Sounding Thunderbird Woman
Social change through storytelling
Sounding Thunderbird Woman
Zongwe Binesikwe Crystal Hardy (they/she) is a Two-Spirit Anishinaabe storyteller from the Bear Clan. They are a member of Biinjitiwabik Zaaging Anishnabek living in Thunder Bay, Ontario. They hope to help create social change, healing and understanding through storytelling. They use their voice as medicine through podcasting, creative non-fiction, solution focused journalism and art as ceremony.
Zongwe's stories are guided by Spirit and include their personal experiences healing through intergenerational trauma, childhood abuse and complex PTSD. Their mother is one of the missing Indigenous women in Canada and their brother was murdered in 2017. Their PhD in nursing thesis at Queen’s University explores a ceremonial self-reflective practice using expressive arts to decolonize trauma work.
Zongwe produce and host the Under the Same Stars Podcast, and the upcoming podcast, Nokomis Speaks: Teachings from Grandmother Moon. Find their creative non-fiction published in GBR Publishing’s “Lighting the North”and “She’s No Longer Silent” and in the upcoming release of GCW Publishing’s “She Moves Mountains".
STORYTELLING & PODCASTS
April 10, 2021
INDIGENOUS SPIRITUALITY OF BEING TWO-SPIRIT PANEL DISCUSSION
April 28, 2021
Nokomis Speaks Podcast Coming Soon!
Listen as Nokomis Speaks and connecting to the teachings of Grandmother Moon. Join Zongwe Binesikwe as they explore Indigenous moon teachings through storytelling, hand drumming and ceremony. Each episode features teachings from Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers from across the globe.
Zongwe Binesikwe created the podcast series Under the Same Stars to highlight Indigenous and non-Indigenous people working to create positivity and unity in their communities across Turtle Island.
This podcast powered by Anchor and can be found on all of your favourite podcasting platforms including Apple Podcasts & Spotify. Listen here!
SHE MOVES MOUNTAINS
Reclamation of an Anishinaabe Storyteller
GCW Publishing's ‘She Moves Mountains’ is a collection of real life stories from women sharing the triumphs, trials and tribulations of their professional journeys in careers and entrepreneurship. Zongwe reveals her journey of self-reclamation by writing the wrongs through storytelling in her powerful chapter, Spirit Adventurer.
'She Moves Mountains' will be available online or in stores this fall. Stay connected for the official book launch!
*Award Finalist Non-Fiction 2020, The Canadian Book Club Awards
Lighting the North: An Anthology of Feminism and Cultural Diversity from Across the Nation
Lighting The North sheds light on equality, freedom and illustrates the diverse search for identity and belonging each woman faces and the collective spirit she is building among her Northern sisters, the day-to-day grind, and the behind closed doors secrets we face in our nation.
In her chapter, Daanis, Zongwe explores personal experiences of intergenerational trauma in this revealing letter to her daughter. Get your autographed copy today!
Cost: $26.95 Plus Shipping within Canada: $39 *Free drop off within city of Thunder Bay, Ontario.
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*Amazon #1 Best Seller
She's No Longer Silent
Healing after Mental Health Trauma, Sexual Abuse, and Experiencing Injustice
She’s No Longer Silent is a collection of stories written by women who have found their strength and reclaimed their voices by overcoming trauma and tuning into their intuition. Zongwe's featured poetry: Daughters of Four Generations. Get your autographed copy today!
Cost: $26.95 Plus Shipping within Canada: $39
*Free drop-ff within city of Thunder Bay, Ontario.
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(Please Add Note: She's No Longer Silent Book, Your Name, Address, Phone & Email)
*Available at Barnes & Noble, Target, Indigo & Amazon*
PAINTING AS CEREMONY
Storytelling through art is integral to Zongwe's healing, teaching and connection to community. Using painting as ceremony, they seek guidance from Spirit while processing and healing trauma.
Art Gallery of Mississauga Painting as Ceremony Workshop February 27, 2021
Zongwe is a mentor with CreateSpace BIPOC Public Art Residency.
STEPS programs foster inclusive public art practices; build capacity of artists who are underrepresented in Canadian public art; and demonstrate the power of art to reimagine equitably designed cities.
CreateSpace BIPOC Public Art Residency is a national public art residency program designed to provide emerging Black, Indigenous and racialized artist with the skills, relationships and practical experience needed to create public artwork in their community.
Zongwe created this silent jingle dress art piece to draw attention to MMIWG while attending Definitely Superior Art Gallery's Derelicte 12. The traditional jingles were replaced with fabric printed cut outs of the generic face used by the MMIWG database for unidentified persons.
Photo by: Chondon Photography
MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS
While listening to Cat Jahnke’s song called, "Black Heart, Black Soul",
Zongwe explored their own struggles for freedom from darkness and created, Punky.
