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Spark Your Pride, presented by Deloitte Canada, will be held virtually on Tuesday, June 15, 2021 as a free event with the Saskatoon Pride Festival. This year’s Spark Your Pride theme is Bridging Differences, Discovering and Honouring our Diverse Stories.
Spark Your Pride is a storytelling event that celebrates the lives of 2SLGBTQ people. It aims to express and preserve stories and accomplishments that are important to the history of Saskatchewan and to amplify them. Spark Your Pride creates safe space for all queer communities, their families, and allies. By reclaiming institutional space for 2SLGBTQ voices in the history of our province, Spark Your Pride is a positive step towards building trust, healing, and inspiration for everyone.
Spark Your Pride is a trailblazing partnership between Saskatoon Pride and the Western Development Museum (WDM) and is in its third successful year. We welcome Deloitte Canada as Presenting Sponsor.
Schedule of Events
Welcome remarks from the organizers, including WDM and Saskatoon Pride.
Two-Spirit Elder Marjorie Beaucage focuses the gathering on the theme: “Bridging Differences. Discovering and Honouring Our Diverse Stories.”
A discussion to break the silence and the mystery surrounding two-spirited women’s lives and experiences shared through stories of reflection, joy and sorrow aimed at opening the minds and hearts of our community.
With the help of Rainbow Railroad, Amin was able to escape and finally move to Canada. Amin’s story of resilience and triumph is one that everyone to experience and become aware of the serious issues LGBTQIA folks world-wide still face today.
Marjorie Beaucage is a Two-Spirit Métis Auntie, filmmaker, art-ivist and educator, a land protector and a water protector.
Born in Vassar, Manitoba, to a large Métis family, Marjorie’s life’s work has been about creating social change, working to give people the tools for creating possibilities and right relations. Whether in the classroom, community, campsite or the arts, Marjorie’s goal has been to pass on the stories, knowledge and skills that will make a difference for the future. For Marjorie, story is medicine.
As a Two-Spirit Métis Elder, Marjorie takes on the tough topics that need to be discussed. Her work is focused on giving voice to, and creating safe cultural spaces for, traditionally silenced or excluded groups.
Marjorie is known on the local, regional and national levels as an Elder who speaks truth to power, and who holds space for difference. She has been a Grandmother for Walking With Our Sisters; the Elder for OUT Saskatoon; and the Elder-In-Residence for the University of Saskatchewan Student Union. She has also been called on for national research initiatives that focus on Indigenous women living with HIV, Indigenous Harm Reduction, Indigenous youth who experience sexual and gender-based violence, and posttraumatic stress. In all of these, Marjorie returns to story as medicine, to art as medicine.
Marjorie says of her work, “creation is a powerful thing; whether you’re making a baby or a loaf of bread or a movie, it comes from the same place. To get people to tap into that energy, that creates possibilities, so they don’t get stuck in this craziness that we’re in, is transformative.”
Melody Wood is nēhiyaw (Plains Cree) and a member of waskicosihk (Little Pine First Nation). Melody spent a short time with her biological family in the Saskatoon area before growing up with her adopted family in the Regina area. She calls Saskatoon home with nieces and nephews who are her children.
Being passionate about First Nations language and culture, Melody spends most of her free time with her children and the arts and learning from Elders and knowledge keepers and the land. You can find her out on the land or cooking and dancing simultaneously.
Raven Sinclair is Cree/Assiniboine/Saulteaux from George Gordon First Nation, Treaty 4. She is a Professor of Social Work at the University of Regina (Saskatoon Campus), an author, consultant, filmmaker, and Indigenous health researcher. Raven is a member of Canadian Institutes of Health Research College of Reviewers and the National Reference Group on Indigenous Research.
Raven is a repatriated and reacculturated Sixties Scoop survivor. Raven has a 16 year old daughter who is the apple of her eye. In her spare time, Raven renovates her house and she confesses to a serious chess addiction.
Amin was a victim of the horrific anti-gay purge that took place in Chechnya in 2017.
On an ordinary day, armed soldiers stormed into the beauty salon where Amin was working, put a bag over his head and kidnapped him. He was forced into the back of a car and taken to a secret location, where he was beaten and tortured with electric shocks for weeks. When he was finally released, his body was broken and covered in purple and blue bruises. His heart was also broken, and his life was in shambles: he lost his family, his friends and his career. With the help of Rainbow Railroad, Amin escaped to Toronto, where he has become an outspoken advocate for LGBTQI+ rights and our work.