The Oakville Community Foundation’s Community Classroom Program has launched Gimaa’s Allyship Poetry Contest for college students.
Gimaa (Chief) R. Stacey Laforme of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation (MCFN) shared a poem titled “Nii jii” which means “friend” in Anishinaabemowin, and invites students to share their poetry about what covenant or friendship looks like or means to them.
Halton Public Schools and MCFN K-12 students are invited to share and submit a poem, spoken word, rap or song through written or spoken expression, with multiple winners to choose.
Students will be eligible to win*:
- the opportunity to perform their poem alongside Gimaa at an event on May 24
- their poem printed in the event program and
- share a recording of their poem as part of the Oakville Community Foundation’s Community Classroom Online program
(*subject to parental consent)
To enter the contest, teachers must register through the Community Classroom page, with student participation at the discretion of the teacher. Submissions must be submitted in written or audio form by Thursday, April 24, 2022, via the online submission form.
“We are thrilled to host this contest for students to share their experiences and feelings about covenant and friendship,” said Frances Pace, Director of Fundraising and Community Engagement at Oakville Community Foundation. . “We look forward to seeing the creativity and expression shared through this initiative.”
Community Classroom is a free program, currently online, that offers all Oakville Public Schools and MCFN students the opportunity to participate in an arts, culture, heritage or environmental experience. Currently, these experiences include interactive videos and special live-streamed events.
Gimaa Laforme is the elected Chief of MCFN, where he was born, raised and has served his community for over 20 years, having first been elected to Council in 1999. He is very active on MCFN Treaty Lands , encompassing 3.9 million acres of land in southern Ontario, including Oakville, which sits on Treaties 14 and 22.
Coinciding with the launch of Debwewin (Oakville): The Oakville Truth Project website, the poetry contest and its focus on alliance and friendship can be a way to heal relationships, start conversations, and listen to shared knowledge. To begin the Community Learning Journey, go to www.debwewinoakville.ca.