The Embassy Cultural House (ECH) is pleased to announce that award-winning Indigenous journalists and activists, Mary Lou and Dan Smoke have joined the ECH Advisory Circle. They recently received the Atlohsa Peace Award for their work on truth and reconciliation. You can listen to their interview with Chris dela Torre on the CBC here.
Mary Lou is also well-known for her performances and was recognized by the London Music Hall receiving an award in 2019 for her traditional and contemporary singing. She is a member of the Ojibway Nation, from Batchawana, on Lake Superior, and Dan is Seneca Nation from the Six Nations Grand River Territory. They met in 1972/3 and were married in the Onondaga Longhouse in a traditional Indigenous Haudenosaunee Wedding Ceremony in 1977. They have been happily married for 43years.
Working together they have hosted "The Smoke Signals Aboriginal Radio Program," since 1990 and continue with this Western University campus-based radio program offering interviews with Indigenous cultural workers and advocates from across Turtle Island. They have collected an extensive archive and books over the years related to their decades of working as journalists and advocates. From 1999-2019 they worked with the London CTV Station.
ECH co-founders Ron Benner and Jamelie Hassan said, “Dan and Mary Lou Smoke have dedicated their lives to building bridges between the peoples of Turtle Island. We are honoured to have Dan and Mary Lou’s friendship over the years and look forward to collaborating with them on future ECH projects.”
Dan and Mary Lou Smoke said, “Ron and Jamelie have stood in solidarity with Indigenous communities through their art work and activism for decades, and we are pleased to join the ECH Advisory Circle and contribute to this innovative digital arts and cultural project.”
You can visit their page on the ECH website here.
Other members of the ECH Advisory Circle include: Samer Abdelnour, Wyn Geleynse, Fern Helfand, S F Ho, Lorraine Klaasen, Judith Rodger, Ruth Skinner and Lucas Stenning.