The Sophia Series

International Women's Day Lecture

Indigenous Women Breaking Barriers:
A Mother and Daughter Story

with Theresa Ducharme and Jessica Matten

Thursday 5 March 2015, 7:30 p.m.
Brescia University College Auditorium
Admission: Free Will Donation, Free Parking
All Welcome

Theresa Ducharme worked for the Native Women's Association of Canada as part of the founding Sisters in Spirit, an initiative that raised awareness and addressed the issue of violence perpetrated against Aboriginal women because of their gender and Aboriginal identity.  As their Community Development Coordinator, she worked tirelessly to shine a light on the systemic racism and sexual and physical violence experienced by Aboriginal women, while breathing life and humanity back into the stories of those who had gone missing or were murdered, ensuring they were remembered as more than just a statistic.

It was during her time at NWAC that she decided to offer a fitness class to her colleagues during their lunch hour as a way to help mitigate the stress, burnout and ill health stemming from their work.  She approached these lunch hour sessions through a mind, body and spirit perspective. The result of this offering, was that her colleagues felt stronger and healthier, morale improved, and they were better able to problem solve; it also created a new mission in Ducharme’s life.  Today, she is the CEO/Founder of Lemon Cree Fitness and Wellness programs. Lemon Cree teaches people how to exercise, shop for healthy food and cook wholesome meals.  She regularly brings her knowledge and expertise to remote First Nations and is expanding her service in northern Ontario.

Earlier in her career, she traveled the world performing with and choreographing dance and drumming groups at world music festivals and world expos. In addition to forming her own native dance troupe who traveled along with her, she opened up one of the first Native modeling agencies in the 1980s, bringing her 20 years experience as an International fashion model. Currently she resides in Toronto, Ontario.

Jessica Matten, Theresa’s daughter, also contributes to running Lemon Cree and helping thousands of Aboriginal people achieve their fitness, wellness and health goals, while at the same time sustaining a successful career as an actress. Jessica has developed a small cult following in North America and as far as Egypt for her performance in the starring role of Elle-Maija Tailfeather’s film, “A Red Girl’s Reasoning”. The film premiered at various festivals in Canada and the United States, taking home awards for “Best Canadian Action Short” at the prestigious ImagineNATIVE Film festival, winner at the Crazy 8s Film Festival, Vancouver International Film Festival, LA Skins Film Fest in Los Angeles, and nominated at the American Indian Film Institute in San Francisco 2012.  Currently Jessica is filming a recurring role for the Gemini Award winning TV show, "Blackstone". Last year's "Pilgrims" which Jessica had a predominant role in, (written and directed by Marie Clements) was an official selection for the Cannes Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival 2013.

Jessica is the Founder of the Viral Campaign #N8Vgirls that seeks to spread awareness globally on the issue of murdered and missing Indigenous women in Canada

As well, Jessica will be a guest speaker on a youth panel with Stevie Wonder this fall 2015. In addition, Jessica and Lemon Cree are currently in the process of developing one of the first Native American-owned franchised D-League basketball team for the NBA in Rochester, New York.

Throughout all of her work, Jessica strongly believes in the power of helping others on their own journeys in life and understanding that we are all connected. She hopes her work with the many wonderful people she has met so far will continue to inspire not only her own life, but others lives as well.



En-Couraging Action, Inspiring Hope

Thursday 21 May 2015 at 7:30 p.m.
The Mercato, Brescia University College
1285 Western Road     London, Ontario, Canada

Tickets will be available to the public for purchase online on
Monday 9 March. Stay tuned!
(Brighid Festival registrants may purchase their ticket with their weekend registration).

 Today we face two great crises: the ecological devastation of climate change and the concentration of wealth and power in fewer and fewer hands.  Yet these are truly one crisis, fueled by warped values and false priorities. For a new world to emerge, we need a set of counter values that can help us address these issues.  We need the sacred fire:  the fierce protective anger we can channel into activism.  And we need to draw from the holy well of compassion and nurturing to find healing, to imagine new solutions, and to forge values and practices that can regenerate our wounded world.
Starhawk is one of the most respected voices in modern Goddess religion and Earth-based spirituality, and a committed global justice activist and organizer. She is the author or coauthor of twelve books, including The Spiral Dance, The Fifth Sacred Thing, and The Earth Path. Her latest is The Empowerment Manual: A Guide for Collaborative Groups.  Starhawk is a veteran of progressive movements, and deeply committed to bringing the techniques and creative power of spirituality to political activism.  She travels internationally to teach, lecture and facilitate events on her areas of expertise, and directs and teaches Earth Activist Trainings, which combine a permaculture design certificate course with a grounding in spirit and a focus on organizing and activism. Her website is

Ticket Prices (free parking): $30.00 – Regular
$25.00 – Circle Members, Brighid Festival Participants
$20.00 – Low/Fixed Income





The Sophia Series seeks to:

Why “Sophia”?

The series derives its name from layers of meaning that align with Brescia’s mission and vision.

Sophia Alumnae

Since 2005, The Sophia Series has provided Brescia students and the London community the opportunity to hear the wisdom of these extraordinary women

(from left to right):

Top Row: The Honourable Flora MacDonald, Dr. Margaret Wheatley, Severn Cullis-Suzuki, Jane Urquhart, Maude Barlow, Michele Landsberg, Katherine Ashenburg, Christina Baldwin, Ann Linnea, Monia Mazigh, Sheila Watt-Cloutier, Stephanie Nolen.

Second Row: Sami Jo Small, Adria Vasil, Emma Donoghue, Louise Fagan, Bal Arneson, Ami McKay, Evanna Lynch, Jennifer Siebel Newsom

(Please click on picture for more information)

Sami Jo Small Adria Vasil Emma Donoghue


Series Sponsors

These Brescia departments collaborate to sponsor The Sophia Series: