Artist Talk with
Lauren Crazybull

Aboriginal Gathering Place Speaker Series
We are very pleased to present artist Lauren Crazybull

Please join us at the Aboriginal Gathering Place on
Thursday, January 27th from 11:30am-12:30pm 
online via Zoom Webinar
Webinar ID: 646 6431 5880 and the Webinar Passcode: 575635

Artist Bio

Lauren is a Niitsitapi, Dene visual artist. Lauren’s practice focuses on painted portraiture, experimental mapmaking and immersive installation. Her background includes working with youth, radio programming and illustration. The purpose of the work she has done thus far has been to examine the function of colonialism in portraiture and other histories that aren’t always truthful representations of Indigenous existence. As such, Lauren’s portraits describe Indigenous people as they appear to her. Through her work she celebrates nuanced experiences, and seeks a sincere understanding of the many facets of Indigenous life.




Photo by Yukon Tourism

Guná Jensen Artist Talk

Aboriginal Gathering Place Speaker Series
We are very pleased to present artist Guná Jensen!

Please join us at the Aboriginal Gathering Place on
Wednesday, October 27th at 11:30am-12:30pm 
or online via zoom:
Webinar ID: 677 3271 6315
Passcode: 811013

Artist Bio
Guná is a young Tlingit artist, dancer, Lingít language learner and student of Northwest Coast design. Guná, is of Dakhká Tlingit and Tagish Khwáan Ancestry from the Dahk’laweidi Clan (killer whale) which falls under the wolf/eagle moiety. Her family has made the beautiful southern lakes area of the Yukon their home for numerous generations. 
Guná’s love for Northwest Coast design began 10 years ago and she continues to build on her knowledge of Tlingit Formline. 
Her practice is dedicated to preserving and understanding a highly esteemed art form and acknowledges she will never stop learning and growing as a Tlingit artist. Guná recently graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Emily Carr University of Art and Design with a major in Visual Arts.



Sharing Circle: Land Back

jaye simpson is an Oji-Cree Saulteaux Indigiqueer from the Sapotaweyak Cree Nation. simpson is a writer, advocate and activist sharing their knowledge and lived experiences in hope of creating utopia.

they are published in several magazines including Poetry Is Dead, This Magazine, PRISM international, SAD Magazine: Green, GUTS Magazine, SubTerrain, Grain and Room. They are in two anthologies: Hustling Verse (2019) and Love After the End (2020). Their first poetry collection, it was never going to be okay (Nightwood Ed.) was shortlisted for the 2021 ReLit Award and a 2021 Dayne Ogilvie Prize Finalist while also winning the 2021 Indigenous Voices Award for Published Poetry in English.

they are a displaced Indigenous person resisting, ruminating and residing on xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-waututh), and sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) First Nations territories, colonially known as Vancouver.

What a Difference a Day Could Make…

A message from Brenda Crabtree, our AGP Director & Special Advisor to the President on Indigenous Initiatives:

As we move closer to the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Federal Statutory Holiday, we acknowledge that September 30 will provide the opportunity to continue or begin your journey of reconciliation.

For Indigenous people it is a time of personal reflection and healing.

The spirit of reconciliation offers the opportunity for healing relationships to each other and to the land. The path can be difficult, traumatic and heartbreaking and it is important to approach it in a safe way with self-care.

As an intergenerational residential school survivor and as an educator, I continue to seek answers to ongoing inequities and marginalization.

I continue to question why there are glaring disparities between Canada’s Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations.

When Aboriginal children make up only 7.7% of all children in Canada, why do they make up 52.2% of all foster children in care?

Why are Aboriginal women overrepresented in the criminal justice system accounting for 42% of all females in custody?

Approximately 4% of the Canadian population is Aboriginal and female yet they represented 24% of homicide victims in 2015.

The National Inquiry’s Into Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls final report on June 3, 2019, revealed that persistent and deliberate human and Indigenous rights violations and abuses are the root cause behind Canada’s staggering rates of violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA people.

A 2019 Stats Can report showed that between 2011 and 2016, Aboriginal people had a suicide rate three times higher than non-Aboriginal people – how can this disparity exist in a country ranked high for “quality of life?”

Suicide rates for Inuit youth are one of the highest in the world… 11 times higher than the national average.

