spoke with SPARC in relation to possible funding for ORANGE SHIRT DAY - UXBRIDGE 2019, which translates to funding for Indigenous Performers. Kim Blackwell of 4th Line Theatre outlined many aspects of ther company programing. Kim outlined their Fundraising Night’s and invited MAAMAWI COLLECTIVE to contact them to consider options for their 2020 season.

As we closed the Working Portion of the event, Matthew introduced us to THE BIG DRUM and traditional singers and dancers.

Photo Credit:Stuart Blower

Singers & Drummers:
Matthew Stevens, John Snake Nimkii Ozaawamick, Kyle Bigcanoe, Josh Janiga & Craig Brochman.

Joycee Snake - Jingle Dress, Tessa Snake - Fancy Shawl, Lesley - Northern Womens Cloth.
Ryerson Whetung - Mens Northern Traditional,

Mississaugas of the great Anishnaabeg, Curved Lake, Wikwemikong Unceded Territory, Enoch Cree Nation - Alberta, Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation, Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation.


June 30, 2018 - June 23, 2019
Drop-in Exhibition Insight tours are available every Thursday.
Ask at the front desk.

Visiting the Robert McLaughlin Gallery in Oshawa, I watched the video presentation “WHOSE HOME AND NATIVE LAND”, and met Sam Powless, who is RMG’s Manager of Community & Volunteer Development. Our conversation went around my introduction to the KAIROS Blanket Exercise and his beginnings in learning the language of his Haudenosaunee family, particularly when he learns a new word and then speaks it to his Grandfather and they both smile.
Chi-Miigwetch for your time, Sam.

This installation of the RMG’s permanent collection asks the question: Whose Home and Native Land? This takes into account not only the physical landscape, but those who have occupied it for thousands of years and those settlers whose traces can be measured in hundreds of years.

This has been a collaborative venture: along with RMG staff, we have met with three Indigenous community members whose responses to the collection have framed the exhibition’s content and its direction. The RMG’s collection is very Eurocentric, but also includes amazing examples of work by First Nations and Inuit artists and we continue to expand its base of work by racially diverse artists.

Produced in partnership with Reagan Kennedy, Dawn Lavell-Harvard, and Alex Ranger

The RMG is incredibly grateful to Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation for their support of this exhibition.

Watch The Video


April 9/2019

This link will take you to the description of the Sovereign's Medal for Volunteerism.

The Governor General’s award ceremony takes place every two years. Mim Harder’s award will be presented in Toronto in 2019.

Mim has lived in Uxbridge since 2000. I met Mim in 2017 at an Art’s event and am continually grateful for her help and guidance as MAAMAWI COLLECTIVE begins it’s second year.
I asked Mim if there was something she would like to add to my notes.
Mim requested that I add her words:-
“I am very humbled and honored to even have been nominated. To be awarded the Sovereign's Medal for Volunteerism is beyond anything I can comprehend.
The First Peoples of this country still live, work and play among you. We are not history.”

Shanta Elizabeth Sundarason, herself a recipient of the Sovereign's Medal for Volunteers, has this message for Mim.
"Mim (Harder), I am so proud to be able to call you my true friend. You constantly go above and beyond to help bring about change through education and action. You give of yourself and of your time so freely and generously. You truly are a champion and a warrior. How amazing that you have been bestowed the Sovereign's Medal for Volunteers by Her Excellency the Right Honorable Julie Payett. Congratulations!"

I’m so pleased that Pat Neal - Administrator of Uxbridge Historical Centre has noted that catalouging INDIGENOUS ITEMS will be part of the Centre's onging work as they search for an ASSISTANT TO THE CURTOR.

Did you know that each school in Durham Region has an Indigenous representative? That person is often a teacher with special interest or knowledge of indigenous subjects. Students hear a "Land Acknowledgement" on a regular basis through the Public Address systems at their school.

Uxbridge Secondary School has confirmed that they will offer acknowledgement of ORANGE SHIRT DAY in September 2019. Their event is geared mostly to grade 10 students. More details will be available as we get closer to September.

The Scugog Council for the Arts is pleased to announce that it will host a one and a half day multi-arts symposium in Port Perry, in partnership with the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation at their Health & Resource Centre on Island Road.

With a goal of increasing and developing connections between the many arts and cultural practitioners and organizations, in the Township of Scugog and nearby communities, the delegates will include performing arts practitioners and organizations, visual artists and visual arts organizations, craft guilds, arts presenters of theatre, music, visual art and special events, and members of writer’s and literary circles.

For more details…please follow this link

Mayor Dave Barton has adopted a Land Acknowledgement that is now part of the opening remarks at each regular council meeting. MAAMWI COLLECTIVE made a presented to “COUNCIL” on this topic in January 2019 and we are so pleased to see recognition of our First Peoples in our Town Hall. I understand that work is underway to create a suitable image to accompany the “Towns” logo.

This event is also associated with ANTI-BULLYING Programs . We offer our sincere appreciation for the financial support our event is attracting from UXBRIDGE MERCHANTS, SERVICE CLUBS. HEALTH CARE PRACTIONERS, EDUCATORS, REAL ESTATE AGENTS.


Bringing Home the Mohawk language,
Article by: Katsitsionhawi Hill, a 25 year old Seneca from Six Nations of the Grand River, on how a life long love led to her degree.
Why Indigenous visibility is part of the Maclean’s university... This year, our annual rankings issue draws inspiration from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action.

Post Notes:
I am honored to be invited to speak in the near future to “WE Uxbridge” and “Independent Order of the Daughters of the Empire” (IODE) about MAAMAWI COLLECTIVE and Orange Shirt Day.