Introducing Our Skins 6.0 Team, Part 2: The Old Guns

You’ve met the spring chickens, now face the old guns! You’ll recognize these seven faces from last year’s He Au Hou / Skins 5.0; they’re all returning as members of our Skins 6.0 team and we are ecstatic. See you soon!!! ♡

Credit: Prem Sooriyakumar. 2017.

Jason Edward Lewis

What is your role in Skins 6.0?

Co-director.

What’s your favourite part of the entire workshop?

Storytelling. I love hearing the stories that the storytellers and participants bring into the room, the discussions about different variations in thestories and what they might mean, the thinking about what teachings the stories are trying to convey, and figuring out how to pull ingredients from them to work in the game.

What do you expect from this year’s version of Skins?

I am looking forward to working with a new crew of participants. The Skins 5.0 participants were amazing, and this incoming class looks also amazing—but in different ways. I am looking forward to collaborating again with the Kamehameha Schools/Kanaeokana crew again, as we’re getting to know each other well and working more smoothly together because of it. I’m really looking forward to the game that they will make.

Do you have other plans for your time in Hawai‘i?

Explore the beaches with our boys. Give a couple of talks at local events. Catch up with the Skins 5.0 participants.

Is there anything you’d like to add?

Feeling blessed!

Credit: Zoe Tennant. 2018.

Skawennati

What is your role in Skins 6.0?

I am Co-Director of the Skins Workshops and am also one of the instructors. My area of expertise is transmediating Indigenous storytelling; basically, I translate oral tradition into movies and games.

What’s your favourite part of the entire workshop?

I love it when the story emerges! We start the workshop with a community story-telling event, where invited storytellers share with us traditional and/or contemporary histories, legends and tales. Then we decide together on a story we want to tell through the game we’ll be making. Sometimes it is very challenging for the group to come to a consensus, but it always works out it the end.

What do you expect from this year’s version of Skins?

We have refined our curriculum further, so this year I expect to have a smoother time in three most challenging segments of the workshop: deciding on a story, technical instruction and even production. Of course, work always expands to fill the time you have, so we shall see!

Do you have other plans for your time in Hawai‘i?

Jason and I will be giving a talk at Art in Hawai‘i’s conference at Boxjelly on Digital Futures. I also hope to hike Diamond Head with Nancy and to worship the ocean as much as possible. Hawai‘i is a beautiful, powerful place!

Is there anything you’d like to add?

A very exciting element about this year’s workshop is that there will be “alumni” from last year who will now be instructors-in-training. The Skins workshops need more instructors so that they can be delivered in more places, more often!

Nancy-Elizabeth Townsend

What is your role in Skins 6.0?

I am proud to be reprising my role as Coordinator / Producer for Skins 6.0. I have been part of the Skins Workshop Series since its beginnings ten years back when I was a “mere” undergrad 3D-art instructor. It is an honor to be invited back and to witness firsthand how this unique workshop has grown and improved with every iteration.

What’s your favourite part of the entire workshop?

In what I assume is a state unique to Producers, I personally flourish within the excitement-laced-stress of the final 3-day crunch. Game features are cut, added, and re-arranged to ensure a playable, beautiful monster of a project that we all birthed together. It is invigorating to witness and coach such a “miracle of life”!

What do you expect from this year’s version of Skins?

At this point in my career, I have coordinated a dozen+ workshops and many game projects. If there is anything I have come to expect, it is not to be surprised by anything. Group projects are unavoidably messy and depend so strongly on individuals, team dynamics, the computer-crashing-Gods, even the weather can throw a development timeline off its rails. A successful workshop/production plan is a flexible one. I can only hope to expect that all participants glean some new cultural insights, technical skills and everyone leaves the workshop feeling empowered.

Do you have other plans for your time in Hawai‘i?

As anyone can tell you, being away from home for a whole month can be difficult, especially as a parent. I am fortunate enough to have both my mother and 3-year-old daughter join me in Honolulu this year, mid-way through the workshop. I look forward to them experiencing the island in a context beyond mere tourism – meeting the brilliant team from Kanaeokana I have had the honour of working alongside and witnessing the importance and significance of such projects.

Is there anything you’d like to add?

I apologize in advance for the too-many Final Fantasy references.

Credit: Prem Sooriyakumar. 2017.

