Red Slam Collective
Red Slam is a hip hop fusion band formed in 2009 and based in Toronto; whose music uplifts, self-identifies and promotes unity through Spoken, Lyricism which Arranges Meaning (SLAM); and has performed on both coasts since 2010. The collective is currently comprised of medicine wheel poets, songwriters, rappers, musicians, composers, vocalists, representing diverse indigenous nation affiliations across Turtle Island and Internationally (Mohawk, Mi'kmaq, Anishinaabe, Metis, Aztec, Cree, Dene). The Red Slam Movement started back in the fall of 2008 after a 12 week Slam Poetry Workshop series facilitated by Mahlikah Awe:ri at the On-U Youth Program, located at the Native Canadian Centre in Toronto. In 2009 with support from the Toronto Urban Aboriginal Strategy fund and the OAC Access & Career Development Grant the collective began professional development recording workshops with award winning recording artists Digging Roots. In 2010 with support from OAC Word of Mouth Travel Grant, Red Slam began the DissemiNation Tour performing live in cities like Toronto, Port Credit, Kingston, Montreal, Ottawa, Hamilton, Brantford, in venues like The Gladstone Hotel, Dundas Square and Victoria Island; and on live radio in Montreal and Ottawa; Headlining at Regent Park Film Festival, Mayworks Festival, Maanjidowin The Gathering, and the 11th Annual ImagineNative Film & Media Festival at Lee’s Palace where they opened for Native American Soul Singer Martha Red Bone. 2011 Red Slam featured at the NXNE Music Festival, the Home and Native Sound Music Series, and Manifesto Urban Arts Festival. They started 2012 headlining in Vancouver, BC for Red Wire's Sentinel Shores Land Defense, represented Canada at the 28th Annual Gathering of Nations Pow Wow in New Mexico, featured at Toronto Pride and the New Traditions Festival. At NXNE 2012 they placed 15th out of the top 60 bands that played at the festival. As artists Red Slam are aboriginators of the messages of today, backed by the teachings of yesterday, transforming tomorrow. Most recently they supported the IdleNoMore Ottawa on December 21st of 2012 and IdleNoMore Toronto On January 11th; they will be featured on the IdleNoMore hip hop mixtape set for online release in February 2013. Their first full length recording will be released summer 2013.
S.L.A.M. I AM, My Owena; My Okra 2010 to present
Provide facilitation in collaboration with multidisciplinary artists from Red Slam Collective and our affiliates to indigenous and diverse children and youth, utilizing Spoken Lyricism Arranges Meaning or (SLAM). Integrating the diverse principles of the medicine wheel teachings, participants will develop original lyrical writings and musical compositions, inspired by their own anti-colonial journey. These creations become collective pieces which will become recorded demos and will be performed live for the community.
These workshops have been delivered at:
•Scarborough Arts Bridging Festival
•First Nation PS in partnership with AFCY
•TDSB Elementary schools in partnership with
Aboriginal Education Centre & ANDPVA
•Culture Days 2012 in partnership with Annex Library
•Culture Days 2011 in partnership with Maria A. Shchuka Library
•Maria A. Shchuka Library in partnership with Art Starts
•Eastview Jr. Public in partnership with House of Ghesig and Native Child & Family Services in Scarborough
•Six Nations Reserve in Brantford, Aug 2010
•Jr. Deep Aboriginal Program U of T, July 2010
•Speak Out Stand Up Rukus Youth Conference York U
Thoughts about art and community:
Toronto "The Meeting Place" brings together diverse people and artistic forms of expression. At the core and sometimes forgotten is the indigenous foundations to art in an urban setting. Art and community for us is about honoring the artistic traditions of the Anishnawbe, Mississauga, and Haudenonshaunee of this region through a youthful contemporary artistic context. As indigenous urban artists we want to build a new scene which is inspired by the shared visions of community mobilization between diverse and indigenous youth across the city.