TESTIMONIALS

“Cecelia has a deep commitment to dismantling inequity in society.  She integrates story sharing, poetry, dialogue and community organizing to create a healthier approach for grounded and lasting change.  Cecelia has an incredible amount of passion to create a new, more authentic vision for equity and justice.” – Stacey L. Stevens, Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion, Race2Equity/Youth Programs

"We invited Cecelia to speak as part of our Women’s History Month events and educational programming at Morehead State University.  Her presentation was an intricate, yet approachable, weaving together of history, poetry, social identity, equity and justice. LaPointe’s personal perspective, rich heritage and depth of knowledge brought a truly unique voice to our campus that led an authentic, thoughtful dialogue with our community.  She inspired me to dig deeper into my own heritage and to examine both my own oppression and privilege." – Jami M. Hornbuckle, Morehead State University, Assistant to the President/Chief Marketing & Public Relations Officer

"Cecelia's presentation "Non-Community: Why Community Organizing Fails" demonstrated the unfortunately common failures of community activism when it operates within a colonial mindset. Her presentation was informative to the audience, many of whom considered themselves to be social-justice minded, outlining new ways to organize that center the needs and voices of marginalized people. Cecelia brought together analyses on community organizing from various perspectives while treating the issue with sincerity, creativity, and her charming sense of humor." – Sam S., Cornell University, Education Chair at Watermargin Cooperative

“I invited Cecelia to speak at Ohio State University in November 2014 as a part of our Native American Heritage Month celebration.  She presented on Two Spirit Identity and implemented an interactive writing workshop in which students were provided with space to creatively express their identity and the challenges that it may present. This event not only attracted members of the Native American community at Ohio State, but also students and alumni from a number of varying social identities, which provided for an incredibly intercultural environment. As a Two-Spirit Ojibway/Métis Matriarch, Cecelia brings a unique and enriching perspective to the work of social justice and decolonization.” – Melissa Beard Jacob, The Ohio State University, Intercultural Specialist – American Indian/Indigenous Student Initiatives, Office of Student Life Multicultural Center


CURRENT PROJECTS

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SAMPLE PAST PRESENTATIONS & PROJECTS

  • Presenter & Poetry Workshop – "Decolonization Through Poetry" at Native American Critical Issues Conference, Marquette, MI, March 2017
     
  • Presenter – "Decolonization of Water Issues from an Anishinaabe Perspective" at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, November 2016
     
  • Presenter – "Non-Community: Why Community Organizing Fails" at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, April 2016 (virtual presentation via Skype)
     
  • Women's History Month Speaker & Poetry Workshop – "Matriarchal Ancestors: Ojibway Women as Leaders and More" at Morehead State University, Morehead, KY, March 2016
  • Lead Community Organizer – "Healing Stories Project on Racial Equity in the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community" – Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion, Anishinaabe Aki, September 2014 – June 2015

  • Featured Speaker for Native American Heritage Month – "Two-Spirit Identity and Writing Workshop" at The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, November 2014

OTHER PLACES WHERE I'VE BEEN

  • Allied Media Conference, Anishinaabe Family Language and Culture Camp (Manistee, MI), Anishinaabemowin Teg Conference, Manistee Peace Group, PFLAG Manistee, Power Shift Midwest, Saint Kateri Center of Chicago, and Spirituality, Emergent Creativity & Reconciliation Conference.

PRESENTATION SELECTION

Bringing Greater Health to Our Tribal Communities: Countering Internalized Oppression and Lateral Violence - What is internalized oppression and lateral violence?  What can Tribal Communities do to bring greater health, repair, and reconcile?  This presentation would be ideal for a community forum or any Tribal community that is starting to address these issues.  While there are no easy solutions a discussion can be the starting point for community change.

Broadening Our Horizons of Community Work and Activism – This presentation shares different ways a person can do community work and activism outside participating in a protest or standing in front of the microphone.  Community work and activism are both words to describe those who challenge existing structures and systems while working towards healing and justice.  In a capitalistic culture in the western world we often forget individuals in marginalized and Indigenous communities who lead initiatives without little recognition.  Also this presentation challenges hero worship of those who have been placed on pedestals or have climbed their way to the top at the expense of others.

Countering Racism and Stereotypes: Highlighting the Positive in Native America – Shinning light on the positive ranging from sobriety, healing, traditional foods, traditional crafts, the jingle dress dance, to Two-Spirit identity.  This presentation breaks down and challenges the rampant racism and stereotypes that exist about Native America.

Decolonizing Madeline Island –  Mooningwanekaaning Minis, the place of the golden breasted woodpecker, or otherwise known in its colonial name as, Madeline Island, Wisconsin.  This presentation will cover the following topics: Ojibway origin story, Ojibway/ Métis identity, traditional and clan leadership, matriarchy, and decolonization. 

Decolonization of Water Issues from an Anishinaabe Perspective This presentation seeks to engage attendees from a perspective that looks outside of territorial lines and colonial maps.  The following topics are discussed: traditional Anishinaabe women’s role with the water, colonization and violence towards Native women, environmental racism, current water issues in urban areas such as Flint to Native/First Nations communities such as the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, Neskantaga First Nation, to Aamjiwnaang First Nation. 

