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Greetings from the Four Directions: National Indigenous People's Day Celebration!

Greetings from the Four Directions: National Indigenous People's Day Celebration!

Tawâw! Nyaweh Sgënöh! TunngasugitsiBekanwe! 

Greetings to our communities, students, faculty and friends, 

Please join Wapatah Centre for Indigenous Visual KnowledgeOnsite Gallery, and the Indigenous Visual Culture Program for a LIVE two-hour celebration of National Indigenous People’s Day on Monday June 21, 2021, from 12:00pm to 2:00pm. OCADU President Ana Serrano will offer a warm welcome to the global community! 

Location: OCADU YouTube Live // Onsite Gallery YouTube Live // Wapatah YouTube Live

Greetings from the 4 Directions: 

Starting in the East, this exciting virtual celebration of National Indigenous People’s Day will feature a series of LIVE and pre-recorded greetings, songs, and knowledge exchanges. With performances from the Great Lakes to the Great Plains, the Northern Arctic to the Southern Amazon, join the OCADU community in honouring the Summer Solstice and Festival of the Sun. 

Featured guests from the 4 Directions: 

// HostsGerald McMaster and Susan Blight 
// Elder Whabagoon, Keeper of Sacred Pipes, artist, land defender and water protector 
// Bill Crouse, Faith keeper, artist and leader of a Seneca dance group Allegany River Dancers 
// Olinda Silvano, Shipibo-konibo artist from Peru and author of the “Encanto de Kene” series 
// Eric Tootoosis, Poundmaker Cree Nation Knowledge-Keeper 
// Mathew Nuqingaq, Inuit artist, sculptor, and performer 

Strengthen your Indigenous (Art) relations: 

Wapatah and Onsite Gallery are very excited to announce the official release of the Indigenizing the (Art) Museum Virtual Series as a set of In-Conversation lectures with leading curators from (art) museums around the world. Developed as part of Wapatah Centre’s Global Indigenity initiative, the series has been praised as “one of the pandemic’s wonderful opportunities to rub shoulders virtually with leading art world figures” by Portia Priegert of Galleries West. Each lecture braids together dialogues about curators changing the future of museum collections and asks poignant questions about how curators all over the globe are working to decolonize and Indigenize museums and curatorial approaches. Official release: June 21, 2021. 

This event is developed as part of Wapatah's Global Indigeneity outreach initiatives and led by Brittany Bergin, Mariah Meawasige, and Natalja Chestopalova, with generous support from Lisa Deanne Smith of Onsite Gallery. 

Greetings from the 4 Directions is a free and ally friendly event. The discussion will be offered in English and will include simultaneous ASL interpretation. 

See you soon! 

Mîkwêc! Nakurmiik! Miigwech! Thank you, 

Wapatah // Onsite Gallery // INVC Program 


Meet the hosts and guests from the Four Directions: 

Gerald McMaster, O.C., is one of Canada’s most revered and esteemed academics. He is a curator, artist, and author, and is currently professor and Tier 1 Canada Research Chair of Indigenous Visual Culture and Curatorial Practice at OCAD University where he leads a team of researchers at the Wapatah: Centre for Indigenous Visual Knowledge. McMaster served as the curator for the 1995 Venice Biennale, artistic director of the 2012 Biennale of Sydney, and curator for the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale. He is nêhiyaw (Plains Cree) and a citizen of the Siksika First Nation. 

Susan Blight (Anishinaabe, Couchiching First Nation) is an interdisciplinary artist working with public art, site-specific intervention, photography, film and social practice. Her solo and collaborative work engages questions of personal and cultural identity and its relationship to space. In August 2019, Susan joined OCAD University as Delaney Chair in Indigenous Visual Culture and as Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences and School of Interdisciplinary Studies. 

Elder Whabagoon, born in Sioux Lookout, Ontario, is a member of the Lac Seul First Nation and she sits with the Loon Clan. Her mother was a residential school survivor, and her grandmother was a medicine woman with Sapay and Petawayway lineage. Whabagoon is a Sixties Scoop survivor. She is active in the Toronto Indigenous community, involved with many Indigenous organizations across Toronto. Whabagoon is a peer assessor on the Indigenous Arts Grants Panel with the Toronto Arts Council and an advisory member of the StART Partnership Program, a City of Toronto program that funds large-scale street art and graffiti projects. She is a Keeper of Sacred Pipes, a speaker, artist, active community member, land defender, and water protector. 

Mathew Nuqingaq works in jewelry, sculpture, performance, and photography. He grew up in Qikiqtarjuaq (Broughton Island) and attended Arctic College in Iqaluit where he now lives and works. Best known for his jewelry pieces which incorporate traditional Inuit iconography executed in non-traditional materials, his work has been featured in major exhibitions and collections on both a national and international scale. He is a co-founder of the Nunavut Arts and Crafts Association and the founder of Aayuraa Studio in Iqaluit. As well, he has served as the President of the Inuit Art Foundation and is a member of the Order of Canada. In addition to his honours and achievements in the visual arts, Nuqingaq is a talented drum dancer who has performed in international festivals and celebrations around the world. 

Eric Tootoosis is a renowned Plains Cree/Nakoda traditional Knowledge Keeper from Poundmaker Cree Nation. For decades, he has worked as a historian and technician of Treaty 6. An original member of the Drums of Poundmaker Singers, he performed across North America and overseas throughout the 1970's and early 80's. Today, as one of the chairs of the Treaties 1–11 Council, his work continues towards the preservation, protection, and perpetuation of the Treaties to a new generation of Indigenous peoples and the Canadian public. As the leader of the Poundmaker Cree Nation’s Macanisak Oskapew Warrior Society, he upholds the commitment to serving his community and the Battle River Plains Cree Nations in ceremonial gatherings and events. 

Olinda Silvano, a Shipibo-konibo artist, uses geometric Shipibo weaving designs to create large works of public art. At birth, her grandfather (the shaman), through the vision of Ayahuasca, gave her an invisible crown of knowledge of kené designs, typical of Shipibo-Konibo art forms. Under the tutelage of her grandmother, Silvano learned to weave textiles featuring the bold, geometric, and maze-like kené that she saw on each leaf, tree, and on the ground. She continues this tradition along with a collective referred to as Las Madres Artesanas (the Artisan Mothers), transforming Shipibo designs into massive works of public art. Today Olinda is recognized by the Ministry of Culture, the Congress of the Republic of Peru, the Ministry of Women, the National University of San Marcos and more. 

Bill Crouse is a member of the Hawk Clan of the Seneca Nation, and a Faith keeper of the Coldspring Longhouse on the Allegany Territory. An artist and performer, he is the leader of a Seneca dance group called the Allegany River Dancers who have traveled and performed extensively throughout North America and Europe. His visual expressions concern everything to do with being a Seneca person, intertwined with his commitment to performing and educating people about Iroquois culture. Employed as a Coordinator for the Seneca Language Department on the Allegany Territory, he has also served as a consultant for the American Indian Dance Theater.