In some Aboriginal communities the suicide rate amongst youth is 50 times higher than that of non-Aboriginal youth.

There is a direct connection between Canada’s colonial past and present and the health inequities we see today.

The reason we still see health inequity over time, despite the closure of residential schools, is the residual damage of parenting skills, diet, abuses and racism that continues to ripple from one generation to the next. The multi-generational impact is perpetuated between parents and their children and becomes a vicious cycle of health injustice and cultural deprivation.

Residential school, the Sixties Scoop, language ban, potlatch ban, nutritional experimentation, compulsory sterilization and many other atrocities created a deep divide between culture and personal identity.

Lower life expectancy and the prevalence of chronic conditions such as hypertension, obesity, diabetes, and arthritis are disproportionately higher in the Aboriginal communities.

Tuberculosis is both curable and preventable and is 40 times higher for Aboriginal people living on reserve than for non-Aboriginal communities.

During my time at Emily Carr, I have had many heartfelt discussions with Aboriginal students regarding residual intergenerational trauma induced triggers from residential school experiences. I remember a student sharing with me that when they saw faculty and administrators in their robes for graduation ceremony, they didn’t see educators — they saw the same styled robes as the priests and nuns that abused and mistreated them.

For non-Indigenous people September 30th is a time to honour the resilience of residential school survivors and their families. It is a time to understand how the past continues to impact our present… a time to actively listen and continue along the path of knowledge and understanding with open hearts and mind.

We should collectively try to imagine a future with reconciliation and healing for Aboriginal peoples. Walking the path together provides strength and resilience.

Let’s build something better. Let’s commit to finding a shared ground of respect and cultural knowledge… we need to support, nurture and sustain each other.

What a difference a day could make…

asinnajaq (Inukjuak) Three Thousand (still) (2017) Credit: National Film Board of Canada

asinnajaq Artist Talk 

Aboriginal Gathering Place Speaker Series
We are excited to present filmmaker and artist asinnajaq!

Please join us virtually
Wednesday, October 20th from 11:30am-12:30pm

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 623 9383 7486
Passcode: 686982

 Asinnajaq is the daughter of Carol Rowan and Jobie Weetaluktuk. She is an urban Inuk from Inukjuak, Nunavik and lives in Tiohtià:ke (Montreal). Asinnajaq’s art practice spans many mediums from film to performance video, to curation and much in between. She co-created Tilliraniit, a three day festival celebrating Inuit art and artists. Asinnajaq wrote and directed Three Thousand (2017) a short sci-fi documentary. She co-curated Isuma’s presence in the ‘Canadian’ pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale. She was long listed for the 2020 Sobey Art Award. She co-curated the inaugural exhibition INUA at the Qaumajuq. Her installation “cradling river piece” is currently on view at the Plug-in ICA in When Veins Meet Like Rivers.

Maria-Margaretta, Parvin Peivandi, Malina Sintnicolaas Solo Shows Debut at BAF

Maria Margaretta Resistanceinthe Front Yard 2048x1366

New works by each of the artists and ECU alums will be on view at Burrard Arts Foundation through Oct. 23.

A trio of artists and ECU alums are featured in solo exhibitions at Burrard Arts Foundation (BAF) this month.

On Sept. 9, new works from resident artists Maria-Margaretta (BFA 2018) and Parvin Peivandi (BFA 2012) were unveiled, as was a new Garage installation from Malina Sintnicolaas (MFA 2020).

Maria-Margaretta’s Resistance in the front yard with spitz, cigs, and coffee “posits the front yard as a site of great cultural significance,” according to the BAF. “Margaretta asks whether the front yard, as an everyday space instilled with lived experiences, can be a site of cultural learning and communication.”

Full article:

Sonny Assu’s New Solo Exhibition Opens at Equinox Gallery

28880 990000079e04513c

The new show, titled Omnibus, addresses the ways traditions of the past inform contemporary ideas and identities, particularly as related to the effects of colonization.

An exhibition of new works by artist Sonny Assu (BFA 2002) is now open for viewing at Equinox Gallery.

Titled Omnibus, the show includes collage and paint works which advance Sonny’s longstanding exploration of contemporary political and ideological issues via the convergence of Indigenous and pop-culture iconography.

