CROSSROADS: ART + NATIVE FEMINISMS | TFAP@CAA: The Feminist Art Project Day of Panels at the College Art Association Annual Conference 2017 - The Feminist Art Project
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CROSSROADS: ART + NATIVE FEMINISMS | TFAP@CAA: The Feminist Art Project Day of Panels at the College Art Association Annual Conference 2017


Museum of Arts and Design

2 Columbus Circle

New York, NY


10:15am-6:00pm | This event is free and open to the public. Prior registration not needed. Seating is limited.

Phone Number



Connie Tell |



Crossroads: Art + Native Feminisms is a dedicated day of panels, roundtables, and discussions lead by Indigenous knowledge carriers, artists, community members, elders, academics, and their accomplices on the topic of art and Native Feminisms focused on North America. From the countless unnamed works produced by Native women and acquired by historical museums in service of colonial nation states around the world, to Rebecca Belmore representing Canada at the Venice Biennale and Christi Belcourt’s Anishinaabe Nation floral motif inspired designs on the haute couture runway of Valentino, Native women across the continent have a long established tradition in the visual arts that pushes against dominant patriarchal structures. Against the odds of systematic erasure through colonization, and historically situated outside of mainstream Feminism, the experience and knowledge of native women offer ranging perspectives conceptually better located at the center of the movement. Land recovery, self-determination, and social relations based in respect and inherent dignity of all living beings from non-human to human, are a few examples that fluidly move across and between traditional and contemporary practices today.

Symposium Chairs: Jaune Quick-to-See Smith (Independent Artist), Maria Hupfield (Independent Artist), Kat Griefen (Rutgers University; Queensborough Community College)


Onscreen Projections
Rematriate Project

10:15-10:30 am — Opening Performance

Laura Ortman

10:30-10:45 am — Welcome and Introductory Remarks
Connie Tell (TFAP, Center for Women in the Arts and Humanities, Rutgers University)
Symposium Chairs: Jaune Quick-to-See Smith (Independent Artist), Maria Hupfield (Independent Artist), Kat Griefen (Rutgers University; Queensborough Community College)

10:45-11:00 am — Keynote Address
Jaune Quick-to-See Smith (Independent Artist)

11:10 am-12:20 pm — The Struggle for Cultural Capital in Contemporary Native American Art
Chair: Diane Fraher (Amerinda Inc.)
Panelists: Gloria Miguel (Spiderwoman Theater), Muriel Miguel (Spiderwoman Theater), Jaune Quick-to-See Smith (Independent Artist)
• This panel will discuss the multi-disciplinary struggle for cultural capital in Contemporary Native American Art and share first person aspects of an unknown, organic, highly diverse Native American art movement, based in New York City, a movement that encompasses the founding of contemporary Native American film and theater in the United States as well as the strongest contemporary Native visual arts movement outside Santa Fe, New Mexico.

12:20-1:20 pm — Lunch Break

1:20-1:40 pm — Introduction to Afternoon Sessions
Maria Hupfield (Independent Artist)

1:45-3:15 pm — The Problematics of Making Art While Native and Female
Andrea Carlson (Independent Artist)
Panelists: Dr. Julie Nagam (University of Winnipeg and the Winnipeg Art Gallery), Charlene Teters (Independent Artist), Carly Feddersen (Independent Artist), Ryan Elizabeth Feddersen (Independent Artist), Grace Rosario Perkins (Black Salt Collective)
• Are we artists who “happen to be native” or are we native artists? Six artists will scrutinize, question and respond with work that “has it both ways” as they speak from “a native perspective” yet are uncompromisingly universal. Discussion will address navigating the staying power of the colonization and empire from within institutions.

3:25-4:45 pm — Kinship, Decolonial Love, and Community Art Practice
Chair: Lindsay Nixon (Concordia University)
Panelists: ErinMarie Konsmo (Independent Artist), Dayna Danger (Independent Artist), Marcella Ernest (Independent Artist), Tarah Hogue (grunt gallery), Lyncia Begay (Independent Artist)
• Members from The Indigenous Arts Council, a programming organization for Indigenous artists, cultural workers, and community organizers in Montreal Canada, will lead a “kitchen-table” discussion. Participants will speak about ways of being, to relate, resist, and resurge; to consider the interruption of kinship ways and relations to the land and restore them for the future.