Owisokon Lahache

What is your role in Skins 6.0?

I will be writing a daily blog highlighting the amazing events of the Skins Workshops as the days unfold as well as working alongside Noelani Arista as a cultural consultant / elder.

What’s your favourite part of the entire workshop?

I love it when the participants arrive and the magic begins. My favourite part of the workshop is having the opportunity to share the experience writing about the development of their team, the experience, the passion for their learning all centred around Aloha culture is definitely a high point. It is truly  amazing to be a part of their camaraderie and honouring their ancestral knowledge with todays tools.

What do you expect from this year’s version of Skins?

I expect to see a whirlwind flurry of activity from both the presenters and the participants. I believe the mentors and participants will reach the tipping point that will enable them to continue to create unique cultural pieces long after the session ends.

Do you have other plans for your time in Hawai‘i?

My husband will be joining me the first half of the workshop and I would like to spend some time with Tewenhni’tó:ken enjoying the land, ocean, and company of the Native Hawaiians. I would enjoy exploring, visiting the  Kanaka Maoli crafters and maybe do a little fishing too.

Credit: Prem Sooriyakumar. 2017.

Pippin Barr

What is your role in Skins 6.0?

I’m at Skins 6.0 as an instructor for game design and prototyping, so I’ll be giving a few sessions about how to do practical game design. I’m also around as a game development generalist – I’ve made a lot of small videogames over the years and have picked up a bunch of different skills, including experience working with Unity, the game engine we’ll be using, programming in C#, and more!

What’s your favourite part of the entire workshop?

It’s hard to pick out a single aspect of the workshop, because so much of it was so wonderful last year. Right at this moment I’d say it’s a tie between being immersed in Hawaiian culture, mo‘olelo, and aloha, and the production of the game itself in the final week, where we all get to work hard together and create something great!

What do you expect from this year’s version of Skins?

If it’s anything like last year’s I’ll be really happy. Mostly I’m expecting to meet a new group of people with new ideas and relationships to the culture and the technology. As for what comes out of that… we’ll find out!

Do you have other plans for your time in Hawai‘i?

I’ll be going to Wailana Cofee House as soon as possible for the French toast with guava and the coconut syrup. Definitely want to get back to Bailey’s Antiques to check out the shirts there. Most of all I want to catch up with all the people from last year! I’ve missed seeing Nate, Rian, Vance, Maki‘ilei, Gonzo, Kēhau, and everyone else!

Is there anything you’d like to add?

Just can’t wait to be there!

Credit: Pippin Barr. 2018.

Rilla Khaled

What is your role in Skins 6.0?

I’m the “assessment lead”. Basically, this means I am eyes and ears on how learning is taking place during the workshop.

What’s your favourite part of the entire workshop?

Based on my experience last year, it was doing the wrap up interviews with the participants and seeing how far everyone had come individually in terms of confidence, knowledge, motivation, and having formed a community with each other. It was very moving.

What do you expect from this year’s version of Skins?

From the Hawai‘i side, they will be as awesome as ever. I like to think that the Canadian team is coming back smarter, wiser, and with some tweaks to make the experience flow even better.

Do you have other plans for your time in Hawai‘i?

Many noodles will be eaten. Much sitting in the sun shall be done.

Credit: Prem Sooriyakumar. 2018.

Prem Sooriyakumar

What is your role in Skins 6.0?

I was the documentarian (photo and video) on a daily basis I would document ever aspect of the workshop using photography and videography!

What’s your favourite part of the entire workshop?

My favourite part was getting to know the participants on their journey to making the first Hawaiian video game!

What do you expect from this year’s version of Skins?

I expect to continue to expand my knowledge about Hawai‘i and the wonderful community that surrounds the workshop!

Do you have other plans for your time in Hawai‘i?

Yes, besides the wonderful people.. it is a unique place for food, i will be on a quest to try as many different places as possible.  And I will be going to all the various botanical gardens in O‘ahu.

Is there anything you’d like to add?

Privileged and humbled to be part of the workshop again!!

Introducing Our Skins 6.0 Team, Part 1: The Spring Chickens

With Skins 6.0 / He Au Hou 2 just around the corner, we wanted to introduce new members of our Skins family 🙂 These five, wily Research Assistants are coming to Hawaiʻi as instructors and as students. We’re so excited for you all to meet!