“Assu’s work focuses on Indigenous rights, consumerism, branding and technology as totemic representations of identity,” Equinox writes in an exhibition text. “Within this, he addresses the ways in which traditions of the past have come to inform contemporary ideas and identities, particularly as related to the effects of colonization, and the loss of language and cultural resources in Indigenous culture.”

Full article:

Haley Bassett Named Executive Director of Peace Liard Regional Arts Council

241063245 4760108867353033 6498957156814872341 n

The artist and recent ECU grad views British Columbia’s north as a region full of promise for the arts and arts practitioners.

Haley Bassett (BFA 2020) has been named executive director of the Peace Liard Regional Arts Council (PLRAC), following the departure of longtime executive director Donna Kane in early September.

Haley, an award-winning interdisciplinary artist of Métis and Austro-Russian descent from Dawson Creek, BC, joins the PLRAC after working with the Dawson Creek Art Gallery, where she created several new programs, including HeART Walk and the Northern Arts Review.

Speaking with Fort St. John publication Energeticcity, Haley said she viewed the move to the PLRAC as a “natural extension” of her work with the Dawson Creek Art Gallery, adding she is “beyond excited to be stepping into this new role.”

Full article:

Ts̱ēmā Igharas Artist Talk

Aboriginal Gathering Place Speaker Series
We are excited to present interdisciplinary artist Tsēmā Igharas!

Please join us at the Aboriginal Gathering Place on
Thursday, September 23 from 11:30-12:30pm 
virtually via Zoom:
68198714709? pwd=UlZ0d2JPWnBjeno4RX
Meeting ID: 681 9871 4709 Passcode: 622770 

Tsēmā is an interdisciplinary artist and member of the Tahltan Nation. She uses Potlatch methodology to create conceptual artwork and teachings influenced by her mentorship in Northwest Coast Formline Design at K’saan (2005/06), her studies in visual culture, and time in the mountains. She has a Bachelor’s degree from Emily Carr University of Art and Design (2011) and graduated from the Interdisciplinary Master’s in Art, Media and Design program at OCADu showing her thesis work, LAND|MINE that connects materials to mine sites and bodies to the land. Tsēmā has won the 2018 Emily Award for outstanding ECUAD alumni; is 1/25 2020 Sobey award winners; has shown and performed in various places in Canada and internationally in Sweden, Mexico, USA and Chile.

Artist Statement

My artistic work grapples with the body, my body as it has witnessed material and metaphysical landscapes changing and continually impacted, shaken and consumed by corporate resource extraction. What is important to me in making and presenting my work is to engage with and critique how the value of land and natural resources are created and assessed through Western measures of wealth (social, economic, environmental, power, ownership) and how these types of evaluations impact cultural lifeways in the Canadian wilderness, which is still considered an untapped frontier for natural resources. My praxis is sparked by strategies of Indigenous resistance to neo-colonization, embodied knowledge and everyday acts of decolonization as ways to understand the imaginary Canadian “true North” and industrial reverberations felt by those who live downstream.



Land-Based Design Course Uses ECU Campus as Test Case in Decolonial Wayfinding Project

Wayfinding Design Doors WEB1

Posted on August 31, 2021

“Land-based” design and teaching emphasize local histories, relationships to place, and Indigenous sovereignty.

A new design course uses the Emily Carr University campus as a case study for lessons on wayfinding design, with an emphasis on Indigenous histories and ways of knowing.

Called ‘Rereading Place,’ the course curriculum was developed and led by LatinX designer and ECU faculty member Pat Vera, with the support of Nuu-chah-nulth, Gitxsan and Kwakwaka’wakw designer, artist and associate director of aboriginal programs Connie Watts, as well as the participation of Indigenous cultural advisors, including Anishinaabe/Ashkenazi Métis (Ojibway-Jewish/Métis) artist and ECU faculty member Mimi Gellman and Squamish artist and educator Splash, also known as Aaron Nelson-Moody.

During Splash’s time with the class, he responded to each student’s question with a story — an Indigenous storytelling approach that Pat says gradually deepened the class’s understanding of land, history and place.

“We started by wanting to know a little bit more about how we relate to this place in British Columbia,” Pat tells me. “But we learned way more about what it means to be human; what it means to be a witness; what it means to be a part of our community. We learned about what a Potlatch is and how we can apply it in order to see things differently.”

Full Article: