This page still contains information on 2016 speakers. Stay tuned for 2019’s lineup!


David Garneau – Opening Keynote
David Garneau (Métis) is Associate Professor of Visual Arts at the University of Regina. He received a BFA in Painting and Drawing and an MA in American Literature from the University of Calgary. He is interested in visual and tactile expressions of contemporary Indigenous identities—especially innovations in Métis art—and moments of productive friction between nature and culture, materialism and metaphysics.

His art appears in the collections of The Canadian History Museum; the Canadian Parliament buildings; Indian and Inuit Art Collection; the NONAM museum, Zurich; the Musée de la civilisation, Montreal; Glenbow Museum; Mackenzie Art Gallery; Mendel Art Gallery; Dunlop Art Gallery; City of Calgary; the SaskArts Board; Alberta Foundation for the Arts; Paul Martin foundation; and numerous private collections.

Garneau has written numerous catalogue essays and reviews and was a co-founder and co-editor of Artichoke and Cameo magazines. He has recently given talks in Australia, the United States, and Canada. He is currently working on curatorial projects in Sydney and New York, and is part of a five-year, SSHRC funded, curatorial research project, “Creative Conciliation.”

FranceFrance Trépanier – Workshop Facilitator on ‘Having What you Need to Succeed as an Artist’ and ‘Aboriginal Artists & the Canadian Art System’
France Trépanier is a visual artist, curator and researcher of Kanien’kéha:ka and French ancestry.France worked at the Canada Council for the Arts before becoming a Senior Arts Policy Advisor for the Department of Canadian Heritage. Her artistic and curatorial work has been presented in many venues in Canada and in France. Her artworks are included in various public and private collections, including the Museum of Civilization in Quebec, the Aboriginal Art Collection of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada and the Banff Centre Art Collection.

France is the Aboriginal curator in residence at Open Space Arts Society in Victoria BC, where she is curating the Awakening Memory Project and leading the Indigenous Youth Arts Program. She has created, for the Cultural Human Resource Council, the workshop The Art of Managing Your Career for Aboriginal Artists. She recently co-authored with Chris Creighton-Kelly Understanding Aboriginal Art in Canada Today: a Knowledge and Literature Review for the Canada Council for the Arts .France is co-chair of the Aboriginal Curatorial Collective and co-chair of the Indigenous Program Council at the Banff Centre. She also is a member of the Aboriginal Education Council at OCADU in Toronto.

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Steven Loft – Workshop Facilitator on ‘Grant Proposal Writing’
Steven Loft is a Mohawk of the Six Nations with Jewish heritage. He is currently Coordinator, Aboriginal Arts Office with the Canada Council for the Arts. A curator, scholar, writer and media artist, in 2010 he was named Trudeau National Visiting Fellow at Ryerson University in Toronto.

Loft has also held positions as Curator-In-Residence, Indigenous Art at the National Gallery of Canada, Director/Curator of the Urban Shaman Gallery (Winnipeg); Aboriginal Curator at the Art Gallery of Hamilton and Producer and Artistic Director of the Native Indian/Inuit Photographers’ Association (Hamilton). He has curated group and solo exhibitions across Canada and internationally; written extensively for magazines, catalogues and arts publications and lectured widely in Canada and internationally. Loft co-edited the books Transference, Technology, Tradition: Aboriginal Media and New Media Art and Coded Territories: Indigenous Pathways in New Media.


Ursula Johnson – Closing Keynote
Ursula Johnson is an emerging performance and installation artist of Mi’kmaw First Nation ancestry. She graduated from the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design and has participated in over 30 group shows and 5 solo exhibitions. Her performances are often place-based and employ cooperative didactic intervention.

Johnson has been selected as a finalist for the Salt Spring National Art Prize and has twice been long listed for the Sobey Art Award. She has presented publicly in lectures, keynote addresses and hosted a number of community forums around topics of ‘Indigenous Self-Determination through Art’ and the ‘Environmental Responsibility and Sustainability in Contemporary Indigenous Art Practices’, ‘The History and Impacts of Economics on The Indigenous Object’ as well as ‘Renegotiating Conservation: Revisiting the Roles and Responsibilities of Cultural Institutions in Canada regarding Indigenous Made Objects’.