5:00-6:00 pm — Presentation: “The Teaching is in the Making”: Locating Anishinaabe Feminism as Art Praxis
Performers: Celeste Pedri-Spade (Laurentian University), Leanna Marshall (Independent Artist)
Respondent: Crystal Migwans (Columbia University)
• Artists Celeste Pedri-Spade and Leanna Marshall present on the potential of Indigenous Feminist theory and art practice within communities and spaces where Native People continue to struggle to exist. The participants will draw from their own lived experiences, perspectives and Anishinabe knowledge, focusing on the recent two person exhibit by Pedro-Spade and Marshall titled The Teaching is in the Making, Thunder Bay Art Gallery, June 24- September 6, 2016, with essay by Elder/Artist Wanda Baxter.

Directions to the Museum of Arts and Design

For more information contact:
Connie Tell
Director, The Feminist Art Project
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
640 Bartholomew Road #125a
Piscataway, NJ 08854
Phone: 848-932-3726

Documentation for this event is housed in The Feminist Art Project Archives at Rutgers University.


Symposium Chair BIOS
Jaune Quick-to-See Smith is one of the most acclaimed American Indian artists of today. She has been reviewed in most art periodicals.  Smith has had over 100 solo exhibits in the past 40 years and has done printmaking projects nationwide.  Over that same time, she has organized and/or curated over 30 Native exhibitions, lectured at more than 200 universities, museums and conferences internationally, most recently at 5 universities in China. Smith has completed several collaborative public art works such as the floor design in the Great Hall of the new Denver Airport; an in-situ sculpture piece in Yerba Buena Park, San Francisco and a mile-long sidewalk history trail in West Seattle and recently, a new terrazzo floor design at the Denver Airport. Smith uses humor and satire to examine myths, stereotypes and the paradox of American Indian life in contrast to the consumerism of American society. Her work is philosophically centered by her strong traditional beliefs and political activism. Smith is internationally known as an artist, curator, lecturer, print-maker and professor. She was born at St. Ignatius Mission on her Reservation and is an enrolled Salish member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Nation of Montana. She holds 4 honorary doctorates from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Arts, the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Mass College of Art and the University of New Mexico. Her work is in collections at the Whitney Museum, the Metropolitan Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Walker, the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, Museum for World Cultures, Frankfurt, Germany and Museum for Ethnology, Berlin. Recent awards include a grant from the Joan Mitchell Foundation to archive her work; the 2011 Art Table Artist Award; Moore College Visionary Woman Award for 2011; Induction into the National Academy of Art 2011; Living Artist of Distinction, Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, NM 2012; the Switzer Award for 2012.

Maria Hupfield (born 1975 in Parry Sound, Georgian Bay, Ontario) is a member of Wasauksing First Nation, Ontario, and is currently based in Brooklyn, New York. Solo exhibitions had been held at MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina (2015); Galerie Hugues Charbonneau, Montréal (2015); and Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba, Brandon (2011). She has participated in group exhibitions and performances at Trestle Projects Brooklyn (2016); SITE Santa Fe Biennial (2016); Winsor Gallery, Vancouver (2016); A Space Gallery, Toronto (2015); Campo dei Gesuiti, Venice (2015); Aboriginal Art Centre, Ottawa (2015); The Bronx Museum, New York (2015); Vox Populi, Philadelphia (2015); Musée d’art contemporain des Laurentides, Saint Jérôme (2015); North Native Museum (NONAM), Zurich (2014); SBC Gallery of Contemporary Art, Montréal (2013); The Power Plant, Toronto (2013); and Vancouver Art Gallery (2012). Hupfield is founder of 7th Generation Image Makers, Native Child and Family Services of Toronto; Co-owner of Native Art Department International; and Assistant Professor in Visual Art and Material Practice appointed to the Faculty of Culture and Community, Emily Carr University of Arts and Design (2007-11).