You can check out some of their work on our previous post, where they talk about “Call of Duty Free,” the Skins 6.0 test game!


Sam Bourgault

Hi, I am Sam. I will take care of the programming section of Skins 6.0 workshop, which includes lessons on Unity Game Engine and on coding using C# within that engine. I have taught Math and Physics classes before, but I always wanted to teach programming because you can do so much with it! I am looking forward to meeting the participants and learning about them and Hawaiian culture. I am also excited to spend more time with the great team AbTeC put together. Having visited Hawaiʻi for vacation two years ago, I will definitely go back to some unforgettable spots (the waves of Sandy Beach and Marukame Udon, a Japanese eatery on Kuhio avenue, are not to be missed!!) but I will also work on personal projects. I am sure the experience will be intense and challenging but also fun and mind-blowing. See you there soon (:

Ray Caplin

Greetings! My name is Ray Caplin, I am an independent animator and filmmaker, also an illustrator.  I am Mi’gmaq from Listuguj, located in Gaspésie and northern New Brunswick. My role in Skins 6.0 will be teaching the animated cinematic portions of the workshop, as well as anything having to do with 2D or 2.5D animation. Alongside that, I’ll support general illustration with Photoshop. I am excited to spark enthusiasm for the consumption and love for animation, to show how such a powerful storytelling tool can implemented into nearly any form of digital media. I hope to learn to become a better teacher, but alongside the students, learn about the many aspects of game development. Outside of the workshop, I look forward submerging myself in the rich culture, sample many foods and sights!

Victor Ivanov

Hello! My name’s Victor, and I’m a multidisciplinary designer and developer. My role during Skins 6.0 is focused around game design, level design, and audio production, with some involvement in the programming side of things.

This workshop has attracted me for a long time because games——especially games that tell stories–—have been at the forefront of my studies. I’m very excited about projects like this because they offer awesome opportunities for everyone, both participants and instructors, to learn and master technical skills.

And it goes without saying that the diverse set of perspectives we share will make for an incredibly enriching experience, both technically and culturally!

When it comes to matters outside the workshop, I’m super eager to try out the food. You haven’t really travelled if you haven’t tasted the food. Oh, and snorkelling! Not one after the other, though.

Maize Longboat

My name is Maize Longboat! I’m Mohawk from Six Nations of the Grand River in Ontario. I’m an Assistant Producer and also a participant in Skins 6.0. Over the course of the workshop, I’m excited to learn about how narratives can be translated into game mechanics and I hope to learn about how Indigenous peoples express their Indigeneity through the creation of a videogame. When not in the workshop, I’m going to learn how to surf! Finally, I’d like to give my thanks for having the opportunity to participate in this workshop; it will be a great way to develop my Master’s research project.

Kahentawaks Tiewishaw

Hi! I’m Kahentawaks, a Mohawk and member of Kanehsatà:ke, and my role in Skins 6.0 will be teaching participants all things to do with 3D! I’ve had the opportunity to be an instructor in one other Skins workshop prior to this, and I am eager to build upon that experience. I was also a participant in the very first videogame workshop, Skins 1.0. The thing I am most looking forward to is meeting people from a culture that seems both similar and strikingly different to that of my own. I grew up in a very Mohawk traditionalist context, so I have heard MANY retellings of our culture’s stories. That being said, I am excited to hear some new ones, and to discover what we might learn from one another. Additionally, I plan to spend as much time as humanly possible outdoors, while also trying some local foods.


 

Call of Duty Free: The Skins 6.0 Test Game!

Skins 6.0 – He Au Hou 2 is almost here! Our Skins Video Game Workshop is returning to Hawaiʻi through our continued collaboration with Kanaeokana and Kamehameha Schools. Anticipation and excitement abound!

One way we prepare for the workshop is through the creation of a test game. This allows our team of technical instructors to acclimatize to one another and develop a group bond and to provide participants with a working Unity template to use as a learning tool. This year, our four Technical Instructors–Undergraduate Research Assistants Sam Bourgault, Ray Caplin, Victor Ivanov and Kahentawaks Tiewishaw–created a charming, foxy test game about an IIF RA’s journey to catch their plane, entitled “Call of Duty Free”!

Below you will find the RAs describing their role in developing the test game. 


