Morningstar I’ve seen you come through TRANSITION!
From the girl in Ft. McMurray, and the Friendship Centre in Edmonton.
I was touched to read 'Morningstar: A Warriors Spirit'… so proud of you for standing in your own truths, looking for the gems of the experience, and sharing that for others as a beacon to their own issues, if they choose to accept the wisdom of the experience.
And when you put together 'Sacred Spirit of Water', I was proud of you again in this time of impending crisis, your screening in NYC during the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues May 2013, was an important catalyst for discussion.
Documentary - Sacred Spirit of Water
Thank you for your commitment to our Indigenous Responsibilities Sister.
We are from the North - one of the Great Teachers of this life experience.
You carry it in your soul.
Wishing you every success.
I have known Morningstar Mercredi since we began working together to support the Idle No More movement activities in Edmonton in 2012 and 2013, while I was Executive Director of the provincial advocacy organization Public Interest Alberta. I also worked with Morningstar as she produced and directed a one hour documentary film “Sacred Spirit of Water” in 2013.
Morningstar is a very creative, intelligent and dynamic person. She is deeply committed to addressing human and environmental rights and has time and again shown the courage to step up as a passionate and effective spokesperson for the causes she is committed to.
I know she is incredibly motivated and takes personal initiative. An example of this was her ability to produce and direct the Sacred Spirit of Water documentary so that people would be able to understand the implications of the Government of Canada’s changes to the Water Act that spark the Idle No More movement. Producing a documentary is very complex. It involved her working collaboratively with many different people and organizations to raise the funds, do in-depth research and ultimately shoot and edit the documentary. That she successfully produced this documentary is a testament to her creativity, tenacity and individual commitment to speak out on causes she is passionate about.
Since then, Morningstar and I have continued to connect over the years and develop our friendship. I so appreciate her strong spirit, dynamic creativity and her fabulous sense of humor.
Learning Together in Treaty 4 Territory
Morningstar’s visit Scott Collegiate was an amazing experience for our school. From the time that I first reached out to her over email, she was friendly, eager to speak with the students, and very accommodating. She spent the day at Scott and left quite the impact on students. While at Scott, she spoke to one group of students who had read her book, Morningstar: A Warrior’s Spirit. She spoke openly and passionately about her life and her writing process. The students were thrilled to be able to talk with the author of a book that moved and engaged them so deeply.
Morningstar also spoke to several other groups of students about her writing and life experiences. She had an important message about believing in yourself and about having the strength to overcome great obstacles. It was a very powerful learning experience when she read several of her poems. The students were genuinely engaged and moved by her openness and by her candid, honest way of speaking with them. Morningstar is an inspiring woman and we are so grateful that she was able to spend the day with us at Scott.
CANOE LAKE MIKSIW SCHOOL
P. O. Box 223
Canoe Narrows, SK S0M 0K0
Tel: 306-829-2012; Fax: 306-829-4211; Email: Director/Principal – Ida Iron
Vice-Principal – Geraldine Rediron; Vice-Principal – Freida Iron
Our school had the pleasure of a presentation from Morningstar Mercredi at our 8th Annual Youth and Wellness Conference. Our Grade 11 English class read her novel, “Morningstar; A Warriors Spirit” and were inspired with her story. Our students connected with the heroine of the story and were inspired by the novel’s ending.
She came in as a powerhouse. She captured the attention of an audience of 250 Youth and community members with her personal stories of struggles, resiliency, and perseverance. Our students connected with her story on many levels.
She charmed us with her wit and personal knowledge of the North and the obstacles they faced living in isolated communities. When her presentation was over she dazzled the Elders and shook hands and embraced everyone.
Morningstar felt like a part of our community and is Welcome Back anytime.
