Keynote Speakers &
Dr. Leny Mendoza Strobel
Leny Mendoza Strobel is one of the founding mothers/signatories of the Center for Babaylan Studies (as a nonprofit) together with Perla Daly, Letecia Layson, and Baylan Megino. Ate Leny stayed on as Project Director from 2009 - 2018 and was mainly responsible, along with the all-volunteer core group, in visioning and organizing the International Babaylan Conferences, workshops, retreats, symposia, and other events that seeded and tended to a flowering of practices of decolonization and re-indigenization among Filipinos in the diaspora. Her publications - Coming Full Circle: The Process of Decolonization Among Post-1965 Filipino Americans; Babaylan: Filipinos and the Call of the Indigenous; Back from the Crocodile's Belly: Philippine Babaylan Studies and the Struggle for Indigenous Memory (with S. Lily Mendoza) -- continue to circulate along with podcasts, journal articles, essays on medium.com.
Ate Leny is Professor Emeritus in American Multicultural Studies at Sonoma State University (SSU). SSU was the institutional home of the Center for Babaylan Studies until her retirement in 2018. Catch up with Ate Leny at: lenystrobel
Keynote Speaker: Lee Maracle
Ms. Maracle is the author of a number of critically acclaimed works including: Ravensong, Bobbi Lee, Daughters Are Forever, Celia’s Song, long listed for Canada Reads and short listed for the Re-lit award, I Am Woman,First Wives Club, Talking to the Diaspora, Memory Serves and other Oratories, and is the co-editor of the award winning, My Home As I Remember, and Conversations with Canadians, short listed forthe Toronto Book Award, which continues to be a bestselling non-fiction work. Her latest work is Hope Matters co-written with her daughters, Columpa Bobb and Tania Carter. Maracle has served as Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the Universities of Toronto, Waterloo, and the University of Western Washington. Maracle received the J.T. Stewart award, the Premier’s Award for excellence in the arts, the Blue Metropolis, First Nation’s literary award, International Festival of Author’s award, and the Anne Green award. Maracle received an Honorary Doctor of Letters from St. Thomas University, an Honorary Doctor of Laws from University of Waterloo the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal and is an Officer of the Order of Canada. She currently teaches at the University of Toronto. She is one of the global finalists for the Neustadt Prize in the United States, often referred to as the American Nobel Prize.
Special Guest: Boi B
Boi B is a womxn tribal leader in one of the tribes living at the foot of Mt. Apo, the highest peak in the Philippines. Boi B was uprooted from her community at the age of seven and since then has struggled to live and adapt with the mainstream community. Boi B earned a mainstream education and became heavily involved in human rights related works.
In her mid-thirties, Boi B returned to her own tribal community and started the cultural regeneration movement. Through legal processes, Boi B led her people to secure their ancestral domain claim. After that, she served as a volunteer worker for other tribes in other localities. Boi B supported their fight for land and indigenous rights and worked to facilitate food and social services to Indigenous peoples affected by armed conflicts or civil war. Boi B was recognized by the United Nations N-Peace Project in 2012 as one of 100 peace women in southeast Asia.
After 30 years of working for and with Indigenous Peoples (IP) communities, human rights and peace advocates, Boi B has again been uprooted under the current political turmoil in the Philippines. She intends that the next generation of community IP leaders will replace and continue the work to protect the land, preserve their identity, and sustain peaceful communities. Boi B believes that both knowledge of the traditional and mainstream will help these new leaders sustain the tribe’s struggle for existence and she continues to support the with the means that she has living in Canada.