Patty Krawec is an Anishinaabe/Ukrainian writer and
speaker belonging to Lac Seul First Nation in Treaty 3 territory and residing in Niagara Falls. She serves on the board of the Fort Erie Native Friendship Center and sings with the Strong Water Singers, a hand drum group. She is the cohost of the Medicine for the Resistance podcast and in November 2021, after three years of personal fundraising, cofounded the Nii’kinaaganaa Foundation with journalist Nora Loreto and Blackfoot activist Terril Tailfeathers. Nii’kinaaganaa challenges settlers to pay their rent for living on Indigenous lands and then disperses that money to Indigenous people and organizations who are building their communities in a variety of creative ways. Patty worked for a sexual assault crisis center for four years, supporting victims through the medical care and collection of evidence after an assault. Following that, she obtained a degree in social work and went on to work in child protection for 16 years where she was also an active union member and served on her union local’s executive for several years before taking an early retirement. Her work has been published in Sojourners, Rampant Magazine, Midnight Sun, Yellowhead Institute, Indiginews, Religion News Service, and Broadview. She posts podcasts and essays with some regularity on multiple substacks. Her book, Becoming Kin: An Indigenous Call to Unforgetting the Past and Reimagining Our Future will be published in September by Broadleaf Books. She lives on Twitter as @gindaanis. Find her online at daanis.ca

Themes/Topics Patty will speak or write on. These topics are suitable for helping professions, educators, labour unions, church organizations, and community groups. They can be presented as keynotes or workshops and will be tailored to the needs of your specific organization.

The relationships we inherit: Learning more about the history of Canada and the US, means learning more about the roles that our families, organizations, and professions played in those harms and this can often be uncomfortable. Leaders resolve that discomfort by saying things like “this is not who we are” while historic and present circumstances may clearly demonstrate otherwise. Taking on the tendency to distance ourselves from wrongdoing, this talk offers a different path forward. How can we honestly face the relationships that we have inherited, take responsibility for intended and unintended consequences, and then move forward in a more honest way.

Imagining otherwise: Hollywood has taught us that surviving social collapse or catastrophic events is about individual strength and prepping for the wilderness, but that is not how Indigenous peoples have survived the ends of their worlds. We have survived through community and kinship relationships that hold these skills and knowledges collectively rather than individually. How we face a crisis informs how we come out of the crisis. This talk challenges us to face crises as communities rather than individuals.

Becoming kin: It is one thing to say that all lives matter or that we are all related or one human race. These sound nice, but are superficial crisis-driven kinships that paper over the complicated and messy realities we live in. We have been taught not to talk about race, but in this presentation we will. We will talk about how racial hierarchies developed, how they remain entrenched, and what we can do to recognize our common humanity without erasing difference.

The decolonization myth: We talk about decolonizing the way that we talk about diversity and inclusion, as if it is another way of thinking about anti-racist or anti oppressive work. But diversity to what end? Inclusion into what? Understanding the role of settler colonialism in how organizations function and the impacts on Indigenous people is a necessary first step to making the kind of change that matters.

The following topics are suitable for Christian audiences including church services and other gatherings for a primarily Christian group, specializing in taking a different perspective on familiar stories and seeing where an alternative reading might lead us to becoming better relatives. The church often sees itself in the text as Israel, God’s chosen who are perpetually under siege, but it has more often acted like Babylon, like Rome. What good news might an Indigenous perspective have for the church? 

Who is my neighbour?  The story of the Good Samaritan is familiar, overly so, but the text doesn’t call him “good” only we do that. It is something we have inserted into the story which winds up emphasizing our own tolerance for racial inequity, our preference for model minorities. Rather than highlight the enmity between Samaritans and Jews, we turn to an earlier story about Samaritans helping Jews after the exile. How do these stories help us live in our current racially structured world?

Noah’s silence at the end of the world. Building on an article published by Krawec in Sojourner’s Magazine (Feb 2022), this talk considers Noah’s silence before God when faced with the destruction of not only humanity but all life. Later threats of annihilation would be met with argument (Abraham, Moses) but while Noah preached to the “lost” he did not confront God. Our current climate is often one that relishes the thought of impending judgment on those who are ill prepared or ill behaved. Where is our argument against those who promise to annihilate the other?

Antisemitism and the Church.  When Christians first encountered Native peoples in the Americas, they weren’t sure what to make of us, where we fit into the Biblical narrative. Many suggested that we were descended from the lost tribes, those who had gone into exile and not come back. This was rejected by a 16th century Jesuit priest Jose De Acosta who dismissed any connection between the Native tribes he encountered and wanted to save and the Jews of Europe whose conversion was often suspect. There is a thread of antisemitism in Christian belief that impacts how Christians encounter other peoples and belief systems. This presentation will challenge Christians to reflect on that thread and how they can develop relationships rather than just missionize.

Land Back. Early in Israel’s history they were given an economic system that included the year of Jubilee a “year of release” primarily about land and property rights. In that year debts were cancelled, slaves set free, and land was restored to the original families. What lessons are there in the texts about exile, about restoring the year of Jubilee, and about Israel returning home that can help the church respond to calls for Land Back?

To book Patty Krawec, contact Rob Firing at speakers@transatlanticagency.com.