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Great Lakes Research Alliance
for the Study of Aboriginal Arts and Cultures

April 2022 Newsletter

Aanii!  She:kon!  Yiheh!  Welcome!  Bienvenue!

In this newsletter you will find news from, about, and of interest to GRASAC members and subscribers.

Stories in this issue:
  • Brief History of the Gayogo̱hó:nǫʔ People in the Cayuga Lake Region by Kurt Jordan published
  • Cultures of Indigenous Diplomacy Conference
  • Seeking Indigenous Comic Book Artists
  • Former GRASAC RA’s Research Questions the Provenance of the Vatican Indigenous Collection
  • Artist Panel Discussion - “Indigenous Resistance and Resurgence: Re-imagining Indigenous Arts as Education and Research”
  • CDHI Visiting Speaker Series - “Always Coming Home: Indigenous Collections and Kin”
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Book cover of Brief History of the Gayogo̱hó:nǫʔ People in the Cayuga Lake Region by Kurt Jordan
Brief History of the Gayogo̱hó:nǫʔ People in the Cayuga Lake Region  Published
by Kurt Jordon

Kurt Jordan, currently the Director of Cornell’s American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program and a GRASAC Steering Committee member, recently published a short, public-facing book titled The Gayogo̱hó:nǫʔ People in the Cayuga Lake Region.  Jordan consulted with Gayogo̱hó:nǫʔ leaders and speakers about the content of the book, and Gayogo̱hó:nǫʔ language terms form an important part of the content.
The book was commissioned by the Tompkins County Historical Commission. It covers events from the last Ice Age to August 2021, discussing issues such as the time-depth of ancestral Gayogo̱hó:nǫʔ occupation, processes of settler dispossession, Gayogo̱hó:nǫʔ return to the region after the 1779 American Sullivan-Clinton invasion, and the reoccupation of the traditional homeland since 2003.  The book was written with a non-scholarly audience in mind without citations or a bibliography.  
Copies are available through the online bookshop of The History Center in Tompkins County. The cost is US$10.
Purchase Copy Here
A replica Huadenosaunee Friendship belt with one figure at each end and a line in the middle that connects them.
A replica Haudenosaunee Friendship Belt made by Ken Maracle (Cayuga Nation, Deer Clan), produced in the spirit of once again ‘brightening’ the Covenant Chain between the Haudenosaunee and the British Crown
Cultures of Indigenous Diplomacy – A Digital Conference (19 May 2022)
from Treatied Spaces

All are welcome to this online conference and audience panel discussion organised to augment and expand the reach of the exhibition and residency of Anishinabekwe visual artist Dr Celeste Pedri-Spade at the American Museum and Gardens in Bath UK, March – July 2022. 

The Conference showcases reflections on themes linked to Dr Pedri-Spade’s work Material Kwe. The aim is to create space for interdisciplinary dialogue on intercultural expressions of diplomacy, through art and making, material culture including wampum, language and narration in Council speech, food, gender, and languages of law and sovereignty.

Join us on Zoom on Thursday 19th May 2022 12:00 – 19:00 BST to watch a series of 20-minute presentations from scholars and practitioners before adding your voice to the discussion in the subsequent panel debate. Presenters include Naomi Recollet, Susan Hill, Rick Powless, Dale Turner, Alex Jacobs-Blum, Damien Lee, Ken Parker, as well as GRASAC’s Alan Corbiere, Heidi Bohaker, Autumn Epple and Bradley Clements. For more information and to watch previews of the presentations, visit the event page and register to attend on Eventbrite.

Both the Conference and collaborative exhibition are part of ‘Brightening the Covenant Chain’, a three-year research project funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council and run by the Treatied Spaces Research Group. The project focusses on the Covenant Chain relationship between the Haudenosaunee and other Indigenous sovereigns and the British Crown, both in historical and contemporary contexts.
Register Here
Anti Pipeline Kwe Society image of a woman in a bright ribbon skirt, paired with a black top-garment and headpiece designed to resemble oil.
Anti Pipeline Society Kwe (Credit: Linda Roy)
Book cover of Journeys to Complete the Work  by Atalay, Shannon and Swogger
Seeking Indigenous Comic Book Artists
by Jennifer Shannon

Do you know Indigenous comics creators that may be interested in contributing to heritage-based comics projects? Or Indigenous artists who would like to contribute to community engaged comics? I am creating a resource list of Indigenous comics creators for the Smithsonian and my community partners so I can connect projects to artists from the communities or regions that are creating the stories.

What this means is working on comics that have stories that are directed by Native community members that engage with oral histories, or museum or archive collections, and helping them to bring those true stories to life on the page.

Please share this call with Indigenous comics creators you know, or Indigenous artists who are interested in becoming comics creators (it is paid work, should an artist be paired with a project). They can contact me at to learn more. Thank you!

More information on the projects I am working on, FYI:

Photo of Gloria Bell from CBC News article
Image from CBC News

Former GRASAC RA’s Research Questions the Provenance of the Vatican’s Indigenous Collection
from CBC News

Gloria Bell, an assistant professor of art history at McGill University, has been researching the Vatican's collection of Indigenous cultural belongings and artwork for nearly a decade. She is challenging the Vatican's official account of how it acquired tens of thousands of Indigenous artifacts from countries around the world — including Canada. The Vatican claims the artifacts were sent as gifts to the Pope. Bell's research suggests that assertion glosses over a contested history of Indigenous people working under duress to create these items — along with evidence that some of those cultural belongings may have been stolen from communities.

Read More Here

Artist Panel Discussion - “Indigenous Resistance and Resurgence: Re-imagining Indigenous Arts as Education and Research
from OISE Centre for Indigenous Educational Research

You are invited to join us for a panel discussion on Indigenous Resistance and Resurgence: Re-imagining Indigenous arts as education and research, coming up on April 7th, from 12-1:30pm EDT.  

This panel aims to activate and develop Indigenous artistic actions and engage in critical conversations regarding the politics of reconciliation in education and research. Speakers will have a conversation on their own artistic practices and experiences, exploring the ways art might act as a catalyst in forging new respectful and meaningful relationships.

In this discussion, we will be joined by a group of well-known Toronto-based artists and educators: Ange Loft, Vanessa Dion-Fletcher, Maria Hupfield, Tannis Nielsen, and Dr. Jennifer Wemigwans. Ange Loft will lead the conversation.

Learn More Here

CDHI Visiting Speaker Series - “Always Coming Home: Indigenous Collections and Kin”, Critical Digital Humanities Initiative
from the Critical Digital Humanities Institute

CDHI is pleased to host Dr. Kimberly Christen as the fourth and final speaker in our Winter 2022 Visiting Speaker Series. Dr. Christen is a Professor in and Director of the Digital Technology and Culture Program and the Director of the Center for Digital Scholarship and Curation at Washington State University. Dr. Christen’s talk is titled “Always Coming Home: Territorial Relations and Collections Kin.”

Learn More and Register Here
Miigwech, nia:wen, thank you, merci: we hope you have enjoyed these stories!
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