Victor Ivanov:

The test game was, as the name suggests, a way for us to get acquainted with both one another and the tools we’d use during the workshop. My fellow Instructors and I had two weeks, part-time, to make it. From concept to production, I’d say we did a great job, given the time frame!

The game is about a Research Assistant rushing to catch their plane at the airport. It’s obvious that this game externalized some of our anxieties, and we’ll hopefully master the suitcase-jumping techniques by July, just in (suit)case.

I designed elements of the levels such as progression, narrative and scenes, along with the sidescroller mechanics. I conceptualized and designed the environments, composition and lighting, and produced some of the accompanying audio. I helped out with some of the programming by making the User Interface, tweaking movement mechanics, and creating level objects, like conveyor belts, suitcases—all the dynamic elements of each level.

What was cool about this game was that it uses two very different playstyles: point-and-click and side-scroller. We wanted to see which style we use in the workshop, and ended up with a sort of experimental game that taught us a lot about each playstyle’s strengths and weaknesses. Combining different forms of gameplay has inspired me in my own work to apply a variety of gameplay styles, in one single game, for narrative purposes.

Kahentawaks Tiewishaw:

I contributed to the design and 3D modelling of the main player character, as well as the non-player characters to the test game. I had never before created anything that was going to be implemented in a game, so for me this was really an opportunity to bring a few characters to life.

 

Ray Caplin: 

I contributed all the short 2D cinematics found between each level in the game. All of the animations were created in After Effects, using its basic puppet animation tools, which I feel added some charm to the game, and provided lively transitions between levels. Aside from this, I designed several characters, such as the Clerk, and illustrated the User Interface icons found in the the mini games.

Sam Bourgault:

I focused on creating the game managers—systems that coordinate the inner workings of the game—so that the scenes would follow each other in a smooth, persistent way. I also developed the code that controls player behaviors in both the side-scroller and the point-and-click mechanics. The most complex part was synchronizing the specific animations with the player’s corresponding motion state. I did some basic modelling in Unity for the point-and-click scenes, and programmed the behavior of the line when the player reached the security. Lastly, I helped with composition and level design.

We worked very well together, which allowed us to make the game in two weeks, part time. We agreed on a similar aesthetic and we trusted each other during the whole process! This is really promising for Hawaiʻi!


Finally, we invite you to watch through the playtest video at the top of the page. You can download “Call of Duty Free” for Mac and Windows!

Much love,

Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace and the Initiative for Indigenous Futures

Third Annual Symposium on the Future Imaginary: KC Adams, Dr. Stephen Borys, Siku Allooloo and Joar Nango!

KC Adams is a Winnipeg-based artist who graduated from Concordia University with a B.F.A in studio arts. She has had several solo exhibitions, group exhibitions and was included in the PHOTOQUAI: Biennale des images du monde in Paris, France. She has participated in residencies at the Banff Centre, the Confederation Art Centre in Charlottetown, the National Museum of the American Indian and the Parramatta Arts Gallery in Australia. Adams has received several grants and awards from Winnipeg Arts Council, Manitoba Arts Council and Canada Council for the Arts. Her work is in many permanent collections Nationally and Internationally. Twenty pieces from the Cyborg Hybrid series are in the permanent collection of the National Art Gallery in Ottawa and from her installation BirchBarkLtd, four trees are in the collection of the Canadian Consulate of Australia, NSW. Recently, she was the set designer for the Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s Going Home Star: Truth and Reconciliation. She completed a public art sculpture for the United Way of Winnipeg called Community. She has an ongoing public art campaign called Perception that was on display all over Winnipeg, MB and Lethbridge, AB. She recently won the Winnipeg Arts Council’s Making A Mark Award and Aboriginal Circle of Educator’s Trailblazing Award.

Dr. Stephen Borys is the Director & CEO of the Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG), Canada’s oldest civic art gallery and one of the country’s largest. Under his leadership over the last nine years, the WAG has expanded and strengthened its role and profile in the community, as well as in the cultural and museum landscape in Canada and abroad. Dr. Borys has enabled significant growth in the Gallery’s overall operations, permanent collections, international exhibitions and partnership programs, capital and endowment development, and member and visitor engagement. At the core of his directorship is the goal of advancing a meaningful dialogue with the public, creating in both physical and virtual spaces, a welcoming forum where art and artmaking is at the forefront with audiences and stakeholders.

