2 Spirit Connections Panelists

Waawaate Fobister

Waawaate Fobister – is an actor, dancer, playwright, choreographer, instructor, and a producer, currently residing in Shoal Lake. A proud Anishnaabe from Grassy Narrows First Nation. A recipient of two Dora awards for outstanding actor and play for Agokwe, Humber College outstanding actor, Mark S. Bonham Centre award from University of Toronto for their advocacy and public knowledge in sexual diversity. Waawaate has performed in many major theatre companies across Canada and their work and research has taken them to many places as an artist, including Japan, UK, US, and many coasts across Turtle Island. Currently, Waawaate is working for a political organization The Grand Council Treaty #3 as the LGBTQ2S+ Council Coordinator. The mandate of this position is to assemble an LGBTQ2S+ Advisory Council, the first of its kind on a governance level, to include/bring back the 2S voices back in the community in a profound way. Upcoming, Waawaate will take on the iconic role of VERONIQUE ST. PIERRE of Tomson Highway’s The Rez Sisters at the Manitoba Theatre Centre in Winnipeg.

Nenookaasi Ogichidaa

Nenookaasi Ogichidaa (She/They/Them) is an Afro-Indigenous 2S Queer Womam fro Treaty 13 Tkaronto. Activist, truth seeker speaker, singer and song composer, Neno has found a way of sharing her good medicine with others when much needed. Owner of Toronto based business Hummingbird Spirits, created during the beginning of COVID 19, supporting communities with traditional medicines for both comfort and healing through a harm reduction lens.

Laureen (Blu) Waters (they/them)

Laureen (Blu) Waters: Istchii Nikamoon: Earth Song, Wolf clan. Cree/Metis/Micmac, Blu is a member of the Metis Nation of Ontario. Blu’s family is from Big River Saskatchewan, Star Blanket Reserve and Bra’dor Lake, Eskasoni First Nations, Cape Breton Nova Scotia, and the Red River. Blu grew up with their grandmother and learned about traditional medicines, learning healing methods and care of the sick. Their grandmother also shared her knowledge of the great teachings. Blu is currently working at Seneca College as an Elder on campus providing traditional teachings and one-to-one counselling. Blu spent 2.5 years working for the National Inquiry for Murdered and Missing Women as a Grandmother to Commissioner Brian Eyelfson and sits on the Grandmother Circle. Blu sits on the Thunder Women Healing Lodge as a Director of the Board. Blu also sits as the Ontario representative for Metis people with 2 Spirits In Motion Board. Blu also provides ceremony, teaching, and counselling for 2 Spirit People of the First Nations, in Toronto. Blu was also the national caucus representative for the Toronto Urban Aboriginal strategies for five years working with the community of Toronto and the government. They are also a graduate of DeVry Institute of Technology receiving their business software micro-computer architecture and A+ certification. Blu’s gifts include: Traditional teachings, giving traditional spirit names, hand drumming, song writer, creative writings, and full moon conductor. Pipe ceremonies and sweat lodge ceremonies and Traditional counselling. Blu is a 2 spirit person, a mother of 3, a grandmother of 3, a sun dancer, and a pipe carrier.

B Solomon

Multi-award nominated, winner and loser, creator b solomon is of Anishinaabe and settler heritage, born in Shebahonaning on the North Channel of Lake Huron. His work is multidisciplinary, raw, challenging and full of spirit. He is passionate about helping people relearn the nature of their ancient bodies, and take back the space those bodies occupy as caretakers. More info at: electricmoose.ca

Samaqani Cocahq (Natalie Sappier)

Samaqani Cocahq-(Natalie Sappier) is a Wolastoqey Indigenous multidisciplinary storyteller from Tobique First Nation, New Brunswick. She began creating stories through painting and design and is alumni of the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design.  For her, creating  awakens her connection to the land and her Wolastoqey knowing and being. Her community and Ancestral landscapes are teachers and is home to where she navigates stories and creativity.  She realized early in her painting career that she was not painting just for herself-she was painting for her people and is now creating stories louder than a painting can speak. She wrote and composed her first play “Finding Wolastoq Voice” which toured Nationally as was part of the First Indigenous Theatre season at the National Arts Centre “Moshkamo”. Guided by the traditional teaching of knowledge sharing for the unborn- her path is led by creating stories weaved with multi-disciplinary art forms that include Visual Arts, Writing, Song, Spoken word, Movement and Dance with guidance and collaboration with many Wabanaki knowledge carriers. In 2019 she was gifted the name  Namkomacomit (the ancestral storyteller that carriers the vision forward) at University of New Brunswick-being the first artist in residency at UNB in 50 years. She is currently developing a series of work  titled Stories of Maw with a circle of Indigenous Artists.  Aside from her own artistic practice, Samaqani Cocahq dedicates much of her time in the advocacy of Arts, Culture and Two Spirited Sacredness. She carries a passion for Indigenous Youth Mentorship and the belief of Wellness and Art is held in one braid of medicine.

Ravyn Wngz

Ravyn Wngz “The Black Widow of Burlesque” is a Tanzanian, Bermudian, Mohawk, 2Spirit, Queer and Transcendent empowerment storyteller.  Ravyn is an abolitionist and co-founder of ILL NANA/DiverseCity Dance Company. She is a co-founder of Black Lives Matter Canada, A co-founder of the Wildseed Centre for Arts & Activism, A Canadian Best Selling Author, Top 25 Women of Influence in Canada recipient of 2021, Ravyn is committed to eradicating all forms of anti-Black racism, nurturing Black healing and liberating Black communities.

Carr Sappier (they/them)

Carr Sappier (Wolastoqew) is a two-spirited multi-genre filmmaker from Neqotkuk who just returned home from Vancouver after receiving a BFA in film at Simon Fraser University. Carr’s passion for filmmaking stems from an aspiration to decolonize the screen, and to offer an alternative and non-binary perspective of Wolastoqew storytelling. Blending and morphing different genre styles and film mediums provides Carr with methods to express their two-spirited and Wolastoqew identity. Currently Carr is remotely co-instructing the Skoden Indigenous Film Festival course offered at Simon Fraser University. Carr co-founded and co-directed the festival in their final year of study at SFU. Moreover, Carr is sharing their time with like-minded individuals in their community to encourage Neqotkuk to create space and support for the Two-Spirit/LGBTQ+ youth. 

Links to films: 

APOTAMKIN (2016) (SEA MONSTER) 

WASIS (2017) (BABY) 

NISUWOK COCAHOQ (2018) (TWO-SPIRITED) 

MANAPE MANI (2019) (WALKING SOLDIER) 

SAGE FROM THE CITY (2020) 

MAW WALKS WITH WARRIOR SPIRIT (Samaqani Cocahoq, Theatre New Brunswick 2021)

SAHKI PITIYAHTE-BRIGHT LIGHT COMES FORTH FROM IT- (CBC GEM, 2021)