Tag Archives: Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm

Kateri and Shane a hit

Yesterday morning Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm led a workshop in writing with courage, giving the participants tools to deal with a story that stops you cold. In the afternoon, Shane Belcourt led a lively workshop on screenwriting. I attended both, and I’m glad I did!

The evening at the Oddfellows’ Hall also went well. The Rebekahs put on their usual lavish buffet of finger foods; no need to eat supper before turning up to this show!

Kateri read both with Shane’s musical accompaniment, and also unaccompanied. Judging from the enthusiastic applause, the evening was a hit. At one point Kateri looked out at the audience and said, “This is fun!” We like to hear that!

Pictures will be coming soon.

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Saturday…

…is the big day.

We have a few spots left for the two workshops, Writing with Courage at 10 a.m. with Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm, and Screenwriting at 1:30 p.m. with Shane Belcourt. Lunch included.

Even if the workshops aren’t your thing, don’t miss the performance at 7:00 p.m. at the Oddfellows’ Hall on Main Street in Thessalon. It’s going to be a fun night, with poetry and music and good food and a chance to hang out with the artists.

Check out the article in the Sault Star!

Between the workshops and the performance, check out Tina’s on Main for good food and Forestland for a great selection of clothing and gifts and gourmet goodies.

Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm appears July 16th in Thessalon!

We’ve been looking forward to this one for a long time!

Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm is bringing her performance poetry to Thessalon on the evening of July 16th. She’ll be accompanied by musician Shane Belcourt.
The show will be at the I.O.O.F. hall, across from the Post Office on Main Street, Thessalon, at 7:00 p.m.
Tickets are available at the door.

Kateri is a well-respected poet who has toured not only Canada, but also Europe and New Zealand. She has published two books of her own poetry, my heart is a stray bullet and bloodriver woman. She’s also released two CDs of poetry and music, standing ground and A Constellation of Bones: Soundtrack. On the latter she collaborated with Maori hip-hop artist Te Kupu.

Akiwenzie-Damm’s grandmother Irene Akiwenzie wrote for the Wiarton Echo and the Sun Times, and was also a wonderful speaker and storyteller. Her husband Joe was a quiet man, says Akiwenzie-Damm, “but when he spoke, his words had power. When he spoke, we listened.” Akiwenzie-Damm’s Polish grandmother Anna Damm, a talkative and animated woman, also loved to tell stories and jokes.
“It completely makes sense that as an Anishnaabe woman I would be drawn to poetry. It is such a simple, yet profound form of expression…very much part of a continuum with the songs and stories and invocations that are part of our traditions.”

Kateri established her publishing company, Kegedonce, in 1993. She has edited two collections of writing by First Nations authors from around the world.

Shane Belcourt,the son of Métis leader Tony Belcourt, is a filmmaker with a deep respect for the traditions and knowledge of aboriginal people. As a musician, he released one CD with his former band Woodrow, and three as a solo effort under the name The Shane Anthony Band. After making a number of short films, he made his first feature-length movie, Tkaronto, which was chosen as the Closing Night film at the 2007 ImagineNATIVE Film and Media Festival.

They remember the start of their collaboration slightly differently. Kateri remembers it as Shane inviting her onstage at an event. Shane remembers it as a wedding, with Kateri starting the action, “waxing it”, as he says, with friends improvising in the background.

Both agree that it was fun, and that they worked well together.

“Shane is a generous, easygoing, fun, and very talented guy,” says Kateri. “I enjoy performing with him because there’s no stress. Shane knows I’m not a musician and understands that I’m not going to instantaneously turn into a rapper or singer. ”

Shane says, “Collaborating with a poet is unique in that you follow a more percussive lead as opposed to tonal. It requires a bit more of a subdued supporting role as well; the poet can’t belt it out like Aretha as the music crests. Ya gotta keep it supportive in volume, variance, and intensity.”

On July 16th, we get to see that magic happen here. Don’t miss it!

Summer Writing Workshops

Stories in the North has two fantastic writing workshops coming on July 16th.

Writing with Courage with Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm
10:00 a.m. to noon

Everyone has a story they are afraid to write. Memoir, personal essay, fiction rooted in truth, sometimes there are moments, incidents or whole subjects that are difficult to write. Bring yours to this workshop.

As the owner of Kegedonce Press, Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm has worked with dozens of writers dealing with difficult subjects. She is also an
accomplished writer and performance poet. She taught creative writing at the En’owkin Centre in the late 90s and currently teaches in the Emerging Aboriginal Writers Program at the Banff Centre.

Screenwriting 101 with Shane Belcourt
1:30 – 3:30 p.m.

What if you could turn your story into a script? Learn how in this interactive workshop led by multi-award-winning writer-director Shane Belcourt. >From idea to finished script, Shane will show you the tools to creatively critique and advance a script to completion and bring your great idea to the screen.