Siku Allooloo is an Inuit/Haitian Taino writer, activist, and community builder from Denendeh (Northwest Territories). She has a BA in Anthropology and Indigenous Studies from the University of Victoria, and a diverse background in Indigenous land-based education, youth work, solidarity building, and community-based research. Most recently she has been a program coordinator, facilitator and co-instructor at Dechinta Center for Research and Learning, working closely with elders and educators to deliver land-based skills and build strength in community. Her advocacy work through writing and speaking centers on issues of climate change, environmental protection, ending gender violence and decolonial politics. Siku is also an emerging creative nonfiction writer and poet, and she recently had a brief stint as a performance artist at Nuit Blanche in Toronto, 2017. Her work has been featured in The New Quarterly, The Malahat Review, Briarpatch, The Guardian, and Truthout, among others.

Joar Nango is an architect with a degree from NTNU in Norway, and a practicing artist. He works with place-specific installations and self-made publications, which explore the boundary between architecture, design and visual art. Thematically speaking, his work relates to questions of indigenous identity, often through investigating the oppositions and contradictions in contemporary architecture. Recently, he has worked on the theme The Modern Sámi Space through, amongst other things, a self-published zine series entitled Sámi Huksendáidda: the Fanzine, design project Sámi Shelters and the mixtape/clothing project Land & Language. He is also a founding member of the architecture collective FFB, which works with temporary installations in public space. Currently, he lives and works in Tromsø, Norway. Nango’s work has also been exhibited internationally in Ukraine, The US, Canada Finland, China, Russia, Colombia and Bolivia amongst other places. In 2017 he exhibited in Documenta14, Kassel and Athens.

Third Annual Symposium on the Future Imaginary: Dr. Carla Taunton, Megan Tamati-Quennell, Dr. Serena Keshavjee, and Keith Munro!

Dr. Carla Taunton an Associate Professor in the Division of Art History and Critical Studies at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University (NSCAD) and an Adjunct Associate Professor in the department of Cultural Studies at Queen’s University as well as in the Graduate Studies Department at Dalhousie University. Taunton’s areas of expertise include Indigenous arts and methodologies, Indigenous history of performance, contemporary Canadian art, museum and curatorial studies, as well as theories of decolonization, anti-colonialism and settler responsibility. Through this work she investigates current approaches towards the writing of Indigenous-specific art histories, recent Indigenous and settler research/arts collaborations, and strategies of creative-based interventions that challenge colonial narratives, national/ist institutions and settler imagination. Her recent collaborative research projects include: The Kanata Indigenous Performance, New and Digital Media Art Project (2013-16); Arts East (2014-5); This is What I Wish You Knew: Urban Aboriginal Artists (2015-ongoing) and Theories and Methodologies for Indigenous Arts in North America (2014-ongoing).

Megan has specialist interests in the work of the post war (1945) first generation Māori artists, Mana wahine; Māori women artists of the 1970s and 1980s, the ‘Māori Internationals’; the artists who developed with the advent of biculturalism, a postmodern construct peculiar to New Zealand and global Indigenous art with particular focus on modern and contemporary Indigenous art in Australia, Canada and the United States. Iwi affiliation: Te Ātiawa, Ngāi Tahu

Serena Keshavjee’s work focusses on the intersection of art and science in visual culture. She is especially interested in religiosity that presents itself as scientifically based, including Spiritualism, Theosophy and Transformism, popular in the early 20th century. In 2009 she edited a special issue of Canadian Art Review (RACAR) on Science, Symbolism and Fin-de-Siècle Visual Culture. She is the recipient of Social Sciences and Humanities Council Grant to study evolutionary theory and art. In 2015 Keshavee co edited, with Fae Brauer, Picturing Evolution and Extinction: Regeneration and Degeneration in Modern Visual Culture with Cambridge Scholars Press.

Keith Munro is Curator, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Programs at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) Australia. He is a descendent of the Kamilaroi (Gomeroi/ Gamilaroi/Gamilaraay) people of north-western New South Wales and south-western Queensland, Australia. A selection of his curatorial projects include Ripple Effect: Boomalli Founding Members(2012), Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Cooperative 25th anniversary exhibition, and for the MCA Being Tiwi, (2015– 2017, co-curated with Senior Curator Natasha Bullock), the international touring Ricky Maynard: Portrait of a Distant Land(2008–2010), Bardayal ‘Lofty’ Nadjamerrek AO (2010) and In the Balance: Art for a Changing World (2010).