Sonia Boileau – Disciplinary Session Facilitator on Documentaries
Sonia is a bilingual award winning Québécois-Mohawk filmmaker and graduate from Concordia University’s Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. Over the last decade, Sonia has developed and produced television projects in English and French ranging from children’s programming to socially driven documentaries. Her work has aired on several Canadian and international television broadcasters, and her projects have caught the attention of major film festivals around the world. Sonia won the PRIX DE LA DIVERSITÉ (Diversity Award) at the 2011 Gala des Prix Gémeaux (Gemini Awards) for her documentary Last call Indian. In 2014 Sonia’s first feature film Le Dep produced by Nish Media, premiered at Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in the Czech Republic and has since made the official selection of many other prestigious festivals. She also wrote and directed a documentary for CBC about the impact of the 1990 Oka Crisis called The Oka Legacy with Rezolution Pictures, which was nominated for several Golden Sheaf Awards and a Rockie Award at the 2016 Banff World Media Festival. Sonia is currently in development of her second feature film.

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Susan Tooke – Workshop Facilitator on ‘Has the Artist Been Paid?’
Through her current collaborative work with Véronique MacKenzie and Lukas Pearse, Susan Tooke explores animation and video, returning to media she worked during her studies at the New School in New York City.

Her continuing work in painting, illustration, and digital montage inform her work, which employs stop motion animation and drawing/painting inserted into the animated video clips of the dancer.
In Motion Activated, she uses computer manipulation of video dissecting time and motion as related to the dancer.

Ms.Tooke has a BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University and graduate studies in Media from the New School for Social Research in New York. She is a three-time winner of the Lillian Shepherd Memorial Award for Excellence in Illustration. She is represented by Gallery Page and Strange, Halifax.


Clayton Windatt – Workshop Facilitator on ‘National Engagement Strategies for Indigenous Artists’
Born in St. Catherines, Clayton Windatt is a Métis Multi-artist who has lived in the Northeastern region of Ontario for most of his life. After working as Director of the White Water Gallery Artist-Run Centre for seven years he now works as Interim Director of the Aboriginal Curatorial Collective.

Clayton holds a BA in Fine Art from Nipissing University and received his Graphic Design certification from Canadore College. He works actively with several arts organizations locally, provincially and nationally on committees and boards of directors including the National Arts Service Organization’s planning committee, the Visual Arts Alliance and CARFAC Ontario.

Clayton maintains contracted positions with various theatre programs and works as a writer for Muskrat magazine and Dispatch magazine. He works with the ON THE EDGE fringe festival, is a mentor member of the Future In Safe Hands Collective and currently works with Business for the Arts as a Mentor for their ArtsVest program. He has been working with Aanmitaagzi for the last five years and contributes to their community arts projects as a writer, designer, curator, performer, theatre technician, and consultant and is an active visual and media artist.


Cheryl L’Hirondelle – Disciplinary Session Facilitator on Community-Based Art
Cheryl L’Hirondelle is an Alberta-born, Metis/Cree, interdisciplinary artist and singer/songwriter. Since the early 1980s, L’Hirondelle has created, performed and presented work in a variety of artistic disciplines, including music, performance art, theatre, performance poetry, storytelling, installation, and new media.

Her creative practice investigates a Cree worldview (nêhiyawin) in contemporary time-space and is largely focussed on music as rendering material. Since 2008, L’Hirondelle has been singing land, a contemporary take on ancient Indigenous sonic mapping. She also has been collaborating with incarcerated women, men and detained youth to create a new canon of ‘freedom’ songs.

Currently based in Toronto, she has performed and exhibited her work widely both in Canada and abroad, and her previous musical efforts and new media work have garnered her critical acclaim and numerous awards.

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Natalie Sappier – Discussion Facilitator
Natalie Sappier-Samaqani Cocachq (The Water Spirit) grew up in Tobique First Nation, New Brunswick. She has always been inspired to create stories while playing in the trees and sitting by the water.

She began her visual arts practice a year after stepping into the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design, where she experienced traditional ceremonies, teachings, language and medicine.

While taking some spirit time by the water, she felt that the stories she was sharing needed to be louder than a painting and that she needed to allow the imagery in her paintings to breath through movement and dance so she started her journey of learning performance arts. Today, Natalie is currently an Artist in Residence at Theatre New Brunswick where she is developing her first production “Finding Wolastoq Voice”. Natalie is also the Aboriginal Outreach Officer for artsnb.

