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

 

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 

 

 

 

Auditorium, people looking at a projection
Screening of Biidaaban, photo by Arash Safavi

Shot of the audience, including President Sara Diamond
Audience, photo by Arash Safavi

People looking at a film projection
Screening of Biidaaban, photo by Arash Safavi

Photo of human with winter green coat sitting and staring at camera
The Centre for Emerging Artists & Designers is excited to announce Dallas Fellini as the recipient of the inaugural Rosalie Sharp Pavilion Career Launcher.
EKSIG 2019 was the international conference of the DRS Special Interest Group on Experiential Knowledge (EKSIG). The event took place 23–24 September 2019 at the Estonian Academy of Arts, Tallinn, Estonia. With the theme ‘knowing together – experiential knowledge and collaboration,’ the conference explored collaborative knowledge generation by professionals and academic researchers in the creative disciplines and beyond.
The OCAD University community is deeply saddened by the passing of John Vivash, former Chair of the OCAD U Foundation (2008 to 2015). John passed away on August 5, 2019.
Mural of food illustrations
OCAD University’s Centre for Emerging Artists and Designers (CEAD) are thrilled to announce a new large-scale mural by artist Jinke Wang (Illustration 18’) in the dining hall of the newly opened Longo’s in Liberty Village.
Image of plant in front of sun in distance
Footprints of the Rouge depicts the important connections experienced during Margaret Cornell Kirk's time as Photographer-in-Residence at Rouge National Urban Park.
Joanne Frisch, video still
Take a sneak peek video tour into OCAD U's newly renovated Fabrication Centre, scheduled to reopen in January!
Please see poster for full details. 
Lisa Deanne Smith accepts OAAG award on behalf of Onsite Gallery and Patricio Dávila
The Ontario Association of Art Galleries (OAAG) announced Onsite Gallery and Patricio Dávila as winner of the First Exhibition at a Public Gallery award at its 2019 OAAG Awards gala last night. Dávila, Associate Professor, Faculty of Design, Graduate Studies, at OCAD U, curated the exhibition Diagrams of Power at OCAD U’s Onsite Gallery. The exhibition showcased art and design works using data, diagrams, maps and visualizations as ways of challenging dominant narratives and supporting the resilience of marginalized communities.
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