 

Third Annual Symposium on the Future Imaginary: France Trépanier, Sébastien Aubin, Lenard Monkman and Kevin Settee!

France Trépanier is a visual artist, curator and researcher of Kanien’kéha:ka and French ancestry. Her practice is informed by strategies of collaboration. Her artistic and curatorial work has been presented in many venues in Canada and in Europe. France is co-leading Primary Colours/Couleurs primaires, a 3-year initiative which seeks to place Indigenous art practices at the centre of the Canadian art system. She is the Aboriginal Curator at Open Space Arts Society in Victoria BC, where she is co-curating, with Michelle Jacques and Doug Jarvis, the exhibition Deconstructing Comfort. France was the co-recipient of the 2012 Audain Aboriginal Curatorial Fellowship by the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. France co-authored with Chris Creighton-Kelly Understanding Aboriginal Art in Canada Today: a Knowledge and Literature Review for the Canada Council for the Arts. Her essays and articles have been published in numerous journals and magazines.

Sébastien Aubin is currently working as the Indigenous Designer in Residence, at the School of Art, at the University of Manitoba. Through this program, he is producing a body of creative work and research that extends our understanding of design and graphic form. He has worked for some of the most prestigious graphic design studios in Canada and maintains a career as a freelance graphic artist. Sébastien has designed publications for numerous artists, organizations, and art galleries in Quebec, Ontario, and Manitoba, including the Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art, Terrance Houle, KC Adams, the Carleton University Art Gallery, the Thunder Bay Art Gallery, and the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba. He is a founding members of the ITWÉ Collective, which is dedicated to researching, creating, producing, and educating audiences about Indigenous digital culture. He is also part of the AM Collective, which creates works that revolve around the imagination, sparking dialogue on subjects that relate to everyday life and emotions. Sébastien Aubin is a proud member of the Opaskwayak Cree Nation in Manitoba.

Representatives of Red Rising Magazine. Lenard Monkman is Anishinaabe from Lake Manitoba First Nation, Treaty 2 territory. He is currently employed as an Associate Producer for CBC Indigenous. Kevin Settee has facilitated community development programs at the University of Winnipeg and Wii Chiiwaakanak Learning centre.

Third Annual Symposium on the Future Imaginary: Dr. Duke Redbird, Mary Courchene, Niki Little and Candice Hopkins!

Duke Redbird is a visionary, intellectual, poet, spoken word performer, painter, broadcaster, filmmaker and orator, Redbird brought his breadth of culture knowledge, political activism and artistic practice and beyond, bringing an Indigenous approach to art education that was rooted in his pioneering work with Tom Peltier at the Manitou Arts Foundation in Northern Ontario in 1973.

He began his career as an actor and poet at the height of the civil rights movement in the 1960s and quickly became socially active on behalf of Aboriginal and Métis human rights. He served as Vice-President of the Native Council of Canada from 1974 to 1976, and President of the Ontario Métis and Non-status Indian Association from 1980 to 1983. In addition to his public service, Redbird works as a multifaceted artist, practising across a number of disciplines including literature, painting, theatre, cinema and most recently rap poetry. A well-known broadcaster and television personality, he is in demand as a public speaker in university, community college and elementary school settings.

Redbird received his Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies from York University in 1978, and he is a PhD candidate in Sociology at York University. His Master’s thesis “We are Métis” was published in 1978 and continues to be a seminal text on the history and political aspirations of the Métis to this day. As a poet, essayist and screenwriter, Redbird has published and performed poetry readings, theatrical productions, video and film, both locally and internationally. His poem I am a Canadian was the inspiration for a multimedia musical production of his poetic work at a performance before Queen Elizabeth II. In 1985, Redbird represented Canada at the Valmiki World Poetry Festival in India, reading the opening address. He has written and directed many dramatic films and documentaries. In 1993, Redbird was presented the Silver Hugo Award at the Chicago Film Festival for a drama he produced for TVOntario. For 15 years, from 1994 to 2009, he was the familiar face of Aboriginal Toronto as the Arts & Entertainment reporter for CityTV. In the summer of 2012, Redbird moved to his property on Bark Lake, near Madawaska, Ontario, to begin work on the development of a “food forest” and a Centre for Compassionate Living. His interests in sustainable, just and conscientious human evolution continue to inspire and guide students and faculty at Universities, public schools and beyond.

