Summer Institute '19: Spotlight on Indigenous Filmmaking with Suzanne Morrissette

Thursday, June 13, 2019 - 6:00pm to 10:00pm

Join us for a Spotlight on Contemporary Indigenous Filmmaking! The evening begins with a talk featuring curator Suzanne Morrissette (OCAD University) and artists Lisa Myers and Fallon Simard, followed by stunning outdoor projections of short films against the walls of the historic Jacob Stong Barn at sundown.

FREE + open to the public!

6:00 - 7:30 PM - Curator Talk, York University, Nat Taylor Cinema N102 Ross Building

9:00 PM - Outdoor Projections, York University, Jacob Stong Barn

The program includes works by Richelle Bear Hat, Thirza Cuthand, Louis-Philippe Moar, Caroline Monnet, Lisa Myers, Jessie Short, and Fallon Simard:

In Her Care (dir. Richelle Bear Hat), 10 min.

Reclamation (dir. Thirza Cuthand), 13 min.

Kick It Now (dir. Louis-Philippe Moar), 3 min.

Portrait of an Indigenous Woman (dir. Caroline Monnet), 16 min.

And from the on we lived on blueberries for about a week (dir. Lisa Myers), 7 min.

Wake Up! (dir. Jessie Short), 6 min.

Land Becomes Ghost (dir. Fallon Simard), 1 min.

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Suzanne Morrissette is a Metis artist, curator, and scholar from Winnipeg researching reactions to Indigenous political thought and curatorial strategies for centering Indigenous knowledge.

Archive/Counter-Archive is a SSHRC project led by Janine Marchessault, dedicated to researching and remediating audiovisual archives created by women, Indigenous Peoples, the LGBTQ2+ community, and immigrant communities. Political, resistant, and community-based, counter-archives disrupt conventional narratives and enrich our histories.

2019 Summer Institute: Archives/Counter-Archives is convened by Philip Hoffman, Janine Marchessault, and Michael Zryd. Free and public screenings, panels, and master classes will be held at the TIFF Bell Lightbox and York University, and will feature special guests such as Matthias Müller, Ali Kazimi, Yvonne Ng, and Suzanne Morrisette. Visit here for details: https://counterarchive.ca/summer-institute-archivecounter-archives

Venue & Address: 
York University, Nat Taylor Cinema, N102 Ross Building
Website: 
www.counterarchive.ca
Cost: 
Free
Spotlight on Contemporary Indigenous Filmmaking Poster

New childrens’ book illustrated by OCAD U grad Chief Lady Bird

Chief Lady Bird (left) and Sunshine Tenaso (right). Courtesy: Scholastic Books.
Tuesday, April 2, 2019 - 3:15pm

Indigenous artist and OCAD U alumna Chief Lady Bird has illustrated a new children’s book, Nibi's Water Song, about the importance of clean water. Chief Lady Bird completed her BFA in Drawing and Painting with a minor in Indigenous Visual Culture at OCAD University in 2015. Written by Sunshine Tenasco, the founder of Her Braids, an organization committed to advocating for clean drinking water in Indigenous communities, the book will be published by Scholastic Books in July 2019.

Nibi is the Anishinaabemowin word for water. In Nibi's Water Song, an Indigenous girl named Nibi can't find clean water to drink. In the book, with no luck from her tap, or the nearby river, Nibi heads to the next town and starts knocking on doors looking for a safe source of drinking water.

Chief Lady Bird is Chippewa and Potawatomi from Rama and Moose Deer Point First Nations. Her Anishinaabe name is Ogimaakwebnes, which means Chief Lady Bird.  A CBC interview with Chief Lady Bird and Sunshine Tenasco is available online.  

"Land as Pedagogy" : an intimate story-telling experience

Woman at a podium facing an audience
Thursday, January 31, 2019

On the evening of Friday, January 18th, the Faculty & Curriculum Development Centre (FCDC) proudly hosted renowned Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg scholar, writer and artist Leanne Betasamosake Simpson who has been widely recognized as one of the most compelling Indigenous voices of her generation. Simpson, who is a member of Alderville First Nation, came to OCAD U to present a talk on “Land as Pedagogy,” followed by a question and answer period with students, faculty and staff in attendance.

Over 250 people filled the OCAD U auditorium, and listened intently as Simpson transformed the space into an intimate story-telling experience. Simpson’s work is known to break open the intersections between politics, story and song—bringing audiences into a rich and layered world of sound, light, and sovereign creativity. Simpson’s talk Friday evening did just that. Audience members cheered as Simpson dropped, in her words, “truth bombs” amidst her animated re-telling of three adaptations of a Nishnaabeg story about maple sugar.  

