Anchor Project

Meeting Waters: Cross-Cultural Collaborations on Environmental Racism

by Ingrid Waldron, Irvine Carvery, Michelle Francis-Denny, Dorene Bernard, Vanessa Hartley, Rebecca Thomas, Kwento, Liliona Quarmyne & Leelee Oluwatoyosi Eko Davis
with support from Bria Miller, Lindsay Dobbin & I'thandi Munro

Meeting Waters: Cross-Cultural Collaborations on Environmental Racism With Ingrid Waldron is an online event centering Black and Indigenous solidarity through cross-cultural exchanges on environmental racism in Mi'kma'ki. We will bring together speakers and performers to share stories and experiences of environmental racism through storytelling, dance, spoken word, song, and graphic art. Collaborators will describe their experience and present their original creation in the form of a Zoom event followed by a panel discussion presented in partnership with Visual Arts Nova Scotia.

Note: This conversation was recorded, stay tuned for a link to watch!

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Featuring collaborations:
Africville - Irvine Carvery and Rebecca Thomas
Pictou Landing First Nation - Michelle Francis-Denny and Kwento
Sipekne'katik - Dorene Bernard and Liliona Quarmyne
Shelburne - Vanessa Hartley and Leelee Oluwatoyosi Eko Davis
Design and graphic recording by Bria Miller.

Ingrid Waldron Bio

Dr. Ingrid Waldron is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Health at Dalhousie University and the Director of the Environmental Noxiousness, Racial Inequities & Community Health Project (The ENRICH Project). Her research, teaching, and community leadership and advocacy work in Nova Scotia are examining and addressing the health and mental health impacts of structural inequalities within health and mental health care, child welfare, and the environment in Indigenous, Black, immigrant, and refugee communities.

As the Director of the ENRICH Project over the last 8 years, Dr. Waldron has been investigating the socio-economic, political, and health effects of environmental racism in Mi’kmaq and African Nova Scotian communities. The ENRICH Project formed the basis to Dr. Waldron’s first book There’s Something in the Water: Environmental Racism in Indigenous and Black Communities. The Netflix documentary There’s Something in the Water is based on Dr. Waldron’s book and was co-produced by Waldron, actress Ellen Page, Ian Daniel, and Julia Sanderson, and co-directed by Page and Daniel.

Speakers

Irvine Carvery (Africville)

Irvine Carvery was born in Africville into a large family who were landowners and community leaders. He was the President of the Africville Genealogy Society. Under Carvery's term, the Africville community received an apology from the city of Halifax for the razing of the area in the 1960s. The Africville church was also rebuilt.

Michelle Francis-Denny (Pictou Landing First Nation)

Michelle Francis-Denny is the Community Liaison with Boat Harbour Remediation Project but first and foremost she is a Pictou Landing First Nation community member. Pictou Landing First Nation has suffered from decades of pollution and most recently worked with various allies to pressure the Nova Scotia government to pass the Boat Harbour Act, which put an end to the Northern Pulp mill in Pictou County using Boat Harbour as an effluent treatment facility.

Vanessa Hartley (Shelburne)

Vanessa Hartley is an 8th generation Black Loyalist descendant from Shelburne, Nova Scotia. Her family has a long historical connection to Shelburne. Currently she works for Shelburne Association Supporting Inclusion (SASI) as a Community Support Worker. She recently completed her diploma in Social Services and is currently working on community development presentations, programming, and projects for African Nova Scotians in Shelburne. Vanessa also sits on the board of the South End Environmental Injustice Society (SEED) in Shelburne.

Dorene Bernard (Sipekne'katik First Nation)

Dorene Bernard is a Grassroots Grandmother, from the Sipekne’katik band in Mi’kmak’i. She is a Water Protector, Water Walker, and Survivor of the Shubenacadie Indian Residential School. Her background is in Aboriginal Social Work where she worked for 20 years in Child Welfare and Community Support for Residential School Survivors. She was the Coady International Institute Chair in Social Justice 2017, sharing her teachings on Environmental Racism, Climate Justice, Residential School legacy and social justice issues, including child welfare, Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women/Girls, Climate Justice and Water teachings, inspired and mentored by the late Grandmother Josephine Mandamin, Mother Earth Water Walker.

