Nishnawbe Aski Nation’s Embrace Life Forum 2014, which begins today (Feb. 18) will feature two evenings concerts featuring award-winning gospel singers and motivational speakers from the United States.
“We have the three main headliner performers — The Hoppers, Tim Lovelace and also the rapping dad Derek Clark,” said Bobby Narcisse, social services director at NAN and a member of the Embrace Life Forum steering committee. “In between our major acts we have our First Nation special guests that will be performing, like Max and Abe Kakepetum, Bernard Mekanak, Jerome Harper (and Darius Ferris).”
The Hoppers are known as America’s favourite family of gospel music, Tim Lovelace is a comedian-motivational speaker and Derek Clark is a motivational speaker-musician.
“Derek Clark is a motivational speaker who mainly talks to youth,” said Deputy Grand Chief Goyce Kakegamic, noting the headline performers are all professional performers. “He has songs specifically geared for youth. He’s a rapper.”
The admission-free concert is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Feb. 18 and 19 at the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium, with tickets available at the Community Auditorium Box Office or Nishnawbe Aski Nation. Contact Violet Chilton at email@example.com or Charles Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org for tickets or phone NAN at 807-623-8228.
Concert-goers are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items for donation to Shelter House Thunder Bay.
A meet and greet with the headline and First Nation performers was held on Feb. 17 at St Paul’s United Church.
A series of workshops on a variety of topics, including grieving, parenting, residential schools, family, health eating, mentoring and role modelling, are also scheduled for Feb. 18-19 at St Paul’s United Church.
“This (Embrace Life) initiative is not to assess blame (over) the situation we are in because of lack of education and lack of economics,” Kakegamic said. “That needs to be addressed, but this forum is more about taking responsibility because the love of a parent, of a friend, of a community is more powerful in healing the broken spirit than any program can ever provide.”
Kakegamic said the whole community of Thunder Bay is invited to attend the concerts.
“I hope they come because we live in the city and this is our home,” Kakegamic said. “And we want a healthy, safe community.”
Details on the forum are available on the NAN website’s bulletin board.
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