FCDC’s Nadia McLaren opened the event with a land acknowledgement and shared “I wish to also acknowledge there is still much work needed to be done to uncover the history and original names of this Land. I stand here, grateful for the wisdom of all who came before me, keeping in heart and mind our relations from the North – Giiwedinong, East – Waabanong, South – Zhaawanong and from the West – Ningaabi’anong.”

The evening culminated with a mesmerizing screening of Biidaaban (The Dawn Comes), a 19-minute stop-motion animation film, inspired by the poetic words of Leanne Simpson and directed by Vancouver based filmmaker, Amanda Strong. The short film, which made its screen debut at TIFF 2018, tells the story of Biidaaban, a non-binary character, who is accompanied by a 10,000-year-old shapeshifter and guide known as Sabe. Together they set out on a mission to reclaim the ceremonial harvesting of sap from maple trees.

All three stories shared by Simpson during the evening centered around this harvesting of sap from trees (something that Indigenous people have done since time immemorial) and all three centered Indigenous knowledges and relationships to land; a reclamation of land as pedagogy.

In an effort to facilitate respectful knowledge engagement and build meaningful and lasting relationships, Simpson’s lecture was part of a series of public education events being organized by the FCDC during the 2018-19 academic year to foster important and necessary dialogue across the university and support its goals around Indigenous curriculum development. The next event in the series is a screening of Muffins for Granny 

 

 

 

Poster: 
Auditorium, people looking at a projection
Shot of the audience, including President Sara Diamond
People looking at a film projection

OCAD U alumna appointed OAC Indigenous Arts Officer

Monday, January 7, 2019

The Ontario Arts Council (OAC) has appointed Erika Iserhoff as new Indigenous Arts Officer. Iserhoff holds a Bachelor of Design in Material Art & Design from OCAD University, where she also taught in the Indigenous Visual Culture program.

Iserhoff is a founding member of the Chocolate Woman Collective, a group of artists with a shared interest in research, exploration and practical application of Indigenous aesthetic principles in all areas of the dramatic arts. She is also the co-founder of the Setsuné Indigenous Fashion Incubator, which promotes the creation and exhibition of new works by Indigenous artists working in fashion, textiles and crafts. Iserhoff was associate producer of Tributaries, the opening night of Toronto’s 2017 Luminato festival, at which she was also announced as the Emerging Laureate of OAC’s Indigenous Arts Award. In 2009, she received a Dora Mavor Moore Award for her work in costume design in Indigenous theatre.

Iserhoff is of Omushkego and Eeyou Cree heritage, and is a member of Constance Lake First Nation. She is based in Toronto with her family.

Erika succeeds long-time OAC Indigenous Arts Officer Sara Roque, who stepped down in 2018.

Melissa General receives Emerging Leadership Award from Ontario Arts Council

Friday, December 14, 2018

Earlier this year, Melissa General, an OCAD U Photography alumna and the Manager of the university’s Indigenous Visual Culture Student Centre & Services, was selected to receive an emerging leadership award from the Ontario Arts Council. The award recognizes a rising Indigenous artist or arts professional with a $2,500 prize, with the recipient being nominated annually by the OAC’s annual Indigenous Arts Award winner, who was Nadya Kwandibens in 2018. Melissa received her honour at the OAC offices in a small ceremony on Tuesday, December 4. 

Melissa is Mohawk from Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. She is a multidisciplinary artist working in photography, audio, video and installation. Her practice is focused on her home territory of Six Nations and the concepts of memory, language and land. Her work has been exhibited in galleries and shows in Ontario, Manitoba and Québec. She is also a contributor to the national billboard project Resilience, curated by Lee-Ann Martin. In addition to her BFA in Photography from OCAD U, Melissa holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from York University.

Congratulations Melissa! 

Poster: 
Carolyn Gloude, Awards Officer, Ontario Arts Council, Melissa General and Erika Iserhoff, Indigenous Culture Fund Grants Facilit

Sharing Breath: Embodied Learning and Decolonization

Saturday, November 10, 2018 - 9:00am

Discussions about Indigenizing the academy have abounded in Canada over the past few years. And yet, despite the numerous policies and reports that have been written, there is a lack of clarity around what pedagogical methods could help to decolonize our institutions. Sharing Breath: Embodied Learning and Decolonization edited by Sheila Batacharya and Yuk-Lin Renita Wong demonstrates how the academy cannot be decolonized while we still subscribe to the Western idea of mind over body. The book acknowledges and draws attention to the incommensurability between decolonization and aspects of social justice projects in education.