Kat Griefen is an art historian, curator and private dealer and since 2011 has been the co-director and co-owner of Accola Griefen Fine Art in New York City. From 2006 until 2011 Ms. Griefen was the Director of A.I.R. Gallery, which was founded in 1972 as the first non-profit gallery for women artist in the United States. Since 2005 she has organized or curated more than 40 exhibitions, many that have been reviewed in publications including The New York Times, The New Yorker, New York Magazine, Art in America, ARTnews and the Brooklyn Rail among others. She has been a Senior Lecturer in the Women & Gender Studies Department at Rutgers University, New Brunswick since 2011 and has also taught in the Graduate Program in Liberal Studies at Rutgers University, Camden.  Ms. Griefen is currently a Lecturer at Queensborough Community College (QCC) in the Art and Design Department where she manages the Gallery and Museum Studies program and is the Curator in Residence at the Kupferberg Holocaust Center (KHC). At the KHC she is co-organizing the 2018-2019 NEH Colloquium and 2019-2020 exhibition, Survivance & Sovereignty on Turtle Island, which focuses on engaging with Native American histories through Contemporary Native American art and culture with Danyelle Means. In 2017 she co-chaired the Feminist Art Project symposium Crossroads: Art + Native Feminism at the Museum of Art and Design as part of the College Art Association Annual conference with Juane Quick-to-See Smith and Maria Hupfield.  She has also organized special projects focuses on women artists at art fairs in New York City and in Los Angeles. Ms. Griefen is a Board Member of Arttable and is on the Advisory Board for A.I.R. Gallery, SOHO20, Spiderwoman Theatre and the Feminist Institute. She is a member of the Council for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum, a National Committee Member of the Feminist Art Project, an Affiliated Society of CAA and is a founding member of New York City chapter of the Association of Women Art Dealer. She has a B.A. in Women Studies and in Art History from Purchase College, SUNY and an M.A. in Art History from Hunter College.


Presenter BIOS and ABSTRACTS
As a collective body, we would like recognize ourselves from and within our respective nations/communities of the Pacific North and Westcoast, while acknowledging that we all live(d) and work(ed) on the unceded lands and waters of the CoastSalish people. ReMatriate Collective is strengthened by the diversity of our backgrounds, but unified by our vision to elevate the platform of Indigenous womyn, to resonate pride across our Nations, and hold our youth high with the pride of their Indigeneity. ReMatriate Collective’s Core Members: (Ta’une) Kelly EdzerzaBapty, Jeneen Frei Njootli, Denver Lynxleg, Tsēma Skubovius Igharas, Willow Thickson and Taylor Wale. We would like to give many Ha’miiyaa, Kinanâskomitina’wa’w, Maduh, Mahsiand Miigwechto all the organizers of Crossroads: Art + Native Feminism 2017 TFAP.

Laura Ortman (White Mountain Apache) is a Brooklyn composer, musician, film composer and visual artist. She performs as a solo violinist and continually collaborates with artists, filmmakers, dancers and musicians from New York, New Mexico, Italy and Canada. She has performed, recorded and toured with New York bands Stars Like Fleas and The Dust Dive. Ortman plays violin, Apache violin, electric guitar, amplified piano, electric keyboards, sings through a megaphone, pedal steel guitar and makes field recordings.Ortman has been awarded a 2016 Art Matters Grant, a 2016 National Artist Fellowship and has completed artist residencies at the Rauschenberg Residency in Captiva, Florida, the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and at Issue Project Roomin Brooklyn, New York.In 2008, she founded the Coast Orchestra, an all-Native American orchestral ensemble performing the 1914 original score live accompaniment to photographer Edward Curtis’s film “In the Land of the Head Hunters” to sold-out audiencesat the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Ortman releases her third solo album My Soul Remainerin 2017 recorded and co-produced by Martin Bisi.

