Once Were Warriors (Winnipeg)
Guest Speaker: Alan Duff, Author and Social Activist for Maori advancement and Henare O'Keefe, Motivational Speaker and foster dad to over 200 children
The obvious parallels between the experience of Canada’s aboriginals and New Zealand’s Maoris will be addressed by two prominent Maori personalities, Alan Duff and Henare O’Keefe in a cross-Canada speaking tour. Alan Duff won worldwide acclaim for his novel, “Once Were Warriors,” later adapted into a widely watched hit movie. A story of raw violence set predominantly in a Maori community, it pulled no punches, with its graphic, high-octane description of cultural decline and dysfunction. The novel and movie stimulated public reaction within New Zealand and began to generate support for policy changes. In other countries with indigenous populations, Duff’s work has also prompted an examination of the issues that keep these groups poor and alienated. The tour will offer solutions based on revitalization, affirmative action to move aboriginals away from dependency and poverty.View in PDF format
Alan Duff, an award-winning novelist, film-maker and social activist, has garnered international attention for his message of aboriginal empowerment. The film version of Once Were Warriors remains New Zealand’s biggest ever box-office draw. Among his best-selling books is Maori Heroes, distributed through Duff’s “Books in Homes” program to 500 schools there. The school program now includes more than 100 remote aboriginal communities in Australia and a pilot project of three schools in the United States. A passionate critic of self-serving aboriginal leaders, Duff has delivered hundreds of speeches around the world. Formerly a syndicated newspaper columnist, he was made a Member of the British Empire in 1995.
Henare O’Keefe, one of the Maori Heroes named by Duff, lectures on leadership, team-building and relationship management throughout Australasia. Regarded as a dynamic, entertaining speaker, he augments his business consulting career with public safety and literacy programs targeted to poor Aboriginal children. Three of them – “Books in Homes,” “Keeping Ourselves” and “Hip Hop Cops” – have enabled O’Keefe to spread his inspirational message of personal improvement to 100,000 children in 500 New Zealand schools. In August, 2006, he was a keynote speaker for the World Congress of Chief Magistrates in Belfast. He and his wife raised four children and fostered about 200 more.
Date: May 3, 2007
Place: Circle of Life Thunderbird House, 715 Main Street, Winnipeg, MB
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Cost: Free of Charge
Additional Notes: Public presentation with sacred pipe ceremony and an indigenous feast
Please RSVP to: No need to RSVP.