Mahlikah Awe:ri, Black and First Nations Drumtalk Poetic Rapologist


Mahlikah Awe:ri Enml’ga’t Saqama’sgw (The Woman Who Walks In The Light) is a Haudenosaunee Mohawk/Mi’kmaw Afro-Indigenous drum talk poetic rapologist.

Mahlikah can trace her lineage in Canada to Rose Fortune and the 1700’s in Annapolis, Royal, Nova Scotia. Her Grand Auntie was the late Daurene Lewis who was the first Black Woman Mayor in Canada in the 1980’s. Her late Grandfather William Oscar Wesley served in WWII.

Follow Mahlikah on Instagram @Mahlikah

African Native American

—© Sandrita Zenitram—


Poet, musician, hip-hop MC, arts educator, Social Change Workshop Facilitator, performance artist, artist mentor, radio host, festival curator, Director of Programming for Neighbourhood Impact for the TD Centre of Learning Regent Park, TAC Cultural Leaders Lab Fellow, Canadian Labour Congress New Faces Of Feminism National Speaker, and founding member of Red Slam Collective, an Indigenous hiphop movement, finalists for the TD Diversity Award.

Follow Red Slam Collective on Instagram @RedSlam

Red Slam’s debut 14 trax Digital LP, Right Level was released this spring, and is a mash-up of lyrical content relevant to indigenous struggles and resiliency today infused with Hip-Hop beats; live instrumentation and oral storytelling. Awe:ri a KM Hunter OAC Literary Arts Award finalist released the spoken word EP Serpent’s Skin in 2011, and is currently published in 7 literary anthologies, and the only hiphop artist featured in the international digital storytellers project: Biology Of Story which premiered at the 2016 SXSW Festival.

Recent Showcases include: Artist in Solidarity with the Chippewas of Thames First Nations and their fight against Line 9; opening Act with Red Slam for 2017 Feminist Art Conference at OCADU; Red Slam’s Life as Ceremony, at the Theatre Centre; a featured artist for TVOKids Music Week, and headliner at The Unity Festival 10th Anniversary Concert at David Pecaut SQ. Kitchener Waterloo Poetry Slam Feature; Off The Record Hip Hop Symposium Keynote Speaker in Montreal and Relationships to Can150: Paradoxes, contradictions & questions Faculty of Education Summer Institute Key Note in Toronto.




I Love Ancestry is truly honored to feature Mahlikah Awe:ri, an inspiring human being who has been utilizing her words and music to support the #waterislife movements across Turtle Island and Internationally.

Note: African Native American or Afro Native? People who call themselves “Black Indians” are people living in America of African-American descent, with significant heritage of Native American Indian ancestry, and with strong connections to Indian Country and its Native American Indian culture, social, and historical traditions. Black Indians are also called African Native American people, Black American Indians, Black Native Americans and Afro Native Americans.

I Love Ancestry is a global issue advocacy campaign that explores identity, diversity, heritage and culture, highlighting the experiences of marginalized people and Indigenous communities around the world.

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