The contributors to this collection, including OCAD U’s Susan Ferguson, Director of the Writing and Learning Centre, argue that connecting the body, mind, and the spirit is integral to decolonization projects and to the reimagining of pedagogy. By providing a useful range of embodied ways of teaching, learning, and knowing for scholars to consider, this “field-building” book maps out an area for embodiment scholarship in education.

 

Venue & Address: 
University of Toronto OISE 252 Bloor St. W. Room 5-260
Cost: 
Free
poster for book launch

Forest Therapy at High Park

Wednesday, October 24, 2018 - 1:00pm to 4:00pm

This three-hour guided activity and discussion, led by Carolynne Crawley, will focus on breaking down colonial ways of thinking that separate people from the their natural surroundings, and building responsible and reciprocal relations with the land. Crawley will integrate methods from the Japanese practice of Shinrin Yoku, or forest bathing, with traditional Indigenous knowledge to consider our relations with all beings, and connect with the land through all of our senses.

Carolynne Crawley is a Mi'kmaw woman with African and Celtic ancestry and a forest therapy trainer and mentor. She works as Indigenous Food Access Manager at Foodshare Toronto and is involved in environmental justice and food security. Crawley is interested in sharing her knowledge of traditional skills such as harvesting foods and medicines and has organized a three-month cross-cultural youth program, Teachings from the Land, that focuses on food justice and relationship with self, others and the land, as well as a province-wide Indigenous Food Sovereignty Gathering.

Please wear weather-appropriate clothing, sturdy footwear, and bring water and a snack. This is a low-energy activity, so check the weather and dress so that you will be able to keep warm while walking slowly and standing outdoors. We will meet at the north entrance to High Park, on the south-side of Bloor street, opposite High Park subway station.

Please confirm attendance by emailing amorrell@faculty.ocadu.ca.

Unfortunately this event is not wheelchair accessible.

This activity is part of Decolonizing the Land, curriculum development project led by Professor Amish Morrell and supported by the Faculty of Graduate Studies. This initiative aims to explore ways of integrating land-based knowledge into artistic, pedagogical and curatorial practice, for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous students and faculty.

Venue & Address: 
High Park North Entrance
Email: 
amorrell@faculty.ocadu.ca
Cost: 
FREE

Orange Shirt Day at OCAD U

Orange Shirt Day graphic
Friday, September 28, 2018 - 8:30am

On Friday, September 28, OCAD University invites you join our community in the observation of Orange Shirt Day, held annually in remembrance and recognition of the experiences of residential school survivors. Simply wear an orange shirt or an orange accessory, to participate. 

Orange Shirt Day grew out of Phyllis (Jack) Webstad's story of having her shiny new orange shirt taken away on her first day of residential school. It provides an opportunity to keep the discussion on all aspects of residential schools happening annually, and, in the spirit of reconciliation, come together as a community in remembrance and hope for generations of children to come, with the message that “Every Child Matters.”

Engage with Indigenous knowledge at OCAD U

In the Learning Zone:
Come and check out the OCAD Zine Library's new zine display with a focus on Indigenous peoples and decolonization, which is a priority for collection development of the zine library. A few highlights from the collection on display includeColonization and Decolonization: A Manual for Indigenous Liberation in the 21st Century, Locusts: A Post-Queer Nation Zine and Muchacha Decolonize Travel.

In the Library:
Check out a display from the Library’s collection of Indigenous authors. Highlights from the display include The inconvenient Indian: a curious account of Native People in North America by Thomas King, Surviving Canadaby Myra Tait (Editor); Kiera Ladner (Editor), and Claiming Anishinaabe: Decolonizing the Human Spiritby Lynn Gehl.

Speaker Series: Expansive Approaches to Indigenous Art Histories
An ongoing series of free talks by Indigenous artists, curators, and scholars
Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 11:20 a.m.
205 Richmond St. W., Room 420

September 20:  Susan Blight
September 27: Lisa Myers
October 18: Richard Hill

Models for writing and teaching art historical knowledge have traditionally emerged from a western framework. The implications for knowledge formed under this lineage are often wrapped up in questions of perception and culture. Within conversations about Indigenous art, these factors call into play ideas of pedagogy and practice. The question of how Indigenous artists, curators, and scholars define art historical knowledge in relation to their own work locates Indigenous art histories in practices that come from contemporary and dynamic Indigenous-led research. Expansive Approaches to Indigenous Art Histories is a speaker series organized to question: What are Indigenous art histories? Who authors them? For what purpose? How does this knowledge get stored? How is it shared? And what ethical considerations emerge as a result of these shifts in thinking? This series is made possible by the Faculty of Graduate Studies through the Graduate Studies Indigenous Innovation Fund.

