TESTIMONIALS

“An accomplished poet, organizer, and ogichidaakwe, Cecelia has worked tirelessly to achieve racial justice and decolonization in Native communities in the Western Great Lakes Region. Cecelia’s poetry is entwined within this social justice framework, with recurring themes of addiction and sobriety, Indigenous identity, decolonization and healing, matriarchy and her own two-spirit identity. Her work is powerful, defiant, decolonizing, and healing. We are grateful for her visit to Western Kentucky University to speak about her poetry and racial justice work in Anishinaabe aki.” – Tim Frandy, Assistant Professor of Folk Studies, Western Kentucky University

"Cecelia, a boundary spanning activist, strategist and writer, deepens notions of and approaches to intersectionality through a decolonizing historical lens.  Since 2014, I have witnessed her truth telling realities open new ways of seeing and leading among on-the-ground partners and collaborators in racial equity hubs that my consulting company facilitated forming in Flint, Benton Harbor, and the Upper Peninsula for the Race2Equity project of the Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion." – Gwendolyn Winston, President, g. bailey winston enterprise

"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


PAST PRESENTATIONS & PROJECTS

  • Presenter – “Decolonizing Anti-Racism in Anishinaabe Aki” at Wexford County Progressives, Cadillac, MI, October 2019

  • Panelist – “Indigenous Cultural Continuance” at Edweying Naabing Symposium, East Lansing, MI, September 2019

  • Model – “Indigenous Spirit: Gender Fluid Fashion” at Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN, June 2019

  • Keynote Presenter – “Two-Spirit Identity and Decolonizing Western Science” (virtual) at STGlobal Conference, Washington, DC, March 2019

  • Opening Plenary Panelist – “Revive, Thrive, Decolonize” at Creating Change Conference, Detroit, MI, January 2019

  • Presenter – “Native Justice Coalition” at Zonta Club of Ludington, Ludington, MI, November 2018

  • Presenter – “Racial Justice in Anishinaabe Aki” at Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY, November 2018

  • Poetry Reading & Discussion – Nah Tah Wahsh (Soaring Eagle) School, Hannahville Indian Community, Wilson, MI, April 2017

  • Presenter – "Decolonization of Water Issues from an Anishinaabe Perspective" at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, November 2016

PAST PRESENTATIONS, VISITATIONS & CONSULTING WORK – Anishinaabe Family Language and Culture Camp (2012 & 2018), Anishinaabemowin Teg Conference (2013 & 2017), Facing Race: A National Conference, Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Food Summit, Great Lakes Traditional Art Gathering, Kalkaska for Peace, Native American Critical Issues Conference, Northland College, Manistee Peace Group, Marquette Unitarian Universalist Congregation, Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition Statewide Summit, Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion, Morehead State University, PFLAG Manistee, People of Color Summit, Power Shift Midwest, Queer Traditions Summit, Saint Kateri Center of Chicago, The Ohio State University, and We’Moon.


PRESENTATION SELECTION

  • Decolonizing Anti-Racism in Anishinaabe Aki - Our territory, Anishinaabe Aki is occupied by several US states and Canadian provinces. Native American, First Nations, and Métis communities are hyper invisible in the dialogue on race in the US. In this presentation, we will look beyond the US Black-White racial binary to center Anishinaabe people in racial justice. The Black-White racial binary is harmful to the multi-racial dynamic that exists in our Great Lakes Anishinaabe communities and promotes colorism as well as denies how settler colonialism affects our people. We will look deeply into the ways we can decolonize anti-racism. Additionally, we will discuss the Native led racial justice work of the Native Justice Coalition.

  • 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.

  • 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.

CONSULTING RATES & ADDITIONAL 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 on racial 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.

My current rates are set as an hourly fee for short and long term projects.  For half day or day long presentations, workshops, and other community engagement set fees also apply.  If required all projects must include travel reimbursement and lodging.  My fees are non-negotiable for colleges, universities, non-profits, and other organizations with ample financial resources.  I offer a sliding scale fee for small grassroots initiatives and community based groups.  For example, this may be travel reimbursement, a small fee for presenting, lodging, and/or offering a small gift.

If you are interested in hiring me please contact me. I will send you information regarding my rates and my full curriculum vitae.