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OCAD U welcomes five new Indigenous faculty members

5 photos of new faculty members, and OCAD U logo

Image above: Dr. Herman Pi’ikea Clark (top row, left), Matthew Hickey (top row, middle), Jason Lujan (top row, right), Sadie Red Wing (bottom row, left) and Julia Rose Sutherland (bottom row, right).

OCAD University acknowledges the ancestral and traditional territories of the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Haudenosaunee, the Anishinaabe and the Huron-Wendat, 
who are the original owners and custodians of the land on which we live, work and create.

OCAD University is pleased to announce the hiring of five new Indigenous tenured/tenure-track faculty members in its Faculty of Design.

Matthew Hickey, Jason Lujan and Julia Rose Sutherland started on August 1, 2021 while Dr. Herman Pi’ikea Clark and Sadie Red Wing will join on January 1, 2022.

This is the second Indigenous cluster hire, undertaken by the University in three years, as part of its ongoing commitment to Indigenous Learning: Nothing About Us Without Us, the first priority identified in its Academic Plan 2017-2022: Transforming Student Experience.

“We are thrilled to welcome five new Indigenous members to the OCAD U community. These remarkable and inspiring scholars, artists, designers and educators will strengthen our efforts to reshape our University, making it a more inclusive environment for our Indigenous students. They will also contribute to the important work of indigenizing our institution, creating a community that recognizes and respects Indigenous histories, culture, knowledge and ways of knowing,” said Ana Serrano, OCAD U President and Vice-Chancellor.

In addition to their teaching roles, research activities and service to the governance of the University, the new faculty members will be key contributors to the ongoing development and decolonization of OCAD U’s undergraduate and graduate program curriculum, policies and initiatives. The hiring initiative is a special program under the Ontario Human Rights Code.

“It was really important to have this second Indigenous cluster hire in the Faculty of Design so we can have Indigenous representation in each of our six undergraduate programs and meet our commitments to the flourishing Indigenous Visual Culture program,” said Dr. Dori Tunstall, OCAD U’s Dean of the Faculty of Design.

“As we welcome our new Indigenous colleagues, it’s important to acknowledge the collective efforts of those who have contributed to this new moment in OCAD U’s story and as we build IndigenousOCAD U,” said Associate Professor Peter Morin, Special Advisor to the Provost, Indigenous Knowledge, Practices and Production.

“We are able to celebrate today’s announcement because of the contributions of exceptional people like Bonnie Devine, Ryan Rice and Dr. Duke Redbird. These Indigenous artists, scholars and curators have made significant offerings to the collective energy that is building IndigenousOCAD U,” said Morin.


Dr. Herman Pi’ikea Clark

In his own words: “I am both honoured and humbled by the invitation to join the Faculty of Design at OCAD University and particularly as part of the institution’s second Indigenous cluster hire.  I look forward to the opportunity of contributing to the exciting teaching and learning environment that OCAD University is moving toward for the benefit of students, faculty, staff and stakeholder communities alike.”

Born and raised in Honolulu, Dr. Herman Pi’ikea Clark is a Kanaka Maoli/Indigenous Hawaiian from a family with deep ancestral roots across Hawaii and Polynesia. A graduate of Punahou School in Honolulu, he completed a Master of Fine Arts in Pacific Design from the University of Hawaii and a Doctorate of Indigenous Education and Art from Massey University in New Zealand.

Over the last 30 years, he has gained international recognition as an artist, designer and scholar of Indigenous art and education. His artworks and design commissions are found in both private and public collections in Hawaii, the U.S. mainland and across the Pacific region.

Dr. Clark served previously as Professor and Chair of Indigenous Innovation at Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi, one of three Indigenous universities in New Zealand before returning home to Hawaii to launch Pili, a luxury brand of island designer wear founded by his wife.

He will teach in OCAD U’s Illustration and Indigenous Visual Culture programs.

Matthew Hickey

In his own words: “The Indigenous hiring process was inclusive, open and non-hierarchical.  I am excited to share with the students and the University the ways in which Indigenous knowledge can push forward design and architecture."