Panel: The Struggle for Cultural Capital in Contemporary Native American Art – While there is an abundance of non-Native perspectives on contemporary Native American Art there is rarely an opportunity for others to hear the sophisticated visceralNative languageof their art.This panel will discuss the multi-disciplinary struggle for cultural capital in Contemporary Native American Art and share first person aspects of an unknown, organic, highly diverse Native American art movement, based in New York City –a movement that encompasses the founding of contemporary Native American film and theater in the United States as well as the strongest contemporary Native visual arts movement outside Santa Fe, New Mexico. These women’s commitment to their art and cultural equity for all Native artists averages 40+ years each in the New York art world. Some of the topics that will be explored are: How does a Native artist acquire the cultural capital necessary for success without an excessive reliance on the mainstream for approval and acceptance?What role does Native feminism play in women artists gaining the self-confidence, discipline and perseverance necessary for success?What role do traditional Native values play in this process?The social aspect of a Native woman’s life is such that often she is the main bread winner.With that comes the difficulty of survival in a patriarchal society. How did the women on this panel not only survive but thrive?

Diane Fraher writes and directs narrative feature films about contemporary Native Americans that explore the struggle of Native Americans to identify with traditional values within the context of modern society. She has received numerous fellowships and awards for herfilmmaking. Diane’s current feature film, The Heart Stays, is the first feature film with a lead Native female character. An enrolled Member of Osage Nation with documented Cherokee heritage as well, in 1987 Ms. Fraher founded American Indian Artists Inc., (AMERINDA) New York, a Native community-based multi-arts organization.

Gloria Miguel is Kuna and Rappahannock.Together with her sisters Muriel and Lisa Mayo (1924-2013) she founded Spiderwoman Theater. A director, playwright, actor and teacher she is still actively touring and performing after 40 years on stage. Together with her sisters, Gloria received a DFA honorary degree from Miami University in Oxford, OH in 1997 honoring her achievements in contemporary Native theater.

Muriel Miguel, Kuna and Rappahannock, is a director, choreographer, playwright, actor and educator. A founding member and artistic director of Spiderwoman Theater, she has directed almostall of Spiderwoman’s shows since their debut in 1976, in which time, they have written and produced over twenty original works for the theatre. Muriel is an internationally known performing artist who has received numerous awards during her distinguished career. Most recently, she was awarded a 2016 Guggenheim Fellowship in Theater.

Panel: The Problematics of Making Art While Native and Female – This panel asks an accomplished line-up of artists to talk about the problematics of making art while native and female. Artists included on this panel are producing work that challenges codified understandings of identity. Each artist will present their work and philosophy as a native, but also their approach to making art apart from an expected, totalizing schema. Linda Tuhiwai Smith writes,The project of creating is not just about the artistic endeavors of individuals but about the spirit of creating which indigenous communities have exercised over thousands of years. Imagination enables people to rise above their own circumstances, to dream new visions and to hold on to old ones. It fosters inventions and discoveries, facilitates simple improvements to people’s lives and uplifts our spirits. Creating is not the exclusive domain of the rich nor of the technologically superior, but of the imaginative.*This storied conversation will address some of the shared frustrations and complications facing native artists today. How are indigenous feminist artists addressing the staying power of the modernists in our institutions? How are we navigating institutional racism, remaining critical while exhibitingin the very institutions who have omitted us in the past? How do we address being denied as a universal subject, or denied contemporaneity? How do we shed solely anthropological reads of our work? Are we artists who “happen to be native” or are we native artists?These six artists are among those who have scrutinized, questioned and brightly respond with work that “has it both ways” as they speak from “a native perspective” that are uncompromisingly universal.*Smith, Linda Tuhiwai. Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples. London: Zed Books (1999): 158.

Andrea Carlson is a visual artists based in Chicago, Illinois. Her work has gained critical attention for its rigorous draftsmanship and cultural commentary. Carlson is a 2016 recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painter and Sculptors Grant. Her work has shown at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian at the George Gustav Heye Center, New York (2009–2010) and for the Venice Biennale at the University of Ca’ Foscari, Venice (2009).

Carly Feddersen is a Native American artist, born and raised in Wenatchee, WA. A graduate of the Institute of American Indian Arts with an emphasis in jewelry making, Feddersen has an expansive approach to materials utilizing print, glass, and fibers. Humor and irony areimportant elements of Carly’s work, which is strongly influenced by the traditional stories of the Plateau people and pop culture. Her work is in the collections of many museums including the Portland Art Museum, the Seattle Art Museum and the Eiteljorg Museum.

