July 2022: ArtsCan Circle July Newsletter & The Pikangikum Piano Project

The Pikangikum Piano Project

While it’s been in the works for some time, hard work paid off this month when a brand new Yamaha piano was delivered to Pikangikum First Nation, thanks to the partnership with TD Canada Trust. CBC Radio spoke with our artistic director Morris George-Ellington about the piano’s arrival in Pikangikum. Click here to listen.

A beautiful essay regarding this project, written by TD Community Engagement Manager Lee Rose, has also been featured on our social media.


June 5, 2022: Water Always Goes First Gathering

The First Annual Gathering of Water Always Goes First in Elgin Park was held on June 5, 2022 in Elgin Park, Uxbridge.

Participants were welcomed to the park with books and art related to water, artist Dianne Brown-Green’s (Cree) DIY copper bucket necklace table, and information about Maamawi Collective.

Participants were invited to go on a walk around Elgin Pond while considering their relationship with water. After the walk, participants wrote reflections about water on lengths of ribbon and tied them to a sculpture. Dianne Brown-Green painted the leather piece that topped the sculpture.

Grandmother Becky Big Canoe (Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation) spoke about the significance of water and offered traditional knowledge about local water systems.

Thank you again to our Event Sponsor Sarafino Oolive Oil, and to our Founding Sponsors Quaker Dental Clinic, Nadia Torfs Real Estate, Pharmasave, Canadian Tire.

Nov. 8, 2021: MSIFN Cultural Coordinator Matthew Stevens Interviewed by 105.5 Hits FM

Many thanks to Angela Schweinitz of 105.5 Hits FM Radio in the North Durham and Kawartha Lakes Regions for sharing her interview with Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation Cultural Coordinator, Matthew Stevens. Angela spoke to Matthew in November 2021 about his family and National Aboriginal Veteran’s Day. We’d like to express our thanks to Matthew for granting us permission to share his words.

Interviewing Matthew for the show was incredible. His depth of insight and appreciation for those who have gone before him who fought loyally even though they were victims of oppression themselves is nothing short of amazing. Being able to talk to him around National Aboriginal Veterans Day about the bravery and sacrifice of his family members from where he is from, Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation, was my honour. I understand that Matthew is Cultural Coordinator at Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

— Angela Schweinitz

March 2022: Honouring Missing and Murdered Indigenous People Gathering

Thursday Evening – May 5/2022
5:00 pm to 8:30 pm
Carea Community Health Center
115 Grassmere Avenue. O
shawa, ON

I’m  a settler/non-Indigenous woman living on these lands now known as Canada. I have learned that when Original People say “All Nations Welcome To Attend” …it means ALL NATIONS and settlers like me are included. Please come ready to listen and learn. Support has been arranged for “everyone to feel safe and cared for”  – Barbara Blower

Download  PDF Poster for:  HMMIP Gathering Final 2022

March 2022: “Ancient and Forever” – Musician J.P. Cormier honours Miꞌkmaq First Nation People!

Created during the Fall and Winter of 2020 by students, teachers and guests from across Cape Breton Island “Unama’ki”, NS, Canada, singing to “Ancient and Forever” by songwriter JP Cormier.
Produced by: Carter Chiasson and Nicole Deveau
Music Production: Carter Chiasson and Mac Alasdair Dhùghaill
Audio Production: Carter Chiasson, AJ Boutlier, JP Cormier
Video Production: Nicole Deveau and Carter Chiasson
Audio Mix: Jamie Foulds

In the summer of 2021, verification of children’s remains at former Indian Residential Schools led to the acknowledgment of the first 215 “rediscovered burial sites”, that  shocked our nation. The “215” became a symbol and a horrendous reason why more settlers have learned the truth about  relationships between Original Peoples and the government of this country, now know as Canada.  

We requested and were granted permission from JP Cormier, to include his song Ancient And Forever  from his CD – Now The Work Is Done – that honour’s Miꞌkmaq First Nation People on our web-site. This would, in our opinion, offer non-Indigenous people  a significant acknowledgement of Original People’s concern for the land.

JP Cormier performed in Uxbridge Music Hall, Ontario a number of years ago at the invitation of Silver Birch Charity Concert when all proceeds were going to **Art’s Can Circle.

We honour the memory of Tom McCreate for creating this Annual Silver Birch Charity Concert Series in support of ArtsCan Circle.

J.P. Cormier web site


Link to Artscan Circle website/


Dec. 2021: AECL and CNL Inaugurate the Minwamon Building

The renaming of the Atomic Energy of Canada Limited and Canadian Nuclear Laboratories’s main building is an acknowledgement of the importance of “Indigenous knowledge” and is an effort towards building relationships “with local First Nations and Metis communities.” Thank you to Earle Lockerby for sharing this piece from the Canadian Nuclear Laboratories’ Voyageur periodical and for sharing his experiences working with AECL.

See the full size version here, Voyageur 2021 December, and read Earle’s experiences below.

I worked with AECL for 30 years, 7 of them at Chalk River. Each working day for 7 years I walked two times through the “Gate House” which served as a “funnel” between the parking lot and the research complex (they are now calling it a “campus”). Some years back, the old “Gate House” was replaced by the building you see in the attached. Very recently, the new building has been given an Algonquin name! The “Gate House” had two main purposes which I presume apply to the Minwamon Building as well: general site security and personnel radiation monitoring. I may have told you – I learned to scuba dive at Base Petawawa where training took place in the pool at Dundonald Hall. I also learned gliding (69 flights, the last 15 being solo – I still have my log book!) at an airstrip which was 10 km from the reserve of the Algonquins of Golden Lake (Pikwàkanagàn First Nation). Elder Dan Ross and Connie Mielke, who you see in the photo in the attached, are from the Golden Lake band. I can’t be certain now, but I probably flew over their reserve!