If you are struggling right now, please remember that you are so important to this world.
We need you! Here are some supports that can help:
Call or Text 1-855-554-4325 (HEAL)
Call 1-833-456-4566 or Text 45645
Call 1-800-668-6868 or Text 686868
GLOBAL VIBES WITH ROOPA RAKSHIT
Interview from April 20, 2021 on Shaw Community Link
GUEST PODCAST EPISODES
THE SAFE HAVEN PODCAST
In this episode, I speak with Amanda Lytle about the change my life took after my brother’s murder, including soul searching, ceremonial work, deep self-discovery and reclaiming the inner child. Join us as we discuss healthy relationships, self-awareness, and success vs. fulfillment.
SHE SPEAKS PODCAST
I’m so grateful to be a part of the SHE SPEAKS Podcast by The Great Canadian Woman™
On The SHE SPEAKS Podcast by you can expect to learn something new, from someone new with each new episode covering anything and everything from business, the environment, social justice, parenting, travel and so much more!
On this episode, I speak about my Spirit name and how I use the Medicine Wheel to maintain balance in my life.
Subscribe to SHE SPEAKS Podcast and follow The Great Canadian Woman™ Platform to grow alongside other incredible Canadian womxn with something to say!
Thamichaelated show is about people like you and me. This in episode we talk about thunderbirds, dreams, smudging, podcasting, sacred medicine, boxing, motorcycles and community.
THE GREAT CANADIAN WOMAN PODCAST
In this episode you will learn Crystal's story of growing up as an Indigenous Woman in Northern Ontario; the reality that the BIPOC community is facing right now around being tired of being an advocate; and the importance of White people using their voices to help advocate, educate and continue to UN-Learn racial biases; breaking down the word "Decolonization".
Naomi Ruth Levitz
M.S.W., R.S.W., PhD (ABD)
Twice now, I have had the privilege of hearing Crystal Hardy speak, and both remain on my heart and in my head. She has the unique gift of being able to share authentically and openly from personal experience without losing her intention. Both opportunities held diverse audiences, once at the end of Feb 2020 for Executive Directors and Board Chairs for AIDS serving organizations across the province, and the other in June 2020 for a mid level college class in Windsor, Ontario.
Ms. Hardy weaves her lived and learned experiences into story in order to support learning and growth. During each engagement, she shifted her messaging to fit the listeners and was graceful in taking questions and crafting answers to meet the needs of those present. The topics of Indigenous Healing, and Trauma are especially complex when shared in a diverse audience, even more so when the speaker may be the only Indigenous identified person in the room. It is this bravery and commitment to cause that makes Ms. Hardy so exceptional.
There can be no reconciliation without truth, and this is made evident in Ms. Hardy’s presentation style. She is unapologetic about the need for each of us to do our own work, and honest about the personal work that she had, and continues to put in to grow. Surely, her resume is impressive and her extensive professional experience speaks to a wide skill set. Her presence however, makes her powerful and a great addition to any team.
Months, and weeks, after hearing her speak, I am still thinking about our time together, even though I was just one in an audience. I welcome the chance to hear her again and hope that many more will have the opportunity.
Founder, The Uncommon Woman
“Let’s begin in the east where all life begins.” Lighting the North, Crystal Hardy Zongwe Binesikwe, Sounding Thunderbird Woman
I met Crystal in 2017 at the National Inquiry for Missing and Murdered Women and Girls. After she spoke, I stood in line waiting to take her hands and tell her that I knew her mother, the woman who she spoke of at the inquiry. Her mother, Ruby, presumed murdered by Robert Picton, was one of thousands of Indigenous women and girls forgotten by our society. She was there to remind us.
In the moment leading up to meeting Crystal I had no idea that she would become one of the most powerful voices in my own personal transformation and healing journey as I came to understand my own white privilege, and my role and responsibility as a woman who creates safe and inclusive spaces for all women to be seen and heard.
Crystal Hardy, or Zongwe Binesikwe, continues to tirelessly use her voice and bring awareness to issues that need to be exposed, issues that we are, collectively, still afraid to address and heal.
Speaking up on behalf of those who can no longer speak for themselves and those who go unseen is both a painful and loving experience. Yet, she continues. I admire her courage and commitment, and understand the toll it takes on her soul.
Over the past 3 years, I have had the honour of knowing and witnessing Crystal's journey into becoming a powerful Indigenous woman messenger and leader.
I am so excited for her most recent use of her Voice as she has co-authored two books ‘She’s No Longer Silent’ and ‘Lighting the North.’
By supporting Crystal's voice and message we are acknowledging that we acknowledge her truth, have much to learn, and have a responsibility to be part of the change that is long overdue in our country, a country starved for truth and reconciliation.
Keep Sounding Your Voice, Sister. We are listening.