J4IW Community Classroom comes to Ottawa’s Octopus Books

Octopus workshop
The evening of November 12 saw J4IW host a workshop packed with participants from across unceded Algonquin Territory.

The workshop examined the connections between the exploitation of land for profit and the epidemic level of violence against Indigenous women and girls in Canada. The hands-on session also gave participants an opportunity to create J4IW jewellery to honour and remember the lives of incarcerated Indigenous women.

Participants busied themselves with creating each of their own gestures of reconciliation employing tiles from Project of Heart, which when worn, act as “witness pieces” — or educational artifacts that help to tell the stories of those whose voices are continue to be silenced through ongoing colonial practices.

Social justice actions were are vital aspect of the workshop. Ways to address the root causes of violence against Indigenous women include signing on to local campaigns such as supporting the Algonquin Nations’ opposition to the “Zibi” condo development in Ottawa, or extend to the national  —  for example, participants writing the Minister of Indigenous Affairs to protest excluding policing forces from the terms of reference in National Inquiry into MMIWG.

J4IW would like to thank those who helped promote this event, as well as Octopus Books and the organizer of the Community Classroom, Pei-Ju Wang. The slide-show presentation of this workshop has been uploaded to the “Resources” section of J4IW, along with the lesson plan for the workshop.