Photography: “These Gorgeous Photographs Show Indigenous Americans Without the Stereotypes”

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These Gorgeous Photographs Show Indigenous Americans Without the Stereotypes
Three years ago, Matika Wilbur set out on an ambitious undertaking: a vast road trip across America to photograph members of all 562 of America’s federally-recognized tribes.

This article appears in Cities Are Now, the Winter 2015 issue of YES! Magazine.

72 Cities Cover

Images of Native Americans made by non-Natives have a problematic history. During the 19th and early 20th centu­ries, ethnographers often used photos to document and romanticize the last traces of the New World’s “dying cul­tures.” Native Americans survived, but the tradition lives on: Posed images and media stereotypes continue to reduce indigenous peoples to vessels for the American imagination.Photographer Matika Wilbur, a member of the Tulalip and Swinom­ish tribes, aims to change this. Three years ago, she set out on an ambitious undertaking, a vast road trip across America to photograph members of all 562 of America’s federally-recognized tribes. (That number is now 566.) The first part of this ongoing project was recently displayed in Wilbur’s first solo museum show, Photographic Pres­ence and Contemporary Indians: Matika Wilbur’s Project 562 at the Tacoma Art Museum in Tacoma, Wash. The show featured 40 portraits chosen from Wil­bur’s collection, which so far includes images from the more than 200 tribes she visited in the course of traveling 80,000 miles around the western United States. A fine art book series is also forthcoming from the University of Washington Press. Read More

Call for Applicants – Indigenous Writer in Residence, Feb 16, 2015

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The School for Advanced Research, with the generous support of the Lannan Foundation, is seeking applicants for the Indigenous Writer-in-Residence fellowship. The purpose of this fellowship is to advance the work of an indigenous writer pursuing their creative project while enabling them to interact with local scholar, artist, and Native communities. The fellowship runs from mid-June to early August and is open to writers indigenous to the United States or Canada. The fellow is provided with a $6,000 stipend, on-campus housing, studio space, supplies allowance, library support, and travel reimbursement to and from SAR.

Application Deadline: Monday, February 16
For more information, please visit
and click on the Programs link or call
Maria Spray at 505-954-7237.

Call for Submissions – The Thunderbird Circle: Indigenous Social Work Educators Network is seeking a logo, Due Mar 13, 2015

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Thunderbird Circle – Indigenous Social Work Educators Network – Call for Logo $500

The Thunderbird Circle: Indigenous Social Work Educators Network is seeking a logo.

Please share the attachment among your Indigenous contacts and community based artists.

The artist whose logo is chosen will receive $500

All logos must be received by Friday, March 13, 2015 at 5:00 PM.

Shelly Johnson . Mukwa Musayett
Assistant Professor
Faculty Associate l Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies
T 604.822.9647 l F 604. 822.8656
2080 West Mall l Vancouver BC l Canada V6T 1Z2

Concordia Panel Explores the Work of Aboriginal Artists in the Digital Sphere

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Concordia Panel Explores the Work of Aboriginal Artists in the Digital Sphere

  • Photo Brandon Johnston

Can the digital realm exist as decolonized space? This was one of the topics discussed at last Friday’s panel discussion “Aboriginal Territories in Digital Space” in the EV building’s auditorium.

Organized by the Aboriginal Arts Research Group, the Concordia-based student group focused the event on fostering a discussion on indigenous art and artists in Montreal.

Skawennati, an Aboriginal artist and Concordia graduate, spoke about her recent project Time Traveler™, an animated video series based on a Mohawk character named Hunter who lives in the distant future.

He acquires a pair of glasses that allow him to travel through time and interact with historic events. His adventures allow him to understand his people’s history, and throughout the series, he forms a positive self-identity, eventually falling in love and gaining success in the hyper-materialistic world of the future.

“I think that what we’re doing as artists is we’re trying to show connected history and recreate that history,” Skawennati said. “I think art has that potential to remind us of something and in this case, it’s reminding us of our connections to our past and our ancestors.”

The entire series was created on a computerized set designed in Second Life, an online virtual reality.

“I really think virtual worlds are kind of metaphors for the future and that’s why I thought it was the right medium to use for this story,” she continued.

Following Skawennati’s talk, Jason Lewis, Concordia Research Chair and associate professor of Computation Arts, discussed SKINS—a video game design workshop he helps coordinate for Kahnawake’s First Nations youth.

The workshop allows young people to design their own video games from the ground up, with the help of Lewis and others. They first discuss the story they want their game to tell, design characters and landscapes using paper and clay and eventually take the games to the digital stage with the help of the workshop coordinators. Read More

CFP – Performing Turtle Island, Fluid Identities and Community Continuities, Due Dec. 15, 2014

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University of Regina and First Nations University of Canada are seeking submissions for “Performing Turtle Island, Fluid Identities and Community Continuities,” a seminar/workshop/conference taking place Sep 17-19 2015. Deadline for submissions: Dec 15, 2014.

Performing Turtle Island brings together established and emerging scholars and artists to focus on how Indigenous theatre and performance are connected to Indigenous identity and community health. This Call is looking for proposals for academic papers as well as proposals for Seminars and Workshops – sharing circles for practical and performative exchange. We are interested in proposals that touch on innovative approaches to performance, education, research, health and healing and community consultation

The central theme that the Conference takes up in the form of a national symposium of Canadian Indigenous performers and playwrights, scholars and artists is unknowing.

See here for more information! Or here!

New TV Series Puts Indigenous Artists in the Spotlight

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Indigenous Artists Finally Get the Spotlight They Deserve in New TV Series

There’s plenty to be excited about in today’s indigenous arts scene, and MTV just gave the world one more reason: The network will air at 4 p.m. Thursday an episode of Rebel Music dedicated to four of the U.S. and Canada’s most dynamic young indigenous creatives:

The show’s webpage introduces them and highlights their contributions to their respective mediums. Read More

Banff Centre: Self-directed Residencies for Indigenous Artists

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Program dates: Ongoing

Application deadline: Ongoing

Program Information

Achieve your artistic vision. Imagine no cooking, no cleaning, no interruptions, just mountains of inspiration. The Banff Centre offers self-directed residencies for Aboriginal artists, enabling the time and space for focused work and providing the freedom to conceptualize, create, research, or complete a project.

Self-directed residencies are open to dancers, choreographers, musicians, composers, singer-songwriters, filmmakers, writers, playwrights, and curators. Residencies can be of any duration and artists can apply to come any time.

During a residency, artists can anticipate interacting with other artists in residence, attending performances and events, and enjoying the natural beauty of Buffalo Mountain situated in the heart of Blackfoot and Stoney territories and Banff National Park.

Financial assistance is available to Indigenous artists for self-directed residencies. For more information, call 1-800-565-9989 or see How to Apply.



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