Artists/Performers

Rebecca Thomas

Rebecca Thomas is an award-winning Mi’kmaw poet. She is Halifax’s former Poet Laureate (2016-2018) and has been published in multiple journals and magazines. She coordinated the Halifax Slam Poetry team from 2014 to 2017, leading them to three national competitions with the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word. I’m Finding My Talk is her first book. For Thomas, a Mi'kmaq woman whose father is a residential school survivor, poetry has served as a powerful tool for educating about the racism and inequality that still haunts many Indigenous peoples in Canada.

Leelee Oluwastoyosi Eko Davis

Leelee Oluwastoyosi Eko Davis is a Canadian-born, genderqueer choreographer, dancer, vocalist, and film/performance artist of Nigerian/Trinidadian/Algonquin/French descent. Hailing from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Davis collaborates with artists active in visual art, music, theatre, and dance. Davis’ artistic goals are to blend the traditional barriers between performance and life, stage and experience. As a unique multimedia performer, Davis commonly merges elements of film, projection, movement, dance, voice, music, audience participation and original sound scores. Davis aims to juxtapose the visceral and ethereal, building a bridge to revealing the human experience.

Kwento

With a unique sound crossing Neo Soul and Experimental R&B, Kwento embodies empowerment through presenting an honest ode to her femininity and AfrocentricityKwento receives the energy of her audiences and returns it tenfold - through her soulful vocals, effortless performance and vibrant aura. As her talents take her across the globe, Kwento is collaborating with producers in South Africa, writers in Germany and musicians and producers in Toronto and will release her second EP entitled abbrv. (abbreviation) this year. Through embracing her roots she has discovered a deeper sense of her truth as an individual and hopes her presence tells a story that validates and offers comfort and healing to the silenced.

Liliona Quarmyne

Liliona has an eclectic background and a diverse set of trainings and experiences. As a result, she wears many hats – choreographer, dancer, actor, dance teacher, singer, community organizer, and facilitator. She has extensive training in contemporary, modern, African, ballet, hip-hop and jazz dance, as well as a BA in Theatre (acting) and a MPhil in African Studies with a performing arts focus. Liliona started her professional career performing with Bridgework Theatre in the Midwest United States, and teaching at the Mandy Fouracre Dance Academy in Accra, Ghana. She then moved to Montreal, Canada, where she danced with Zab Maboungou/Compagnie Danse Nyata Nyata and with MamaDances, continued her work as an independent performer and dance teacher, and began her ongoing engagement with Diane Roberts and the Arrivals Personal Legacy Process.

Bria Cherise Miller

Bria Cherise Miller is many things – Originally born in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, Bria is a Queer, Black, Indigenous mixed media visual and musical artist currently working in the North End of Halifax. Miller’s interdisciplinary art practice focuses on animation, graphic facilitation, poetry, spoken word, painting, illustration for books, digital art music and DJing. Miller tries to learn new skills constantly. Doing a little bit of everything comes from being a self-taught artist which has enabled Miller to expand her skill set pretty naturally. Miller continues to grow and keeps moving forward. Miller ‘s underlying theme is Encouraging Honesty, so a lot of Miller’s work brings affirmations, strength and resilience that speaks to survivors of sexual assault, and racism. Miller believes in the importance of creating spaces for racialized and LGBTQ* artists, so that their voices can be heard.

This project is presented with additional support from Visual Arts Nova Scotia, Arts Nova Scotia, Canada Council for the Arts, Kairos, The Leap, and PSAC

Live Activism Storytelling Performance Poetry/Spoken Word Sound/Audio Art Interactive