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Strong Hands Stop Violence poetry night moves online

ONWA moves annual event, which takes on violence against women, online for Nov. 25
Strong Hands Stop Violence2
A section of the collective art project from ONWA's 2019 Strong Hands Stop Violence event. (ONWA)

THUNDER BAY – An annual poetry night meant to combat violence against women will take place online in the coming week.

The Strong Hands Stop Violence project, hosted by the Ontario Native Women’s Association (ONWA), publishes a poetry book each year highlighting work by Indigenous women.

ONWA normally hosts a number of poetry nights across the province. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year the organization will host one online event over Zoom, from 7 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 25, the United Nations' International Day of Elimination of Violence Against Women.

This year’s poetry night will feature poets Al Hunter and Dr. Duke Redbird, as well as readings from emerging and established poets and live musical performances.

To replicate collective art projects normally hosted at the events, ONWA has mailed art kits to those who registered for the event.

“Poetry Night provides an opportunity to create a space where Indigenous women and families can gather and celebrate their shared strength and resiliency,” the organization said in a statement. “Art as healing trauma is a strong foundation of the work ONWA does, addressing violence from perspectives rooted in cultural teachings.”

Those interested can learn more and register for the event at ONWA’s website, which also hosts electronic versions of previous years' poetry books.