JulieScriver_photoBobMorganJulie Scriver – Disciplinary Session Facilitator on Getting Published
Julie Scriver is Creative Director at Goose Lane Editions, Canada’s oldest independent publishing house. She’s been revelling in books at Goose Lane for over 30 years, and has enjoyed the benefits of co-ownership since 1988.

Julie brings her expertise to bear on all manner of publications: poetry, fiction, biography, as well as illustrated history, fine art, and guide books. She also brings her energy and passion for communication and design to the custom publishing services offered by Goose Lane. She has developed catalogues, exhibitions, and interpretive sites for such clients as the Frick Art & Historical Center, the Gardiner Museum, the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, Saint John Waterfront Development, the Canadian War Museum, and many organizations, independent writers, and artists.

Julie serves as a director for Goose Lane Editions and ArtsLink NB. She is the chair of Connection Dance Works, and was a member of the founding board of Culture Plus (Conseil des ressources humaines en culture du Nouveau-Brunswick / Cultural Human Resources Council of New Brunswick.)


Jean Surette – Workshop Facilitator on ‘Getting Export Ready’
Jean Surette is Executive Director of Music/Musique NB and has a degree in musical performance from l’Université de Moncton. He sits on the board of directors for L’Alliance nationale de l’industrie musicale (ANIM), the Canadian Counsil of Music Industry Associations (CCMIA), Musicaction and is on the National Advisory Board for Factor.

Past experience has found Jean on the Board of Directors for Music New Brunswick and the music sector representative for l’Association acadienne des artistes professionnelle.le.s du NB (AAAPNB). He has been teaching drums and percussion in the Moncton NB area since 1993. He has played on over 20 recordings, penned the music to 8 plays theatre, has toured Ontario, Québec, Eastern Canada, France and Switzerland and is one of the founding members of the Jazz-Rock group les Païens.

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Shalan Joudry – Disciplinary Session Facilitator on Storytelling

Shalan Joudry is a Mi’kmaw storyteller and poet from the traditional district of Kespukwitk (southwest Nova Scotia). Shalan studied performing arts through the Centre for Indigenous Theatre and the Banff Centre for the Arts (Aboriginal Dance). She went on to study ecology and raise two children. After many years of live performance and oral storytelling, Shalan made the bridge over to print with her first book of poetry, “Generations Re-merging” (Gaspereau Press, 2014). Currently, Shalan lives and works in her home community of Bear River First Nation where she merges her projects as an ecologist, cultural interpreter and storyteller.

Susie Lyall

Debbie Lyall & Sophie Angnatok – Disciplinary Session on Throat Singing

Debbie Lyall (left) is an Inuit throat singer from Nain, Nunatsiavut. She has been throat singing and drum dancing since 2003 and has travelled for many performances since starting. Her present throat singing partner is her sister, Elizabeth (Sophie) Angnatok (right). Sophie grew up in Nain, Nunatsiavut and now lives in St. John’s, Newfoundland. She has been an Inuit performer for 10 years and is Vice President of the St. John’s Inuit drum group Kilutiup Songuninga (Strength of the Drum). Sophie & Debbie are both inspired by their late grandmother, Elizabeth Andersen, who was also an Inuit performer. Even though Sophie and Debbie now live in two separate places, they take pride in passing on their Inuit Culture.

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Sandra Racine – Demonstrator

Sandra is from Elsiogtog First Nation in New Brunswick. She comes from a large family of Mi’kmaq people who are fluent speakers of their traditional language. She has always been interested in crafts and drawing, but always admired basketry, beadwork and quills. She has graduated from New Brunswick College of Craft and Design in the Aboriginal Visual Arts Program in 2014. Her main focus is on ash basketry using natural materials and traditional techniques.

Sandra plans to open a Woven Dreams Basketry shop in Nova Scotia. She also plans to teach several Aboriginal crafts through a series of workshops, while continuing to learn new skills and methods herself.

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Bernadine Perley – Demonstrator

Bernadine Perley is from Tobique First Nation. She loves doing beadwork, working with leather and sewing traditional clothing using double curve motifs. Recently she designed traditional peaked caps for the Maliseet Women Chiefs.


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