Mary Courchene is a residential school survivor. Born and raised on the Sagkeeng First Nation and moved away in 1971 attaining degrees in Arts and Education from the University of Brandon and the University of Manitoba. Mary’s career journey is extensive, including teaching in elementary and high schools, working as a school counselor and later as a school administrator. She was also an Assistant Superintendent within the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs (INAC). During her years as the first Principal of Children of The Earth High School (the first urban Aboriginal high school), she was active in serving the urban community on various boards. She also was a founding member of Manitoba First Nation Education Resource Centre (MFNERC).

In 2000 Mary Courchene accepted the position of Dean of Aboriginal Education at Red River College which she held until retirement. The Aboriginal Circle of Educators recently awarded her with the Innovator Trailblazer Educators Award. Mary received a YMCA/YWCA Woman of the Year award and was the Aboriginal Community Educator of the Year in 2001. As well, Mary has been nominated twice for the National Aboriginal Achievement Awards. She is an honored grandmother of the Keep the Fires Burning, and was awarded with a sacred shawl with community recognition in 2008. Most recently, Mary received the Canadian Teachers’ Federation 2014 Outstanding Aboriginal Educator Award. For the past 8 years, Mary has held the position of Elder in Residence for the Seven Oaks School Division. Mary’s gift is her ability to share her vast experience of over 40 years in the field of public education and working with numerous First Nations communities. She is a visionary and amazing elder who inspires all people she crosses paths with.

Niki Little | Wabiska Maengun is a mother, softball coach, artist/observer, arts administrator and a founding member of The Ephemerals (random order). She is of Cree/English descent from Kistiganwacheeng, Garden Hill FN. Her interests lay in artistic and curatorial strategies that investigate cultural consumerism, gender politics, Indigeneity, cultural Diaspora with slightest hint of ambivalence. Little is a Committee member of the Public Arts Committee, Winnipeg Arts Council and a member of the Manitobah Mukluks Storyboot School Inc. Board of Directors. Currently, she is the Director of the National Indigenous Media Arts Alliance (national). From August 2015 to January 2016, Little was the Indigenous Curator in Residence, a partnership between by aceartinc and the Aboriginal Curatorial Collective, launching the group exhibition enendaman | anminigook (intention | worth).

Candice is a curator, writer, and researcher who predominantly explores areas of history, art, and indigeneity, and their intersections. Hopkins is a curator for documenta 14 and has held curatorial positions at prestigious institutions including the Walter Phillips Gallery, Western Front Society, the National Gallery of Canada, and The Institute of American Indian Arts Museum of Contemporary Native Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Third Annual Symposium on the Future Imaginary: Introducing Jarita Greyeyes, Michelle Lavallee, and Karl Chitham

Jarita Greyeyes is nēhiyaw from the Muskeg Lake Cree Nation and the Red Pheasant Cree Nation, both located in Treaty Six territory. A graduate of the University of Winnipeg, and the University of Victoria’s Master of Arts in Indigenous Governance Program Jarita is currently the Director, Community Learning & Engagement for UWinnipeg.

 

 

Michelle LaVallee is the Curator at the MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina. Since 2007, her curatorial work has explored the colonial relations that have shaped historical and contemporary culture through exhibitions including: Moving Forward, Never Forgetting (2015); 13 Coyotes: Edward Poitras (2012); and Blow Your House In: Vernon Ah Kee (2009). Recently, she organized the historical and nationally touring exhibition 7: Professional Native Indian Artists Inc. (2013, touring through to 2016) and award winning book contextualizing their influential role in contemporary Canadian art history. She has been a chosen participant for a number of Canadian Aboriginal Curators Delegations sent to Australia, New Zealand and Venice, and her curatorial work has been recognized by three Saskatchewan Book Awards and the City of Regina Mayor’s Arts and Business Awards.

Karl Chitham holds a real-time conversation with artist Kereama Taepa about his work, time and the Māori tradition of innovation. Using social media platforms to cross time zones and geographical space the pair will explore some of the incongruities and divergences manifest in the coming together of indigenous concepts and contemporary global culture. With a practice that is deeply invested in technological advancement and the evolution of traditional knowledge, Taepa posits a future that rejects notions of linearity and fundamentalism in favour of something that threatens to upset the balance.

