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Gashka’oode: Indigeneity, Art & Philosophy- Panel Discussion

Friday, May 31, 2013

Friday, 4:30- 7:00 PM

At Museum London, 421 Ridout Street North, London, Ontario In partnership with Forest City Gallery.

Free and Open to the Public Panel members:      Greg Hill (National Gallery of Canada – Audain Curator of Indigenous Art)  Candace Brunette (play write and performer) Mona Stonefish (Anishinaabe elder and cultural adviser) Traditional welcome: Luke Nicholas (N’Amerind president) This panel brings together Indigenous arts and cultural practitioners and advisers to discuss the tangled relationship between traditional and contemporary Indigenous values and philosophical approaches in their professional, artistic and everyday realities. Specifically, they question the places where these lines overlap, merge and come into conflict with Western conventions and institutional demands regarding Indigenous creative practices. 

*Image courtesy of Amy Malbeuf, a participating artist in Gashka'oode (Tangled) exhibition. 

Panel member: Candace Brunette-Debassige is a playwright, poet and performer of Omushkego Cree and French Canadian ancestry, currently residing in London Ontario. She was born and raised in Cochrane in Northern Ontario. She recently presented her second play, a work-in-progress entitled ‘Old Truck,’ at the Weesageechuk Festival in Toronto. She has a BA in Aboriginal Studies and an MA in Education from the University of Toronto. Her graduate research, entitled Returning Home Through Stories: A Decolonizing Approach to Theatre, documents a personal and collaborative project and the processes of Indigenous artists working with community to put personal and tribal stories on the contemporary stage. She has also recently become the coordinator of Indigenous Services at Western University where she focuses on delivering programs, services, and strategies that focus on the recruitment, retention and advancement Indigenous students.

Panel member: Greg A. Hill is the Audain curator and head of the department of Indigenous Art at the National Gallery of Canada. He was born in Fort Erie, Ontario and is Kanyen’kehaka (Mohawk), from the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. Hill is also a multidisciplinary artist focusing primarily on installation, performance and digital imaging to explore issues of Mohawk and French Canadian identity through the prism of colonialism, nationalism and concepts of place and community. He has a BFA in Visual Arts from the University of Windsor and an MA in Canadian-Northern and Native / Cultural Studies from Carlton University (1997). His work can be found in the collections of the Canada Council, the Indian Art Centre, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, the Canadian Native Arts Foundation, the Woodland Cultural Center, the City of Ottawa, the Ottawa Art Gallery and the International Museum of Electrography. His most recent curatorial project includes Sakahàn: International Indigenous Art, which Hill co-curated with Christine Lalonde and Candice Hopkins, along with a host of international curatorial advisers. For more information please see <>

Panel member: Elder Mona Stonefish hails from the Mohawk Nation, Iroquois Confederacy and from the Pottowatomi Nation, Three Fires Confederacy. She is Bear Clan, a Doctor of Traditional Medicine. In 1995 & 1997 Mona represented First Nations as part of a delegation at the International Decade of the World's Indigenous People in China. She has advocated on behalf of First Nations people for the past fifty years primarily in the areas of human rights, restorative justice and education. She is a co-founder of the Indian Child Welfare Act, an advocate for those with special needs and a contributor for World Peace with the Parliament of World Religions. She is a Senator of the Anishinaabemowin Teg - language preservation, a Keeper of Wisdom, a Grandmother Water Walker, and a leader of anti-violence against all Indigenous women. Mona is also a member of the Native American Museum of Washington D.C. and a traditional dancer. She was recently awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2013) for her significant contributions and achievements. 

Panel traditional welcome by Luke Nicholas who is president of the N’Amerind Friendship Centre (NFC) and senior partner at Consulting Solutions. Luke has extensive experience in building bridges between government and stakeholders, designing public advocacy campaigns, and offering his insights on effective negotiation to executives, board members, and community leaders. He is also a traditional dancer and a strong advocate and supporter of the arts. As president of N’Amerind he strives to maintain and build new partnerships with local arts and cultural organizations in the London area. To that end NFC regularly offers socials, arts and cultural events. To find out how to become involved or volunteer please contact <>.

Elder Isaac Day (remarks at the art exhibition at the Forest City Gallery): Day is an Ojibwe Anishinaabe (Fish Clan) and Ceremonial Leader, born on the Serpent River Reserve in Ontario. He currently resides in Six Nations. His Grandfather raised him in the traditional Anishinaabe way. After many years of his teachings being suppressed through residential school, Day regained the teachings through well-known and respected traditional Elders such as Dan Pine and Joe Eagle Elk. Day has worked, formally and informally, at numerous Aboriginal organizations and healing lodges as a Traditional Counselor and Ceremonial Advisor. He has also given numerous public talks at colleges and

universities throughout Canada. 

Please join us at Forest City Gallery after the panel for the exhibition opening of Gashka'oode (Tangled) from 7:00- 10:00 PM. 

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