Visit the OCAD U’s Indigenous Visual Culture Student Centre
The Indigenous Student Centre offers a welcoming learning environment with a wide range of specialized services to support academic, cultural, social and emotional well-being of Indigenous students at OCAD University. A culturally activated space where students can meet, study or relax between classes, the INVC Student Centre hosts weekly events, guest lectures, workshops, visiting artists, field trips and extra-curricular activities supporting Indigenous visual arts and culture. The centre includes a resource library and archive, computer workstations, lounge, workspace and amenities including a microwave, fridge, coffee maker and snacks. Drop by, or connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Website: 
http://www.orangeshirtday.org

Speaker series: Expansive Approaches to Indigenous Art Histories

Thursday, September 13, 2018 - 10:00am to Thursday, October 18, 2018 - 10:00am

Models for writing and teaching art historical knowledge have traditionally emerged from a western framework. The implications for knowledge formed under this lineage are often wrapped up in questions of perception and culture. Within conversations about Indigenous art, these factors call into play ideas of pedagogy and practice. The question of how Indigenous artists, curators, and scholars define art historical knowledge in relation to their own work locates Indigenous art histories in practices that come from contemporary and dynamic Indigenous-led research. Expansive Approaches to Indigenous Art Histories is a speaker series organized to question: What are Indigenous art histories? Who authors them? For what purpose? How does this knowledge get stored? How is it shared? And what ethical considerations emerge as a result of these shifts in thinking?

Presentations are scheduled take place Thursdays from 10 to 11:20 a.m. in room 420, 205 Richmond St. W. The first five of eleven speakers this term are:

September 6: Alan Corbiere
September 13: Bonnie Devine
September 20:  Susan Blight
September 27: Lisa Myers
October 18: Richard Hill
October 25: Jaimie Isaac
November 1: Carmen Robertson
November 8: Peter Morin
November 15: Cathy Mattes
November 22: Gerald McMaster
November 29: Candice Hopkins

All are welcome!

This series is made possible by the Faculty of Graduate Studies through the Graduate Studies Indigenous Innovation Fund.

Venue & Address: 
205 Richmond St. W., room 420
Cost: 
FREE
Poster with same text as the body of this event listing

Launch of Uncover/Recover at the ROM

Karalyn Reuben - holds up a small square beaded thunderbird panel
Tuesday, July 31, 2018

On Thursday, July 26, the ROM and OCAD U presented their joint web-based project Uncover/Recover. This collaboration began last year, when students in the Indigenous Visual Culture program (INVC), led by Professor Bonnie Devine, received an opportunity to interact with, and respond to, Indigenous artifacts from the ROM’s archives. The project was designed to promote dialogue and exchange between the objects, Indigenous peoples and the Museum.

Eight students each chose an artifact and interpreted the object using video, animation, beading, material arts, music and sound, among other media. The result will be interactive and viewable via a website accessible across the province.

Students:                                    

  • Shawn Johnston - Deer claw rattle
  • Mariah Meawasige - Small birchbark scroll with herbal motifs
  • Ana Morningstar - Men’s composite dance regalia, waistcoat
  • Megan Feheley - Woman’s beaded peaked hood, James Bay Cree
  • Kaia’tanoron Dumoulin - Iroquoian bird effigy pipe       
  • Karalyn Reuben - Beaded thunderbird panel
  • Michael Crawford - Fishing net weaving gauge and needle
  • Meagan Van Capelle -  Métis men’s beaded leggings

Thanks to funding from the Government of Ontario, the university was able to hire graduate and undergraduate research assistants from the Digital Futures program to work on this course: Wendy Whaley, Bernie Leroux, Samuel Strong and Samaa Ahmed. Elisha Lim (MFA, CCP 2017) is the project manager.

A panel moderated by Professor Devine followed the presentation of the works at the ROM. Panelists included:

  • Mark Engstrom ROM Senior Curator and Deputy Director of Collections and Research
  • Elwood Jimmy Curator and cultural activator
  • Ange Loft Multi-disciplinary artist and performer
  • Fallon Simard Visual artist and multi-media video maker

This project illustrates how the INVC program can interface with Digital Futures to create something new and exciting, and it deepened OCAD U’s important relationship with the ROM.

 

Poster: 
Professor Bonnie Devine behind a podium with beaded digital animation on screen next to her
Students Megan Felehey and Kaia’tanoron Dumoulin
Men’s composite dance regalia, waistcoat, under a glass case

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