The Gathering: Online
Indigeneity and its Representation in the Arts
August 13, 2020 | 1-4pm via Zoom
Shifting perceptions on Indigeneity and re-focusing conversations on diverse aspects of Indigeneity, the panel aims to give voice to the experiences of Indigenous artists and arts administrators in this moment, at this time. Ideas presented will animate concerns, hopes, and what panelists think needs to be done to further support Indigenous arts practices in the creative industries sector.
The Gathering: Online will invite artists and organizations to speak about their work and the viewers to engage with the artists while having a forum for asking questions in real time. We are committed to being a supportive convenor of arts practitioners from the Indigenous, racialized, deaf, disabled and mad, women and other historically-marginalized artists and communities.
– Jesse Wente
– Clayton Windatt
– Emma Steen
– Wanda Nanibush
– Ashley Bomberry
– Aria Evans
– Keith Barker
Born and raised in Toronto, Jesse Wente is an Anishinaabe writer, broadcaster, speaker and arts leader. He is a member of the Serpent River First Nation and an outspoken advocate for Indigenous rights and First Nations, Métis and Inuit art. He is best known for his 24 years as a columnist for CBC Radio’s Metro Morning. He spent 11 years with the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) and the last seven years as the director of film programmes at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. In 2017, he was named the inaugural recipient of the Reelworld Film Festival’s Reel Activist Award. He was named the first Executive Director of the Indigenous Screen Office in February 2018. He has served on the boards of directors of the Toronto Arts Council, the imagineNATIVE Film and Media Festival, and the Native Earth Performing Arts. In July 2020, he was appointed Chairperson of the Canada Council for the Arts.
Clayton Windatt is a Métis non–binary multi-artist living and working between Sturgeon Falls and Toronto, Ontario. Clayton holds a BA in Fine Art from Nipissing University and received Graphic Design certification from Canadore College. With an extensive history working in Artist-Run Culture and Community Arts, and through their own activism, Clayton works towards healthier relationships for national and global Indigenous artists and communities. The former Executive Director of the Aboriginal Curatorial Collective, Clayton maintains contracts with several colleges and universities, arts magazines, arts councils, arts organizations, and other organizations as a critical writer, columnist and consultant in addition to pursuing their independent arts practice. Clayton is an active filmmaker and director with works featured in festivals such as ImagineNative and the Toronto International Film Festival and recent commissions by the National Film Board of Canada. Clayton works in/with community, design, communications, curation, performance, theatre, technology, and consulting, and is a very active writer, filmmaker and visual-media artist and was recently appointed to the National Gallery of Canada’s Board of Trustees.
Emma Steen is a curator, writer and the Outreach & Membership coordinator for the Aboriginal Curatorial Collective, with a background in community organizing and activism. Her area of expertise lies in the meeting of Indigenous sexual autonomy, body agency and anti colonial theory and praxis within the arts.
Aboriginal Curatorial Collective / Collectif des commissaires autochtones
Curator, Indigenous art background: prior to joining the AGO in 2016, Wanda Nanibush held various curatorial and academic roles across Canada since 2001. In addition to independent curation, Nanibush held the post of Aboriginal Arts Officer at the Ontario Arts Council, Executive Director of ANDPVA and Strategic Planning for CCA. She holds a master’s degree in visual studies from the University of Toronto, where she has also taught graduate courses. Nanibush has published widely in magazines, books and journals. As co-lead of the AGO’s department of Indigenous and Canadian Art, Nanibush’s area of specialty is Indigenous art and collection diversification.
Ashley Bomberry is Mohawk from the Six Nations of the Grand River territory. She is a writer, producer, director and actor for film and theatre. Her short documentary film, Hoop Dance, premiered at the Female Eye Film Festival and she continues to write and create projects within an Indigenous storytelling framework. Ashley recently co-produced The Hunt, a short VR film, written and directed by Danis Goulet, included in the 2167 installation at TIFF Bell Lightbox Theatre. It features a predominantly Haudenosaunee cast and the film is predominantly in the Mohawk language and shot on Indigenous territory in Tkaron:to and on Six Nations. As a producer and curator for multicultural and diverse showcases, Ashley creates discussion and aims to build bridges between marginalized and non-marginalized groups with her work. Ashley focuses on her Indigenous roots and endeavors to impart strength, hope, and healing in Indigenous communities around the world.
Aria Evans (she/they/he) is a queer, Toronto-based, interdisciplinary, award winning artist who’s practice spans dance; creation, performance and film. They draw on her experiences as a woman of mixed race (Afro-Indigenous, settler) as well as his BFA (2012) to capture meaningful social and cultural themes through their interactive art. With a large-scale vision, collaboration is the departure point to the work that she creates under her company POLITICAL MOVEMENT. Advocating for inclusion and the representation of diversity, they uses his artistic practice to question the ways we can coexist together. www.politicalmovement.ca
Keith Barker is a Métis artist from Northwestern Ontario and the Artistic Director of Native Earth Performing Arts. He is a recipient of a Dora Mavor Moore for Outstanding New Play, a SAT Award for Excellence in Playwriting, and a Yukon Arts Audience Award for Best Art for Social Change. His play This is How We Got Here was a 2018 Finalist for the Governor General Award for Drama.