Ryan Elizabeth Feddersen is a mixed media installation artist residing in Seattle,WA. Her work utilizes tongue in cheek humor accompanied by interactivity inviting the viewer to engage with the irrationalities and hypocrisies of contemporary American culture.Feddersen’s large-scale interactive installations have been on view at the Tacoma Art Museum, Spokane Arts, Bumbershoot, and the Henry Gala.

Julie Nagam is the Chair in the History of Indigenous Art in North America, a joint appointment with the University of Winnipeg and the Winnipeg Art Gallery. Nagam leads the SSHRC project The Transactive Memory Keepers: Indigenous Public Engagement in Digital and New Media Labs and Exhibitions ( Her artwork Where White Pines Lay Over The Water, was shown in, Toronto, Ontario, San Paulo, Brazil and Lyon, France. Her installation Singing Our Bones Home, was shown in Markham (2013), in London, England (2013), and in Winnipeg (2014). She is currently preparing for a residency and exhibition in Wellington, New Zealand.

Grace Rosario Perkins is based in Oakland CA, having spent most of her life moving between city centers, the Navajo Nation, and the Gila River Indian Community. Perkins is interested in disassembling her personal narrative and reassembling it as one that layers words, objects, faces, and signifiers built from cultural dissonance, language, and history. Perkins is one of the core founders of Black Salt Collective, an all women of color art collective that recently received a fellowship from Art Matters 2017.

Charlene Teters is a Native American artist, educator, and lecturer. Her paintings and art installations have been featured in over 21 major exhibitions, commissions, and collections. Teters earned the Lifetime Achievement Award from The Women’s Caucus for Art 2017. She has been active in opposing the use of Native American mascots and other imagery in sports since 1989 and is a founding member of the National Coalition on Racism in Sports and the Media (NCRS).

Panel: Kinship, Decolonial Love, and Community Art Practice – Members from The Indigenous Arts Council, Lindsay Nixon, Dayna Danger and Erin Marie Konsmo, a programming organization for Indigenous artists, cultural workers, and community organizers in Montreal Canada, will lead a kitchen table discussion to re-center good relations, care, and community processes at the core of art practice. This session will include a brief slideshow introduction on concepts of decolonial love and kinship connecting the ethics oflove with Junot Diaz’s concept of “decolonial love” and current thought on love as an Indigenous philosophy by Leanne Simpson, Billy-Ray Belcourt, and Kirsten Lindquist. Members of the Indigenous Arts Council and invited guests will speak to their individual and collaborative work to consider ways of being, relating, resisting, and resurging, not only considering the interruption of kinship ways and relations to the land, but actually restoring them for the future.

Lindsay Nixon is an anishinaabe-nehiyaw writer, emerging curator, community organizer, and researcher currently residing in Tio’tia:ke/Mooniyang, unceded Haudenosaunee and Anishinabe territories(Montreal, QC). Nixon was recently appointed the Indigenous Editor at-large for Canadian Art leading the Indigenous art and culture content initiatives. They will shape and commission the summer 2017 issue. The co-founder of the Indigenous Women and Two-Spirit Harm Reduction Coalition, as well as the Indigenous Arts Council, Nixon is a MA candidate in the Art History department at Concordia University. The editor of IAC’s Indigenous literary arts, art and art criticism journal, mâmawi–âcimowak. Nixon’s work has appeared in Malahat Review, Room, GUTS, Briarpatchand other publications.

Lyncia Begay is a graduate teaching student at Northern Arizona University. Begay is currently writing a book that features her experience walking across Dinétah, witnessing the devastation that resource extraction has had and continues to have on land, body, and spirit.