Ken Davis March 27, 2015
Director of Marketing and Communications
Citadel Theatre/Robbins Academy
(EDMONTON) I first met Morningstar Mercredi in 1996, when I was program director for the CKUA Radio Network, Alberta’s not-for-profit public broadcaster. She came to us with an idea for a weekly radio program that was for and about Alberta’s First Nations communities. While I had some uncertainty that we could find much of an audience for the program, the concept struck a chord with me in terms of CKUA’s core mandate. We were there to provide high quality alternative programming that served Alberta’s diverse communities.
Morningstar pursued the development of the program with focus and tenacity and eventually the show “First Voices” took to the airwaves and was broadcast weekly for two years. During that time, Morningstar brought an array of multi-talented Indigenous artists on air. It’s where I first learned of such remarkable writers as Lee Maracle and Tomson Highway, as Morningstar introduced Indigenous musicians and artists to the attention of CKUA listeners.
Since the days of “First Voices” I have seen Morningstar explore various media as an activist determined to ensure that First Nations people, especially those who have been victimized, brutalized and ignored, are seen and heard. She is a broadcaster, a writer, an actress, and a filmmaker. Above all, Morningstar is a warrior; determined to brandish the sword of her intellect, her wit and her passion to fight for those who can no longer fight for themselves.
Praire Lily Feminist Society
On December 6 and 7, 2008 the Prairie Lily Feminist Society held its first provincial symposium for women in Saskatoon. Almost a hundred women from many Saskatchewan communities attended. A cursory glance at the evaluation forms suggest it was a great success and certainly something long overdue in the province. Keynote speaker, Morningstar Mercredi, opened the symposium. The storyteller, actress, social activist, researcher and author of “Morningstar: A Warrior’s Spirit” delivered a powerful message: “Lilies, step into your power.” It’s precisely the message Saskatchewan women needed to hear. In many ways, we had allowed our power to be usurped by male privilege. And so, we not only gathered but we also learned, connected, and got excited!
In workshop sessions we learned about the work that’s gone on around women who are missing, about peace activism, and working women. We connected around our spiritual work, our right to be assertive, our planet and our children. And, thanks to an activist roundtable, where representatives from women’s organizations shared with one another about their campaigns, we got excited! Stories from Oxfam, the Rebelles, la Fédération provincial des Fransaskoises, the Canadian Labour Congress, the Saskatoon Women’s Community Coalition, Real Renewal.org, the Sask Eco-Network, Amnesty International, the Canadian Childcare Advocacy Association, the Prairie Women’s Health Centre for Excellence, and Nancy Allan who sold Fair Trade goods during our event moved us.
The symposium was deliberately planned for the weekend of December 6, the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. To mark the day the Prairie Lilies hosted a commemorative dinner, catered by Two Women from Burr. Those two women, Laurel and Marie, put on a fantastic spread wherever they cater with delicious locally-grown and organic foods. Following the dinner, the Saskatoon Women’s Community Coalition hosted a formal ceremony to honour the women killed in the Montreal Massacre and all women who face violence in their lives.
As with all good events, they seem to end too soon. The symposium’s closing sessions saw agreement in many areas. Among other things participants agreed to walk in support with women in Saskatchewan who are organizing around the issue of missing and murdered women and raised money for workers walking the picket line. We recognized that our power together is strong and so we will organize, fundraise, and lobby for women and their families. Participants identified areas they’d like to focus: balancing work and family; women’s sexuality; media training; lobbying; writing and debating resolutions; chairing meetings; fundraising; and online organizing were but a few.
At present, the Prairie Lily Feminist Society is looking forward to its first Annual General Meeting scheduled for Regina on March 7th. It will be our contribution to the 2009 International Women’s Day celebrations with a dinner, a silent auction, entertainment and a social. And we’re donating a portion of our proceeds to the Sisters in Spirit Saskatchewan campaign.
Though feminist activism in our province had suffered a blow, it did not die. Feminism is a-happening here! And of course, it would be. The personal is political.
Isn’t it amazing what can transpire in a year?
the regina mom
because I love my kids