Matthew Hickey is Mohawk from the Six Nations First Nations and a licensed architect with 15 years of experience working in an on-reserve architecture firm. He received a Master of Architecture from the University of Calgary and Bachelor of Design from the Ontario College of Art and Design (now OCAD U), winning both the Alberta Association of Architects President’s Medal and the Medal for Best Thesis, respectively.

His focus is on Universal Inclusivity, including regenerative design and encompassing ecological, cultural and economic principles. His research includes Indigenous history and the adaptation of traditional sustainable technologies to the modern North American climate. He also teaches at the Ontario Association of Architects, and is a member of the Waterfront Toronto Design Review Panel and Toronto Artscape’s Board of Directors. 

He will teach in OCAD U’s Environmental Design and Indigenous Visual Culture programs.

Jason Lujan

In his own words: “Design is a continuation of storytelling where creation can exist in new forms, without hierarchy. I am grateful OCAD U supports my belief that artists are obligated to be responsible cultural producers and agents of social change. It is important to dismantle problematizing dominant discourses and instead promote the idea that Indigenous creative communities – standing shoulder to shoulder with rest of the world – contribute to a richer human experience for all.”

Jason LujanChiricahua, is originally from Marfa, Texas. As an artist, he creates tools for understanding and interpreting the process of cultural diffusion and familiarization. Largely integrating visual components of commercial and political design rooted in Asia and North America, his work focuses on the possibilities and limitations of the exchanging of ideas, meanings and values, and questions the concepts of authorship and authenticity. His work is an experiment in creating new attention to transitive zones in the everyday. 

Lujan has contributed to, planned, constructed and managed productions and exhibitions at the Dia Art Foundation, Museum of Modern Art, Park Avenue Armory, and Metropolitan Museum of Art, as well as implemented runway fashion installations for Chanel, Marc Jacobs, Balenciaga, Tommy Hilfiger, Y3, and Rihanna x Puma, among others.

He will teach in OCAD U’s Advertising and the Indigenous Visual Culture programs.

Sadie Red Wing

In her own words: With the all the pandemic challenges many institutes faced this year, I am happy to be a part of a persistent community who is allowing Indigenous Knowledge into spaces that need it the most. Our traditional ecological knowledge will allow systematic practices that will demonstrate sustainability for many nations.”

Sadie Red Wing is a Lakota graphic designer and advocate from the Spirit Lake Nation of Fort Totten, North Dakota. She will teach in the OCAD U Graphic Design and Indigenous Visual Culture programs.

Red Wing earned her BFA in New Media Arts and Interactive Design at the Institute of American Indian Arts. She received her Master of Graphic Design from North Carolina State University. Her research on cultural revitalization through design tools and strategies created a new demand for tribal competence in graphic design research.

Red Wing urges Native American graphic designers to express visual sovereignty in their design work, as well as encourages academia to include an indigenous perspective in design curriculum.

Currently, Red Wing serves as a Student Success Coach for American Indian College Fund in Denver, Colorado where she specializes in student retention and resource building for the Native American demographic in higher education spaces.

Julia Rose Sutherland

In her own words: “I am thrilled to be joining the OCAD University team and injecting my own lived and Indigenous perspectives into the Material Art and Design program.”

Julia Rose Sutherland is a Mi’kmaq (Metepenagiag Nation)/settler artist and educator based out of Tkaronto (Toronto, Canada). Her interdisciplinary art practice employs photography, sculpture, textiles and performance. She earned her MFA at the University at Buffalo (2019) and BFA in Craft and New Media at the Alberta University of the Arts (2013).

She has exhibited nationally and internationally, recently showing work at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art in Omaha, Nebraska, where she was also a summer 2021 Artist in Resident; the MacKenzie Art Gallery; K Art Gallery; WAAP Gallery; and 59 Rivoli Gallery in Paris, France.

Sutherland is a recent recipient two grants, one from the Canada Council for the Arts Creating, Knowing, and Sharing program, and a second from the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, Indigenous Individual Project.

She will also teach in the OCAD U’s Indigenous Visual Culture program.