Dayna Danger is an emerging Queer, Metis/Ojibway/Polish artist raised in Winnipeg, MB. Utilizing photography, sculpture, and video, Danger’spractice questions the line between empowerment and objectification by claiming space with her human scale work. Co-opting the visual language of fashion and pornography, she repurposes and challenges perceptions of power, gender, performativity, representation, sexuality, and mixed identities. Danger is currently based in Montreal, QC while obtaining her Graduate degree in Studio Arts from Concordia University. She graduated with her Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) from The University of Manitoba’s School of Art in 2010.

Marcella Ernest is an Ojibwe interdisciplinary artist and scholar. She creates video art and soundscapes using poetic imagery and abstract narratives. Her videos have won awards, screened and exhibited worldwide in art galleries and film festivals, including at the Museum of Modern Art and Design, the SOHO Arts District, the Chelsea Gallery in New York City, Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, The Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, the Los Angeles Film Forum, the Autry Museum and for Ga Ni Tha (2015), Wah Shka (2017) during the Venice Biennale. Presently, Marcella is a Doctoral Candidate for a Ph.D. in American Studies at the University of New Mexico. Her research focuses on American racialization and the contemporary remix culture of video art and music as political acts of Native resistance to racist representations that begin in the visual histories told of Native Americans in the nineteenth century through the development of the photo camera and the phonograph.

Tarah Hogue is Curator/Communications Director with grunt gallery, the Audain Aboriginal Curatorial Fellow with the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, and uninvited guest on the unceded Coast Salish territories of Vancouver BC. Hogue has curated projects with the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, Or Gallery and SFU Gallery, and is writer-in-residence for thirstDays, VIVO Media Arts. Her writing has appeared in BlackFlash Magazine, Canadian Art, Decoy Magazine, Inuit Art Quarterly, and MICE Magazine. Recentcuratorial projects include #callresponse, a series of locally based art commissions centering Indigenous women and artists with touring exhibition and guest respondents at grunt gallery, co-organized with Maria Hupfield and Tania Willard; Unsettled Sites, a group show on haunting settler colonialism at SFU Gallery; and Cutting Copper: Indigenous Resurgent Practice, with grunt gallery and the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery UBC, co-organizer Shelly Rosenblum. Hogue is Métis/French Canadian and of DutchCanadian ancestry. She grew up in Red Deer Alberta, on the border between Treaty 6 and 7 along the original trading route of the Métis.

Erin Marie is a queer Michif/Half-breed stencil/justice artist from Manitou Sakhahigan, the historic Métis communities of Onoway/Lac St. Anne, Alberta. She is the Media Arts Justice & Projects Coordinator with the Native Youth Sexual Health Network. Her artwork focuses on self-determination over our own bodies as Indigenous Peoples. She is a self-taught community-engaged visual and multi-media indigenous artist, supporting community to create their own art and expressions around sexual and reproductive health, rights and justice. Konsmo organizes with the Onaman Collective basedon the North Shore of Lake Superior, a grassroots collective working with art, language and the land. Onaman was formed for the express purpose of finding ways to converge art creation based from the land with Indigenous knowledge, youth, Elders and Anishnaabemowin, Michif and Cree languages. Konsmocurrently serves as one of the North American focal points for the Global Indigenous Youth Caucus at the United Nations PermanentForum on Indigenous Issues. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of Calgary and a Master of Environmental Studies from York University, with a concentration in environmental and reproductive health.

Presentation:The Teaching is in the Making: Locating Anishinaabe Feminism as Art Praxis – Artists Celeste Pedri-Spade and Leanna Marshall present on the potential of Indigenous Feminist theory and art practice within communities and spaces where Native People continue to struggle to exist. The participants will draw from their own lived experiences, perspectives and Anishinabe knowledge, focusing on the recent two person exhibit by Pedro-Spade and Marshall titled The Teaching is in the Making, Thunder Bay Art Gallery, June 24-September 6, 2016, with essay by Elder/Artist Wanda Baxter. The processes and materials employed by these artists reflect a multiplicity of perspectives informed by heritage that range from contemporary jingle dresses, archival photography, contemporary photographs and other bead and textile items. Together these women aim to broaden discussions informed by their shared yet separate connection to nation specific native culture, survival in urban/rural environments, kinship ties with living and nonliving beings, and the teachings that go with traditional women’s gender roles of the Anishinabe Nation. They argue that Indigenous women; as makers of movements, ideas, and tools, continue to effectively challenge and dismantle heteropatriarchal colonial systems and violence in ways that facilitate healing, new growth, and spaces to ensure a future for Indigenous people to the benefit of all.