The workshops will be held in the Zion United Church basement in Thessalon.
Cost for a single workshop, either morning or afternoon, is $50.00
Register for both workshops for $75.00 and save!
Lunch is included for all workshop participants.

To register, call Elizabeth Creith, 705-842-3817. If you get the answering machine, please leave your name and phone number and say which workshop you would like.
Cheques can be made out to Stories in the North and mailed to
Elizabeth Creith
#4479 Highway 129
Thessalon, Ontario
P0R 1L0

Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm

kateri akiwenzie-damm is an Anishnaabe writer of mixed blood from the Chippewas of Nawash First Nation. She has lived and worked at Neyaashiinigmiing, Cape Croker Reserve on the Saugeen Peninsula in southwestern Ontario since 1994.

When kateri is not writing she keeps busy with her consulting company DammWrite! Consulting and Communications, working with First Nations groups and projects. She is also the Managing Editor of Kegedonce Press, a small publishing company she set up in 1993 to publish and promote the work of Indigenous writers, artists and others in the publishing field.

In 1996 kateri taught creative writing courses to university students at the En’owkin International School of Writing in Penticton, British Columbia. She is currently working on a spoken word CD and a collection of poetry. kateri is also working on publishing arrangements for an international collection of erotica by Indigenous writers and artists. She recently completed work as the editor of a collection of fiction by Indigenous writers from Canada, the United States, Australia and Aotearoa kateri’s other interests include tracking with the Ndakinna Wilderness Project, learning the Anishnaabe language, studying dreams, and traditional gathering and harvesting.

kateri’s writing has been published in various anthologies, journals, and magazines in Canada, the U.S., Aotearoa, Australia, and Germany. She has given readings at events and venues across Canada, the U.S., Australia, and Aotearoa and on national radio in Canada and Aotearoa. Readings have been broadcast nationally in Canada on WTN. Spoken word pieces of her poetry have been recorded and distributed on various audio-cassette compilations. Solo and collaborative pieces of her work have been shown in exhibits at art galleries in British Columbia. Among the journals in which her work has been published are trout, a south pacific journal of the arts (see below), The New Quarterly, Winter 2000, University of Waterloo, and Rampike Literary & Arts Magazine.

Shane Belcourt

Shane Belcourt is an award-winning filmmaker, writer, and musician based in Toronto. His feature film, Tkaronto, has played many international film festivals, most recently winning the “Best Director” prize at the 2008 Dreamspeakers Film Festival and 2008 Talking Stick Film Festival, and has since been sold to a national distributor (Kinosmith Films) which released the film across Canada during the fall of 2008.

Shane’s two short films, The Squeeze Box and Pookums have been picked up and sold to national Canadian TV networks and are featured on Isuma.tv. Shane was also the recipient of the 2007 IFC Mentorship Award and one of 22 filmmakers chosen for the 2007 TIFF Talent Lab. More recently Shane co-wrote and directed Boxed In, a short film produced by the NFB that will be included in the Canadian Pavilion at the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Shane was selected to Telefilm’s Feature Aboriginal Storytellers Program to further develop his next dramatic feature film, A Better Place. In January 2010, Shane was been selected to be the Filmmaker in Residence by the Winnipeg Film Group. Currently, Shane is working as the writer-director for a personal short animated documentary about growing up the son of a Métis rights leader, Red Car, Blue Hood along with writing his next micro-budget feature film, “Hard Feelings.”

Shane makes films under the banner of “Brokenslate Pictures” and/or “The Breath Films”, and makes documentaries and video projects for the web under “The Breath Films”. Shane teaches filmmaking workshops throughout the year with Aboriginal youth and youth at risk through various Aboriginal outreach programs, as well as teaching a directing class at LIFT twice a year in Toronto.

Happy to confirm

That Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm will indeed be our next author, and the confirmed date is July 16th, 2011. Hooray!

Kateri is a performance poet, and the owner of Kagedonce Press. We’re currently negotiating for a musical act to round out the evening, and we’ll keep you posted!

In the meantime, Pauline Clark has written a great article about our Open Mike night on March 4th. Find it here

As soon as we get some pictures from the event, I’ll be posting them on the blog.

The next author is…..

Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm!

Kateri is a poet and performance artist, living and working at Neyaashiinigmiing, Cape Croker Reserve on the Saugeen Peninsula in southwestern Ontario, and in Ottawa. Besides writing and performing poetry and music, Kateri has established Kegedonce Press, one of only three aboriginal publishing houses in Canada.

To read an interview with Kateri, go here

We look forward to having Kateri perform in Thessalon this summer. The tentative date is July 16th.

We’ll keep you posted – in the meantime, keep reading, and keep writing!