Eating Disorder Recovery for Indigenous/Native Peoples This presentation emphasizes culturally specific approaches to eating disorder recovery such as harvesting and eating traditional foods.  Food can be medicine however traditional foods can be even greater medicine.  There are many barriers and issues related to eating disorder recovery including: addiction, gender, gender identity, generational/historical trauma, historical distrust in majority culture health care, lack of resources from urban to rural areas, oppression, poverty, socioeconomic inequality, and Two-Spirit identity.

Inclusion in the Workplace: Perspectives from an Anti-Oppression Framework - True inclusion in the workplace seems unattainable.  Each employee brings their unique personality, identity (race, class, gender, sexual orientation, etc), and life experience.  For example, a mixed race Native American is hired into a workplace but is also deviant in their gender identity.  This employee is then ostracized by White Christian heteronormative employees, who benefit from their privileges.  Instead of the employer properly dealing with this situation the employee being ostracized eventually quits or is otherwise let go.  This situation could of been prevented.  Don't hire minorities or other marginalized individuals for the sake of brownie points or to meet quotas.  This presentation offers an anti-oppression framework, what employers can do to truly create an inclusive workplace, and personal experiences from the presenter.  ** There is an epidemic of workplace discrimination in the United States.  For instance, 89,385 charges of discrimination were filed in 2015 with the EEOC, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission - http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/statistics/enforcement/charges.cfm. 

Indigenous Identities and Invisible Minorities: Beyond the Black and White Racial Binary – Majority culture conversations, studies, reports, media, academia, foundations, and more exclude First Nations/Indigenous/Native American people.  When racism and racial justice is discussed in the United States the current paradigm is based on a Black and White binary.  This is problematic for numerous reasons but mainly because it makes First Nations/Indigenous/Native American invisible.  Racial justice is discussed without addressing settler colonialism and decolonization.  This presentation will being centered on Native American people and racial justice.

Matriarchal Ancestors: Ojibway Women as Leaders and More – The purpose of this presentation is to challenge modern day notions of feminism and create awareness about matriarchy in Great Lakes Ojibway communities that existed before and during colonization as well as efforts to decolonize today.  The presentation will also touch on labor, farming, trading, Indigenous economies, leadership, female Chiefs, warriors, and Two-Spirit identity.

Non-community: Why Community Organizing Fails - The word "community" is thrown around without much thought.  We are all challenged by the intense problems and epidemics that plague our planet from high rates of suicide among Aboriginal/First Nations/Indigenous/Métis/Native youth, sex trafficking and slavery, missing and murdered Indigenous women, structural racism to addictions.  Anti-social media doesn't create community but an illusion of connection.  Saying that humans are "all one," minimizes oppression, pain, sorrow, trauma, and the harsh realities that many marginalized peoples face every single day.  This presentation highlights the ways in which community organizing fails and personal experiences from the presenter.

Ojibway – Anishinaabe Two-Spirit Identity – As someone who identifies as Two-Spirit (Ogichidaakwe) I firmly believe that I can only speak from my experience from my own culture and tribal affiliation.  This presentation highlights the following: Ojibway-Anishinaabe Two-Spirit identity today, decolonization, healing from generational trauma and health, resources for Two-Spirits, creating safe spaces, and awareness in the majority culture.

The Reservation is Not Our Identity – Breaking assumptions and stereotypes this presentation seeks to broaden Native American identity prior to colonization and future decolonization. The majority culture makes a dangerous assumption that all Native people come from reservations.  Challenging these assumptions means discussing settler colonialism, genocide, assimilation efforts, various federal Acts, tribal sovereignty, and decolonization efforts. 

The Unfair Burden: Addiction Recovery and Generational Trauma in Native Americans – This presentation highlights generational trauma, disenfranchised grief, lack of community resources, historical distrust, majority culture barriers, racism, sexism, and genocide in relation to addiction recovery.  Also this presentation will highlight unique addiction recovery stories and available resources within tribal communities.  However the burden is unfair and this presentation will offer challenging insights and questions into why the majority culture eschews from responsibility of healing and restorative justice initiatives. 

WORKSHOPS

Decolonization Through Poetry Poetry can provide a creative and empowering space for decolonization.  This workshop will include a presentation that will showcase a variety of Anishinaabe poet’s and talk about what decolonization means.  Attendees will engage in writing some poetry and will be encouraged to share their works of art at the end.

Two-Spirit is Who I Am - This half day creative workshop provides a safe space for Two-Spirits to discuss their identity, heal, and empower who they are.  Four major areas will be covered including: healing, personal identity, sharing your story of bullying and/or discrimination, and leaving the workshop feeling empowered.  There is a writing, poetry, and open mic component to this workshop.  Allies, friends, and family are welcome to join in supporting your participating in this workshop.  However this workshop will be centered on your as a Two-Spirit but given the level of trauma and lateral violence in the Native community accommodations can be discussed with me so you can participate.  We will discuss and engage in the following topics: gender identity, gender variance, sexual orientation, decolonization, tribal politics, lateral violence, and more!


OTHER CONSULTING NOTES

I can create community engagement work, presentations, projects, and workshops that cater to your organization's goals and needs.  For example, if you are looking for a poetry workshop about environmental justice I would be happy to put something together.  Or perhaps you are looking for someone to be on a panel regarding Indigenous/Native American identity.  Please contact me so we can discuss your ideas further.