O:se Kenhionhata:tie – Land Back Camp Panel

O:se Kenhionhata:tie – Land Back Camp A discussion with Bangishimo, Amy Smoke and Erik O’Neill

On 20 June 2020, O:se Kenhionhata:tie (also known as Land Back Camp) was created by Amy Smoke, Bangishimo and Terre Chartrand in so-called Kitchener’s Victoria Park. It grew from a collective frustration of the constant struggle that communities faced when looking for gathering space. Starting with only 1 tipi and 2 tents, Indigenous and settler youth representing several nations began to arrive at the camp. The camp grew, quickly becoming a safe space for Two Spirit IndigiQueer folx and queer/trans or LGBTQ+ settler accomplices to gather in the Great Peace, celebrating, learning and thriving through culture.

In this group discussion, all three co-Directors of the documentary film Stories from Land Back Camp will discuss their experiences at the camp and key moments from the process of creating the film. We will conclude by looking forward at what comes next for O:se Kenhionhata:tie and how you can be a part of this story.

Stories from Land Back Camp is featured in SOS: A Story of Survival, Part II – The Body, on view at KWAG from 26 August 2023 – 7 January 2024.



Amy Smoke (they/them) is Mohawk Nation, Turtle Clan from the Six Nations of the Grand River. They are a Two Spirit, IndigiQueer parent, land defender/water protector, community organizer, and public speaker. Amy has won several awards in the fields of Social Justice and Community Leadership, and they are one of the co-founders of O:se Kenhionhata:tie Land Back Camp, a space for Two Spirit, IndigiQueer, trans, non-binary youth and settler allies in the LGBTQ+ community. Amy is also a sessional instructor at the University of Waterloo, Renison University College, in the Bachelor of Social Work program.


Bangishimo (They/Them) is an IndigiQueer Anishinaabe originally from Couchiching First Nation located on Treaty #3 territory. They currently reside in so-called Kitchener, located along the Grand River. Bangishimo is a community organizer, educator, and advocate. Their focus is creating space for communities to come together, allowing for Black, Indigenous and racialized voices to be heard. They are currently one of the co-founders of O:se Kenhionhata:tie, also known as Land Back Camp. Their advocacy and photography have allowed them to visit over sixteen countries, taking photos and sharing the stories of those they meet along the way. Bangishimo's work has been featured in numerous publications and has had their work on display throughout Waterloo Region. Bangishimo won the Briarpatch Writing in the Margins Contest - Photography Category (2020), was voted Best Photographer in the Community Edition (2021) and is currently the City of Kitchener’s first Indigenous Artist-in-Residence (2022-23). Their work will be featured in a solo exhibition at the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery in 2024.  

Erik O’Neill works professionally as a cinematographer and video producer. He is a co-founder of Astrodog Media, which is a commercial video production company in Kitchener, Ontario. O’Neill’s interests include photojournalism and portrait-making, with a particular interest in marginalized peoples, gentrification and history. A consummate lens-based gear enthusiast, his most recent experiments have been with shooting motion picture film in still cameras.


Top: Land Back Camp, Stories from Land Back Camp (still), 2020. Directed by Erik O’Neill, Amy Smoke and Bangishimo. Digital video with sound. 26:01 minutes. © Land Back Camp. 

Bio: All bio photos provided by Bangishimo. Photos of Amy Smoke and Erik O’Neill are © Bangishimo. Photo of Bangishimo © Erik O’Neill.


September 30th, 2023 from  1:00 PM to  2:30 PM
101 Queen St N
Kitchener, ON N2H 6P7-N2H 6P7
Phone: 5195795860