Third Annual Symposium on the Future Imaginary: Asinnajaq (Isabella Weetaluktuk), Jamie Isaac, Heather Campbell!

15 sleeps until the Symposium 🙂 We’re getting very excited to see all 300 of you in Winnipeg! This week, we’re introducing three more of our Symposium guests, Asinnajaq, Jamie Isaac, and Heather Campbell.

Asinnajaq, also known as Isabella Weetaluktuk, is a filmmaker and artist whose work is fuelled by respect for human rights, a desire to explore her Inuit heritage, and a sense of wonder at what she calls “the abundant beauty of the world.” The daughter of filmmaker Jobie Weetaluktuk and university professor Carol Rowan, she was a teenager when she assisted her father on the set of Timuti (2012), a film he made in Inukjuak, the home of their extended family. She later studied cinema at NSCAD University in Halifax, and her short film Upinnaqusittik (Lucky) (2016) premiered at iNuit blanche in St. John’s, Newfoundland, the first ever circumpolar arts festival. Three Thousand (2017), her first film with the National Film Board embeds historic footage of Inuit selected from the NFB’s archive into a 14-minute original animation.

Jaimie Isaac is a Winnipeg-based interdisciplinary curator and artist, member of Sagkeeng in Treaty 1 territory. Isaac holds a degree in Art History and a Masters of Arts from the University of British Columbia. Some recent exhibitions include Vernon Ah Kee: cantchant, Boarder X, We Are On Treaty Land, and Quiyuktchigaewin; Making Good for the Winnipeg Art Gallery, she co-founded of The Ephemerals Collective, collaborated on official denial (trade value in progress), contributed to The Land We Are Now: Writers and Artists Unsettle the Politics of Reconciliation book and the Public 54: Indigenous Art: New Media and the Digital magazine and was co-faculty for the Wood Land School at Plug In Institute.

Heather Campbell is originally from Rigolet, Nunatsiavut (Northern Labrador) and has a B.F.A from Sir Wilfred Grenfell College School of Fine Art, Memorial University of Newfoundland. She was Curatorial Assistant at the Inuit Art Centre of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada for a number of years, and was on the board of directors of Gallery 101 artist run centre. Heather’s artwork was most recently shown in the group exhibition SakKijâjuk at The Rooms in St. John’s, NL and can be found in the collections of the Department of Indigenous Affairs, Carleton University, City of Ottawa, Algonquin College, and various private collections.

Third Annual Symposium on the Future Imaginary: Elizabeth LaPensée, Owisokon Lahache, and Rilla Khaled!

19 sleeps until the symposium!! This week we’re introducing three cool humans, Elizabeth LaPensée, Ph.D., Owisokon Lahache, and Dr. Rilla Khaled. See you soon!

Elizabeth LaPensée, Ph.D. expresses herself through writing, design, and art in games, comics, transmedia, and animation. She is Anishinaabe, Métis, and Irish, living near the Great Lakes as an Assistant Professor of Media & Information and Writing, Rhetoric & American Cultures at Michigan State University. She designed and created art for Thunderbird Strike (2017), a side-scrolling lightning-searing, talon-tearing attack on oil operations, as well as Honour Water (2016), an Anishinaabe singing game for healing the water.

 

Owisokon Lahache from the Kahnawake Mohawk First Nations reserve outside of Montreal Quebec. She is grateful to have been honored and entrusted with teaching her community’s teenage children for more than 31 years. She is an artist, a teacher, an Elder, a Grandmother and knowledgeable about Iroquoian history, ceremony, and community life. She has been creating art since she was a child and at 11 years old, she participated in a two-day live drawing event at the Indian Pavilion at Expo ’67 – this event was the beginning of her love of creating art and today she is exploring new pathways dreaming about the future and exploring new medias.

Dr. Rilla Khaled is an Associate Professor at the Department of Design and Computation Arts at Concordia University in Canada. Her research and practice has centered on the design of learning and persuasive games, interactions between games and culture, and practices involved in emerging forms of game design. Two of her current projects include the FRQSC-funded Speculative Play and Reflective Game Design, both of which concern design perspectives that embrace ambiguous subjects, foreground play, empower the perspectives of players and participants, and draw on experimental games and new media art.