Presentation: The Teaching is in the Making – Through pre-recorded audio Celeste Pedri-Spade will share her use of ancestral photographs as living documents to develop specific regalia pieces through a process of ‘making’. Her art is how she shares her debwewin (truth). In doing so, she centers the power and struggle of Anishinabe women as makers—as kwes who carry forward the responsibility to put/gift something into this world. By sharing personal experiences, she explores how positioning this concept of ‘making’ as Indigenous feminist praxis involvesa commitment to being open to/consciously aware of, how art not only conveys a message, but embodies stories and ideas that arise in the process of making and ‘living out’ art. She discusses how accessing and enacting her Anishinabekwe intuitive knowledge, which has been violently suppressed through centuries of colonial violence is integral to the kinds of transformative and liberating moments necessary for the survival and perseverance of Anishinabek bodies and culture.

Celeste Pedri-Spade, gaye Anang Onimiwin is a Treaty 3 Anishinabekwe from Nizaatikoong / Lac Des Mille Lacs First Nation in Northwestern Ontario. She is a member of the Bear Clan and embraces a number of roles and responsibilities as a mother, wife, educator and research-based multidisciplinary artist working in textile and photography. She identifies as a “mark maker” whose work is grounded in her relationships with family, community, land, and spirituality. Dr. Pedri-Spade is an Assistant Professor of Visual Anthropology within the School of Northern and Community Studies at Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario. She teaches courses in Indigenous culture and art, photography, qualitative research, and visuality/materiality with a focus on the role of Indigenous art in decolonization, including processes of remembrance, resistance, and survivance. Together with her partner Anishinaabe artist Rob Spade, she enjoys making regalia and travelling to different gatherings with their sons, family and friends during the warm months. She has exhibited in regional and national galleries in Canada and the USA.

Performance: NIMAMAATA MIYAW – Leanna Marshell created 8 jingle dresses or story dresses from a project called “Zaadigiwin” (Love) that each tella story of her family. This project was seeded from listening to her mother, Charlotte Childforever’s story at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in relation to her experience at residential school. The story dresses came from love, which is where Leanna will situate herself as she continues the narrative between her and her relations. Leanna will be doing a performative piece that continues a conversation between her and her relations. She will be conversing with cedar, jingles, and her grandmotherto explore themes of Indigenous resistance, spiritual laws, and land.This project became part of a group show that was titled, The Teaching is in the Making, curated by Nadia Kurd, Thunder Bay Art Gallery. Along with fellow artist and mother, Celeste Pedri-Spade the show explored themes of connection, family, and identity.Audio Credit for Performance: Cricket Cave; Photo Credits for Performance: Laura Paxton & Nadya Kwandibens.

Leanna Marshall is a member of Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug. She was born and raised in Thunder Bay, Ontario. As a maker of jingle dresses, Leanna tells stories of her ancestors & land, and stays in the intersection of where they meet to understand the essence of these relationships: connection, understanding, & healing. In 2013, she started the project entitled Zaadigiwin where she designed and created 8 jingle (story) dresses that tells layers of stories of family, relationships, understanding, and love. Leanna uses performative practice to continue conversations & deepen understanding between her and her relations, land, and jingles.Leanna currently works as a post-secondary Indigenous Counsellor, Confederation College in Thunder Bay. Leanna is a mother of two vibrant daughters who teach her gentleness and kindness on a daily basis.

Crystal Migwans is an Anishinaabekwe of Wikwemikong Unceded First Nation, and the place she calls home is the Mahzenahzing (Painted) River. A multimedia artist by training, Crystal’s path turned to research and community arts during her time as Curatorial Assistant at the Ojibwe Cultural Foundation in M’Chigeeng, Canada. She is currently in the Art History PhD program at Columbia University in New York, where she look for echoes of an Anishinaabe artistic legacy in the archives of the colonial metropolis.


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