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Post-secondary students recognized for artistic achievement on World Poetry Day

Courtney Waddell, Oakville Community Foundation
Courtney Waddell, Oakville Community Foundation

Three students who submitted poetry as part of Gimaa’s Allyship Poetry Contest have been recognized for their artistic achievement.

In November, Gimaa (Chief) R. Stacey Laforme of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation (MCFN) partnered with Debwewin: The Oakville Truth Project to launch the second Gimaa’s Allyship Poetry Contest.  

Gimaa Laforme shared his own poem titled “Nii jii” which means “friend” in Anishinaabemowin. He then invited post-secondary students from Sheridan College, Oakville and MCFN to share their own poetry on what friendship or allyship looks like or means to them. 

Suha Tariq, Dakota Tabicoe and Nicole Abiyo were recognized at the Treaty Day event at the Oakville Public Library on Feb. 28 and at the Truth and Allyship Event on March 4 as they read and presented their poetry live and on screen to the in-person and livestream crowd. The three chosen poetry entries also received scholarships to their post-secondary institutions from the Oakville Community Foundation.

“I would like to say Miigwech to all of the students who participated and bravely shared their talents through their poems,” said Gimaa Laforme. “I encourage each of them to continue to use their voices and express themselves through their art. I am already looking forward to next year's entries.”

There were over thirty entries, and the three scholarship recipients were chosen by a panel of adjudicators for their work, which consisted of: Tiana Bone, Georgia Laforme, Kelly Laforme and Courtney Waddell. All of the students’ creative pieces are available for viewing on the Debwewin: The Oakville Truth Project website.